No, we’re not talking about Christmas in July. But savvy retailers know that the heart of summer is when you start prepping for the rest of the year. CNBC says that retailers will get some “early clues” about the upcoming holiday shopping season from the sales of this week’s Amazon Prime Days (ending today, July 13th). Then back-to-school shopping (which seems to have already started) will reveal more hints of what’s to come.
Rob Garf, vice president and general manager of retail for Salesforce (which also tracks retail shopping trends), tells CNBC that these events could “signal” retailers “how much people might be willing to spend during the holidays, as well as the type of products they’ll want” to buy.
Analyzing the results of two of its reports—the quarterly shopping index and the consumer sentiment index, Salesforce released some predictions about holiday shopping for 2022.
Chain Store Age (CSA) breaks it down:
1—Shoppers will buy even earlier to avoid price hikes: 37% of U.S. shoppers plan to shop earlier (think early November) due to inflation fears.
2—Product value trumps convenience: Half of holiday shoppers will switch brands due to pricing. This means “pricing and discounting strategies will be more crucial than ever.” Adding to the pressure, 15% of U.S. shoppers (31 million) aren’t sure they’ll buy any gifts this year.
3—Physical stores will drive growth across all channels: 60% of digital orders are now influenced by the store. And this year, more consumers are expected to shop in-store. According to Salesforce, retailers with physical stores will grow online sales at a rate 1.5 times faster than those without.
4—Shoppers want sustainable options: The top factor consumers consider when choosing where to shop is how a business treats its customers and employees.
Next in importance is a company’s environmental practices—and 83% of consumers say they’re looking to buy sustainable products. Plus, 42% will consider paying more for sustainable shipping options or select a longer delivery window.
There’s a lot more information in Salesforce’s 2022 Holiday Planning Guide for Retailers.