The Smart Lab: 5 Holiday Shopping Predictions for 2022
From free shipping to early shopping, Emmanuel Raheb outlines a handful of factors expected to shape the holiday season this year.
You need to know who you customers are and which styles are most likely to sell.
You need to stay aware of the latest fashion trends and avoid buying inventory that won’t sell, especially as we move into the fourth quarter, the most wonderful time of year for many retailers.
According to Deloitte, total U.S. holiday retail sales are expected to increase 4 to 6 percent year-over-year in 2022, nearing $1.5 trillion. E-commerce sales are expected to grow between 13 and 14 percent.
That’s a huge opportunity for you to grow your jewelry business.
Remember, looking forward is always the best way to avoid going backward.
Here are five holiday shopping predictions for 2022 every jeweler should keep in mind.
1. Holiday shopping will start earlier.
Traditionally, the holiday shopping season has started the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday.
With the growth of the internet in the early 1990s and 2000s, Cyber Monday grew into its own event.
With more and more retailers competing for the same number of customers, the promotion window has moved back even earlier, weeks or even a full month before Black Friday.
According to Statistica, only 22 percent of consumers said they would wait until Thanksgiving to start their holiday shopping, meaning 78 percent of people intend to shop much earlier.
October has become “the new Thanksgiving” and it’s not too soon to begin your promotions the last week of September, if you have a strong customer base and an appealing “early bird” offer.
In fact, you should continue running special offers and your marketing campaigns right through the holiday season and up until the end of the year.
Start early and promote often.
2. Shoppers will embrace mobile shopping.
As people become more and more accustomed to using their smartphone for everything, desktop computers have quickly become the second choice.
The primary way most people shop will be through their phones.
According to Insider Intelligence, mobile shopping sales topped $359 billion in 2021, an increase of 15 percent over 2020. This number is expected to double by 2025.
Not only is mobile shopping convenient, but the most successful websites have an excellent mobile user experience customized to each person.
Think about it—your phone is always with you, making it extremely easy to shop even if you’ve got just a few minutes to spare.
People are busy and when they need to buy a quick gift or just want to get ideas, they’ll start browsing on their phone.
Everything you do in your e-commerce strategy should be mobile first.
3. Online shopping will be an even bigger factor.
Even with physical jewelry stores reopening and many back to a full staff and normal (pre-COVID) operating hours, online shopping is not going away.
In fact, e-commerce is expected to continue to grow, as 85 percent of consumers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online, according to NPD.
This same study also cited that the number of people who plan to shop exclusively in brick-and-mortar stores has dropped to 14 percent today, down from 20 percent in 2019.
What caused this decline? It is the ease, speed and convenience of online shopping.
The pandemic changed buying habits and even people who would have never considered buying a high-ticket item online, don’t think twice about doing it now.
4. Free shipping will impact your holiday sales.
People have been spoiled to expect free shipping; blame Amazon.
In fact, not offering free shipping or hiding high shipping costs until too late in the checkout process is the main reason why most people abandon their cart.
No one likes a gotcha moment when they’re about to click “buy.” A nasty surprise at checkout makes it easy for customers to say, “no thanks.”
As you compete with other retailers, you need to match what they’re offering and free shipping is simply the starting point. Your holiday sales will be affected.
Consumers are increasingly looking for a unique and compelling shopping experience.
Beyond clicking through catalog pages and browsing endless styles, jewelry buyers want a better way to shop.
Even with many jewelry stores shut down during the pandemic, 45 percent of online holiday shoppers wanted to access a virtual showroom, according to LivePerson. Although people couldn’t visit the store, they still craved that personal touch you only get from behind the counter.
The pandemic created up a whole new way to shop.
Even though stores have now reopened, there’s no reason why your next customer can’t be down the street or in another state.
By offering a concierge service to your audience, you can easily personalize the shopping experience and work with them one-on-one as if they’re right in front of you.
Show engagement ring styles, explore new collections, or give them a sneak preview of your latest showcase, all from the convenience of their home. It’s a fun and great way to shop, especially for someone who needs help choosing a gift but wants a jewelry expert’s help and guidance.
As part of creating a compelling shopping experience, you’ll also need to offer in-store pick-up, ship-to-home, or same-day delivery (if the customer is local). However the customer wants to receive the item, you can personalize it to them.
In summary, although the economic outlook remains uncertain and challenging, you can look ahead to best prepare your jewelry business.
These five holiday shopping predictions are not new; they involve areas of retail that have been growing steadily.
The biggest and smartest jewelers already knew these shifts were coming because they felt the impact and could see the changes in their business.
By embracing these trends and planning for them, you’ll be best prepared to have an extremely profitable holiday season.
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