(Ed. Note: September 15 is a milestone of sorts — only 100 days to Christmas.)
This year could bring one of the earliest kick-offs to peak trading season ever, with customers in a determined mindset to buy. As customers strive to secure bargains, we could see that many will have drained their holiday budgets, even before Black Friday hits.
Consumers remain highly concerned by the rising cost of living, meaning that many will front-load their spending in a bid to get ahead. This new sentiment needs an urgent retail response. It's a big risk to assume that consumers will still have a budget left in December — it would be a mistake to wait till then when offering deals.
Holiday Trends and Challenges With inflation still having an impact and consumer budgets shrinking this holiday season, people will be looking for smaller luxuries and gifts that still deliver feel-good quality. One way retailers can capture demand and help customers do more with less is through personalization. Customers will value creative and inexpensive ways to help pack a punch with presents, so retailers who can pivot to more personalized offers should definitely emphasize it.
Despite the crunch on spending, sustainability is still high on consumers’ radar. While gift wrapping might look stylish, consumers are starting to see that as wasteful. So, retailers who can offer alternatives, like reusable gift bags or stylish packaging, could attract consumers this year.
Another huge hurdle for retailers will be the mismatch between what retailers have in stock versus what consumers want. And the stuff that retailers are betting that consumers want in 2022 may still be lying idle on ships or containers. Retailers must have the technology and plans in place to help them adapt to supply chain delays and maximize the value of the inventory they have."