How is the 2022 holiday shopping season shaping up? We’re already getting some important clues. Here’s what we are learning:
1 It’s Already Here
According to Google, nearly one out of five consumers had started their holiday shopping, and more than a third (36 percent) already had ideas for gifts they were going to buy – back in May!
Retailers are ready for them. In August, Walmart unveiled its annual top toy list, nearly a month earlier than in 2021. And when Walmart acts, others follow. Retailers should expect Best Buy, Target, and Amazon to dial up the heat on Walmart by promoting their holiday deals sooner.
2 Consumers Are Cost Conscious
Amid high inflation, retailers expect consumers to be choosier and cost conscious. Walmart’s top toy included a new budget-friendly category — toys under $25. According to Walmart, Walmart the list includes “more Rollbacks on toys” to give consumers “deeper savings” on top of “everyday low prices.”
And Walmart is not alone. As reported in CNN, executives at stores such as Best Buy, Gap, and Ulta expect the holiday season to be loaded with discounts amid economic uncertainty:
In addition to toys, shoppers will likely find discounts on clothing, televisions, beauty products, sporting goods and other items.
Some chains have stockpiled too much inventory in recent months and will increase promotions to try to sell the glut of goods during the holiday stretch.
Other companies are also ramping up promotions to give incentives to inflation-strained shoppers who might otherwise be priced out of holiday gifts.
Best Buy CEO Corie Barry told CNN, “We’re seeing a customer who’s more value-oriented, who is definitely moving more towards some of those sale events. You’re going to see a holiday that starts to look a little bit more like what we saw pre-pandemic.”
What It All Means
- A bigger Black Friday? Black Friday 2021 proved to be a return to pre-pandemic form, with sales increasing nearly 30 percent over 2020. Traditionally, consumers have been conditioned to expect doorbuster sales on this most hallowed of shopping days, but in recent years, retailers have reimagined the concept of Black Friday to feature Black Friday sales that happen long before the actual day. But in 2022, retailers will be eager to shed excess inventory to budget-conscious consumers, positioning Black Friday to reclaim its stature.
- Retailers need to be nimbler with their ad campaigns. It’s not just that retailers need to plan earlier. They need to adapt to shifts in consumer behavior. Why? Because choosy consumers are going to be less brand loyal and more careful about looking for deals online, which could cause rapid shifts in demand at the store and product level – in your favor and sometimes in a competitor’s favor. We suggest capitalizing on tools such as Google’s demand forecasts on the Insights page. This predicts upcoming trends relevant to your business so that you can adjust your budget and bidding strategy to capture spikes in demand. Additionally, use Performance Planner to understand how these changes to your advertising spend will affect your predicted clicks, conversions and conversion values. In addition, Product-specific insights are now at your disposal at the account level in the Google Ads products tab. These insights let you spot underperforming offers, identify products with missing feed attributes and compare your bidding strategy with your top competitors’.
Contact True Interactive
True Interactive has deep experience helping clients plan and implement holiday shopping campaigns online. We can help you, too. We understand how to create nimble search campaigns and multi-channel ad outreach to target consumers with the right message at the right time. Contact us to learn more.
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