Holiday Shopping Trends and Predictions to Shape Your 2022 Advertising Strategy

Retail businesses are operating at the mercy of several significant forces affecting their business prospects. While inflation continues to push prices higher across almost all spending categories, persistent supply chain issues have limited the availability of many different products—particularly those manufactured overseas.

 Now, economic uncertainty is threatening even greater upheaval in the coming months as financial institutions warn of a possible recession. These warnings are stoking greater caution among consumers, leading to more selective purchasing and a greater emphasis on spending.

None of this is good news for retailers—especially with the holiday shopping season on the horizon. But these challenges don’t have to doom your retail business to sluggish sales and weak end-of-year revenue. A strong holiday selling season can be achieved by adapting your strategy to this year’s unique challenges and shopping trends.

Here’s a look at some of those leading trends—along with tips to build a more responsive holiday advertising strategy.

Shoppers Are Planning an Early Start

As mentioned above, supply chain issues and stock availability are already on the minds of your customers. Wary of waiting too long and falling victim to sold-out inventory and long shipping delays, many consumers plan on starting their holiday shopping earlier than in years’ past.

For retailers, this means it’s never too early to start your holiday campaigns. Consumer surveys from past years have found that 51 percent of shoppers begin holiday shopping by early November. in 2022, that number is likely to push even higher. Moving up the start of holiday ad campaigns into early November and even October will help you connect with consumers eager to get their holiday shopping done as quickly as possible.

While Black Friday and Small Business Saturday may remain important dates on your retail sales calendar, your business can’t afford to wait this late in the holiday shopping season to make its aggressive push to attract holiday shoppers. An extended holiday shopping window will help your business capture more holiday sales, blunting the possible revenue losses often associated with an economic recession.

Economic Unease Will Spur Thrifty Shopping Behaviors

If the uneven retail sales over the past few months are any indication, sales for the 2022 holiday shopping season may be relatively flat compared to years past. Consumers working with a tighter shopping budget are accounting for this constraint by seeking out more savings opportunities.

These opportunities can range from discounts and promotions to free shipping and returns, as well as increased price comparisons of products sold at multiple retailers. Retail businesses should be mindful of the added appeal a timely promotion or discount coupon may offer to consumers seeking bargains that will stretch their holiday shopping dollars.

Use your advertisements to emphasize the affordability and value of your inventory, and consider offering extra rewards through a loyalty program to capture new customers and retain existing ones.

Social Commerce Will Grow Its Holiday Shopping Market Share

It’s taken a little time to get used to this new shopping venue, but social platforms have become a popular purchasing destination among many different consumer demographics. Global social commerce was a $732 billion industry in 2021, and social-driven sales revenue is expected to rise further in 2022.

Paid promotion of your company’s inventory via social commerce solutions can be an effective and lucrative part of an omnichannel retail strategy. These paid placements offer direct selling opportunities at a cost-effective price when compared to other forms of advertising. A digital advertising partner can help you navigate the nuances of audience targeting and campaign optimization to maximize performance and ROI in time to support your holiday sales efforts.

In-Store Shopping Offers Unique Advantages Over Online Commerce

Online retailers aren’t making life any easier on local, brick-and-mortar retailers in the face of 2022’s new holiday challenges, but physical retail stores can leverage their on-the-ground presence to win key battles over their online counterparts.

Inventory and supply chain challenges, for example, have increased the value of being able to physically hold an in-demand item, rather than banking on an unreliable supply chain to deliver those items in time.

Meanwhile, more selective holiday shoppers can still enjoy the full shopping experience by visiting retailers that decorate stores for the occasion and host special events and promotions aimed at making sure everyone has a fun, engaging shopping experience. Your ad strategy can promote these events and highlight in-store decor to demonstrate the festive experience that comes with paying a visit to your location.

The 2022 holiday shopping season is sure to throw some curveballs for retailers everywhere. But retail businesses can still position themselves for a strong close to the calendar year by understanding their customers’ shifting priorities and adapting their brand experience to serve those new goals.A responsive advertising strategy can speak to your customers’ evolving paint points and deliver the retail experience they’re seeking this holiday season. Looking for help? Contact Cox Media today to learn more.

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About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media's corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than seven years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media's current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the (now virtual!) office, Sara loves spending time running, reading and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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