For users, the The holiday season means indulging in gifts, family traditions, and holiday celebrations. But for retail businesses, it’s the most critical time of the year.
As companies scramble to determine the right e-commerce strategy for the holiday season, economic conditions—inflation, inventory and supply chain issues, and an extended holiday season—we’re seeing a wave of crowdfunding. Retail e-commerce channels such as Amazon, Walmart and Instacart, where most e-commerce occurs, will be the true holiday frontline. The key to success this year will be flexibility, responsiveness and persistence: companies must be ready to respond to the market and the consumer in time.
Two years after the e-commerce boom, consumers are now living through inflation and an unofficial recession, and we can expect more selective and price-conscious shopping behavior. With prices on major retail e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart and Target largely keeping pace with inflation, consumers are feeling the squeeze on essential everyday purchases.
According to CommerceIQ data based on thousands of products at 450+ online retailers, grocery and home & kitchen prices are up an average of 20% year-over-year, far outstripping inflation. Average consumers should focus their budgets on the essentials, leaving less to spend on gifts and other impulse purchases.
Place as many inventory orders as possible so that you have inventory before the holiday season begins.
However, unemployment is still low, and consumer spending is volatile, which we can see in the continued strength of online shopping. For example, in Q2 2022, e-commerce growth has already increased to 9% at Target, 12% at Walmart and 10% at Amazon in North America.
In addition to this price change, the holiday shopping season kicks off early this year with the second Amazon Prime Day in October. Other retailers are following suit in an attempt to capture the spending of price-conscious shoppers as they plan ahead for the holidays.
What does this mean for brands? The focus must be on persistence and companies must be prepared to change their strategies for discounting, inventory planning, and advertising and marketing spending as they change environments, all while preventing consumer fatigue.
Increase discounts by balancing profitability
Discounts have taken a backseat in the past couple of years, thanks mainly to consumer lock-in savings and stimulus checks, but that’s set to change this year. In the year Promotions and discounts are on the rise in 2022, and Amazon Prime Day was a great indicator of what’s to come this holiday season. According to CommerceIQ data, on Prime Day 2022, the discount rate for items on sale rose 10 percent to 12 percent compared to Prime Day 2021.
While companies and retailers tend to add seasonal promotions and discounts, most promotions still happen during special sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday as shoppers search for the best deals.
There’s an opportunity to overdo promotional events like Cyber Week to capture higher volume, but getting the discount levels wrong can result in huge profits. Companies that enter the season with excess inventory can face a perfect storm that eats into the bottom line.
Here are some principles companies should keep in mind when planning e-commerce promotional strategies for the holiday season.