2022 Holiday Shopping Trends and Predictions

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About the Author

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Michelle Peel

As Sales Content and Research Manager, Michelle enhances the customer experience for our clients by keeping her finger on the pulse of key consumer trends, new vertical market developments, and competitor insights that impact their business. A graduate of Elizabethtown College with more than 20 years of direct marketing experience, she brings the “make it happen” attitude to IWCO every day. She is a dedicated Pittsburgh Steelers fan who enjoys shopping, crafting, and spending time with her family.

This past Saturday was a rare occurrence at the Peel household – it was a free day of no scheduled activities – Yay! My plans were to clean and organize my house – Boo. My daughters wanted to decorate for the holiday season. What? Before Thanksgiving? So, I compromised a bit…we listened to holiday music as we cleaned and then they drafted their holiday wish list. I promised we would decorate next weekend…before Thanksgiving. I’m not yet ready for the holidays, but are retailers?

Good News – Retailers are Ready!

The holiday shopping season has already started according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). During the last ten years, the NRF noticed a holiday shopping trend of consumers starting their shopping earlier and earlier each year. This year 46% of holiday shoppers said they planned to browse or buy before November, per NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. According to the report, “The holiday shopping season kicked off earlier this year – a growing trend in recent years – as shoppers are concerned about inflation and availability of products,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Retailers are responding to that demand and we saw several major scheduled buying events in October. We expect to see continued deals and promotions throughout the remaining months.”

Holiday Shopping Trends and Spending Predictions from the Experts

The NRF recently released its forecast for the “holiday season” (November 1 to December 31). They are forecasting that holiday sales will grow between 6% and 8% above the 2021 season to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Last year’s holiday sales shattered previous records with a growth of 13.5% compared to 2020, totaling $889.3 billion.

Other NRF survey insights include:

  • Households earning more than $150K a year plan to spend 21%, or almost $327, more than they did last year on holiday purchases. Households earning more than $75K a year also plan to increase their holiday spend.
  • Gift cards (54%), clothes (49%), and books/media (30%) are again the top three categories for gifts this year.
  • Consumers plan to make their holiday purchases online (56%) and in brick-and-mortar locations at discount (48%) and department stores (47%).

The holiday shopping trends identified in the NRF’s survey results are echoed in Experian’s 2022 holiday retail forecast.

  • Consumers are starting their holiday shopping early.
  • Holiday spending will be more in apparel stores and with mass retailers.
  • Shoppers are purchasing both online and in-store. Those who are purchasing from mass retailers are more likely to shop online, where as those shopping for apparel will go to the physical store location. Savvy shoppers are researching gift ideas online and then going to the store for the actual purchases.

Holiday Marketing Tips from the Experts

Highlights from Experian’s “Guide to the 2022 Holiday Shopping Season” and our holiday marketing recommendations include:

  • Start targeted promotions early, especially since consumers are beginning their holiday shopping early. Send prospective customers a direct mail piece advertising your holiday promotions and then follow up with an email reminding them of your offer.
  • Offer and promote digital solutions such as Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS), Buy Online Return In-Store (BORIS), and Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO), etc. and enhance their in-store shopping experience by offering a tech-forward approach that incorporates QR codes in your direct mail pieces and email communications.
  • Deploy your holiday retail direct marketing campaigns with a mix of direct mail and email and consider incorporating social channels as well.

Plan an Effective Holiday Marketing Campaign

We help retailers execute better direct marketing campaigns, so contact us today!

Oh, you may be wondering what topped my daughters’ holiday wish list…concert tickets for the family. On behalf of our IWCO Direct family, I want to wish our readers and subscribers a very happy holiday season!

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