5 Retail Trends that will Influence Shoppers this 2022 Holiday Season

Jam-packed parking lots, long lines, eager shoppers, and discount codes are here again! What does this mean? The holiday season – by far, the most important time for retailers – is once again upon us. We are finally returning to normalcy after coming out of the pandemic. That being said, Covid has dramatically changed the retail landscape. There are some new, interesting retail trends that are influencing customers this year. So, let’s discuss 2022’s shopper behavior…

The Extended Holiday Season

It’s no longer a rush to the mall on Black Friday; the term “Cyber Month” has been born! Deals no longer last for a day or two – they extend for weeks. This year, consumers will be starting earlier and shopping for even longer periods of time, giving them ample opportunity to research and save on their most wanted items for their loved ones. This is good news for retailers since it will minimize inventory and distribution issues that are usually amplified by that end-of-the-year mad dash to secure the perfect gift.

Social Media Drives Shopper Behavior

Young adults standing in a circle looking at their phonesLove it or hate it, social media is a significant influence on shopper behavior. It’s an excellent way for a brand to tell its story. Embrace it! Recent surveys reveal that 98% of consumers plan to purchase through social shopping or influencer commerce this year. That’s a dramatic jump from last year’s 68%. Furthermore, consumers look to social media influencers for brand and product recommendations. They have gained customers’ trust, which goes a long way.

Prices & Value Matter as Inflation Increases

With inflation rising, shoppers are definitely doing the research before making purchases this year. They are on the hunt for promotions, deals, and coupons for their favorite brands. In order to stay ahead of the game, retailers must analyze customer behavior and offer competitive online prices to attract them, since the competition will be fierce.

The Omni-channel Domination

eCommerce has obviously experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years, more than anyone could have predicted before the pandemic. Some customers have returned to in-person shopping, but many more have chosen to buy online and pick up in-store or curbside, after checking out multiple outlets. Why is this so important for retailers? Well, those shoppers have a significantly higher lifetime value than customers who only use one channel.

Forecasting for Inventory is Imperative

Retailers are still facing inventory shortages, so analyzing shopper behavior is more important than ever. To get ahead of the game, retailers are investing in supply chain technology and working with local delivery partners to solve fulfillment and distribution issues before they even arise. The companies that invest in the technology necessary to anticipate demand changes will be able to avoid shortages and increase their bottom line.

The key to companies staying ahead of the competition is embracing innovative technology that improves their retail strategy. Staying creative, flexible, and adaptive to customers’ needs will help retailers keep shoppers engaged and ensure they have a profitable quarter this holiday season.