Yes, the holidays are really “just around the corner”! There’s no question that the current economic environment has forced both consumers and retailers to adjust, but we still want to know how it will affect holiday spending. Will people be giving it their all this holiday season, or will they be restraining themselves?
Vericast wanted to know, too, and polled consumers about holiday shopping plans, preferences, and priorities in their June Awareness-to-Action study. Here are the headlines:
People are looking for offers
With a bleak economic outlook hanging over their heads, consumers are focused on stretching their dollar further. They’re paying more attention to price – Vericast’s 2022 CPG + Grocery TrendWatch finds that 61% of respondents say rising prices are their biggest shopping challenge – and they’re on the hunt for bargains. And according to Vericast’s June Awareness-to-Action study, 27% of consumers surveyed say they will be looking for stores that offer the best deals and specials when shopping for gifts this year.
Consumers plan to spend less
Although some surveyed consumers say they plan to spend more this year, including Gen Z (32%), parents (27%), and those who are very wealthy financially (32%), it shouldn’t be surprising that people generally say they will they plan to spend less this holiday season than last year (46%). This is reportedly partly due to consumers eating out less (41%) in the last few months of the year, particularly Generation X (47%) and those on a budget. But some consumers (21%), including Gen Z (37%) and those with more disposable income (35%), expect to eat out more this year than they did last year.
People are planning to shop later in the season, some up to the last minute
Vericast survey data shows people are planning to postpone their purchases this year. Just over half of shoppers (53%) start their Christmas shopping in November or December. Those with plenty of savings and disposable income are more likely to start shopping earlier, before October (29%), while those struggling financially seem more likely to be last-minute shoppers, waiting until December until they start making purchases (29%).
Consumers expect to shop both in-store and online
Some shoppers may be ready to browse the aisles again and head into brick-and-mortar stores, where they can see and touch merchandise, interact with vendors, and generally feel the rush of the holiday season. 23% of people surveyed by Vericast plan to shop for food and beverages for Christmas parties and meals in person more often, while 14% plan to shop for these items online more often. When it comes to gifts, 32% plan to shop more online, but 22% plan 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 is uncomplicated. Consumers value brands and retailers who offer deals. In fact, 60% of respondents to Vericast’s June survey say coupons and discounts are more important than ever. If you want to grab the attention of shoppers, give them what they’re looking for — offer a discount or special offer.
Join an ongoing conversation
Some consumers will start shopping in October or earlier, while others will wait until November or December. Retailers and brands have to work extra hard to engage with consumers throughout the season, as a myriad of factors can make shoppers shop late in the season or early. Plan to expand your marketing during this year’s shopping season so you catch their attention as they plan and buy.
Use omnichannel marketing
There isn’t a single outlier when it comes to how consumers want to receive their offers, so a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing isn’t enough. Brands and retailers should cover their bases with an omnichannel strategy that reaches their target customers in all the different places they seek information about a product or brand.
Just do it
Consumers will shop in-store and online, both in equal numbers. Present them with a seamless experience and make it easier to access products and discounts wherever they choose to shop.
To learn how the 2022 holidays will impact your business, watch this series of seasonal recommendation videos, featuring insights from Vericast’s industry specialists to help you make the most of the holidays this year.