Yes, the holidays really are “right around the corner!” There’s no question the current economic environment has forced adjustments by both consumers and retailers, but we still want to know how it will affect holiday spending. Will people go all out this holiday season, or will they be reining it in?
Vericast wanted to know too, so they asked consumers in their June Awareness-to-Action Study about holiday shopping plans, preferences and priorities. Here are the headlines:
People are looking for deals
With a cloudy economic outlook hanging over their heads, consumers are focused on stretching their dollar further. They’re more attentive to prices — Vericast’s 2022 CPG + Grocery TrendWatch notes that 61% of those surveyed say rising prices are their biggest shopping challenge — and they’re in search of a bargain. And according to the Vericast June Awareness-to-Action Study, when it comes to shopping for gifts this year, 27% of consumers surveyed say they will look for stores that offer the best deals and sales.
Consumers plan to spend less
Although some consumers surveyed indicate they plan to spend more this year, including Gen Z (32%), parents (27%) and those who are very comfortable financially (32%), it should come as no surprise that in general, people say they plan to spend less this holiday season than they spent last year (46%). This is in part reportedly due to consumers choosing to dine out less over the last few months of the year (41%), especially Gen X (47%) and those with limited financial means. But some consumers (21%), including Gen Z (37%) and those with more disposable income (35%), expect to dine out more this year than last year.
People plan to shop later in the season, some up to the last minute
Vericast’s survey data indicates people plan to delay their purchases this year. Slightly more than half of shoppers (53%) will begin their holiday shopping in November or December. Those who have a lot of savings and disposable income are more likely to get an earlier start to their shopping, prior to October (29%), while those experiencing financial challenges appear more likely to be last-minute shoppers, waiting until December to start making purchases (29%).
Consumers expect to shop both in-store and online
Some shoppers may be ready to browse the aisles again, going into brick-and-mortar store locations where they can see and touch merchandise, interact with salespeople and generally feel the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Twenty-three percent of people Vericast surveyed plan to shop more in-person for food and beverages for holiday parties and meals, while 14% plan to do more online shopping for these items. When it comes to shopping for gifts, 32% plan to shop more online, but 22% intend to shop more in person.
So, what can marketers do to maximize the busiest, most profitable quarter of the year?
Focus on deals, deals, deals
This one’s straightforward. Consumers value brands and retailers that offer deals. In fact, 60% of respondents to the Vericast June survey say coupons and discounts are more important than ever. If you want to catch shoppers’ attention, give them what they’re looking for — offer a discount or special deal.
Engage in continual conversation
Some consumers will begin shopping in October or earlier, while others will wait until November or December. Retailers and brands will have to work particularly hard to connect with consumers throughout the season since shoppers might shop late in the season or early due to myriad factors. Plan to extend your marketing throughout this year’s shopping period so you capture their attention when they’re planning and purchasing.
Use omnichannel marketing
There’s no single outlier when it comes to how consumers like to receive their deals, so a “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing is not sufficient. Brands and retailers should cover their bases by engaging an omnichannel strategy that reaches their target customer at all the various places they may seek information about a product or brand.
Make it easy
Consumers will be shopping in the store and online, both in equally heavy numbers. Present them with a seamless experience, making it easy to access products and discounts wherever they plan to purchase.
To learn how the 2022 holidays will affect your business, check out this series of seasonal recommendation videos where Vericast’s vertical specialists share insight to help you make the most of the holidays this year.