Retailers are preparing for a busy holiday season.
A new calendar date is taking precedence in the holiday promotional plans of small-to-mid-sized retailers.
According to the new Capterra “2023 Retail Holiday Preparations Survey,” Labor Day is displacing Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the top-performing holiday sales event.
More than half (53%) of respondents said Labor Day sales brought in the most revenue for their company in 2022, compared to 44% who said Cyber Week (which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday). For the past two years, Capterra data indicates roughly half of small-to-mid-sized retailers have adjusted to changing holiday shopping habits by ordering their holiday inventory early.
And almost half (49%) of survey respondentsplanned to launch 2023 holiday deals by September (the survey was conducted in August 2023), with 70% intending to roll out holiday promotions by Halloween. According to Capterra analysis, September has taken the place of November as the best-performing end-of-year sales month for many small-to-mid-sized retailers:
Holiday returns seen rising
Survey results indicate close to six in 10 (57%) respondents anticipate receiving more returns during the 2023 holiday season compared to the prior year period. Strategies respondents intend to employ include:
Offering more products as final-sale items (41%).
Shortening the time window for returns (26%)
Charging more for shipping (24%).
The role of generative AI
Overall, 44% of respondents will use generative AI to support their holiday retail strategies. Specific areas it will be used include:
Personalizing customer experience (43%).
Data analytics (39%).
Automating tasks (35%).
Designing products (33%).
Designing store/displays décor (31%).
Generating product descriptions (15%).
70% of respondents will offer more holiday deals than they did in 2022, while 28% will offer the same amount of deals and 2% will offer less.
75% of respondents expect more holiday season profits than in 2022.
More than 75% of e-commerce respondents and 71% of those with physical stores expect a jump in holiday traffic.