admin_fortress | Nov 01, 2022
Published in Market Trends
The last two years have been a retail/e-commerce roller coaster. Covid-19, supply chain issues, product shortages, and more recently, rising inflation, have made for a highly turbulent environment. Plus, consumers are becoming increasingly price conscious. So, what can you do to prepare for the holiday shopping season? Which products and services do consumers want most? We’ll dive into top strategies to help you focus your efforts, stay ahead of the trends, and optimize sales for Holiday 2022.
Here are the trends shaping consumer behavior in 2022:
The pressure of rising prices.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index rose 7.5% from January 2021 through January 2022–the largest increase in over 40 years. And while that has evened out recently, inflation is still top of mind for consumers. This strain on shoppers’ wallets has resulted in a move to private label products and less discretionary spending. This is reinforced by recent Google search term analytics that shows searches for cheap and best have grown by 40% globally.
A continued focus on personal wellness.
The past two years have brought personal wellness to the forefront of consumer thinking — and the trend seems here to stay. Shoppers remain committed to the healthy habits they’ve formed and lifestyle changes they’ve made and they are looking for products that will help them on their journey. They are examining every aspect of their purchases–from ingredients and benefits to sourcing practices and environmental impact. Wellness brands wishing to capitalize on this trend need to be radically transparent about their product information.
Continued out-of-stock issues.
Product availability continues to be a point of frustration for consumers. A recent study shows that out-of-stock products cost retailers $82 billion in lost sales across 2021. Continued uncertainty about supply chain breakdowns and product availability has created disappointment among shoppers. While selling out of your product may sound like a good problem to have, in the holiday shopping environment it can spell disaster. For brands hoping to find success this holiday season, inventory management needs to be more dialed-in than ever.
Shoppers are looking for meaning.
In this chaotic environment, more and more shoppers are looking to make meaningful purchases. And sustainability is the key. According to a recent IDC study, almost 70% of shoppers said that a brand’s sustainability practices affect their buying decisions. This means your sustainability efforts should remain front and center, from your packaging decisions to the ingredients and materials you use in your products.
What’s Trending on Amazon for Holiday?
When faced with a rocky consumer landscape and a cooling economy, what products will best set you up for success? Researching the top sellers and offering similar products is a good start. But remember, products on the Amazon best sellers page are very competitive, so it can be difficult to turn a profit. Using Amazon bestseller lists will give you an idea of which categories are doing well and the problems consumers are looking to solve, but each brand should also consider its own market niche and customer demographics. That said, there are some takeaways from the first half of 2022 that can help guide you. The products selling best fall under three main categories: personal care, games and puzzles, and fitness. Brands with offerings in those categories are predicted to gain momentum this season.
Use your data wisely.
There is endless data out there to help support your holiday goals. But to reap the rewards, it’s critical that you make the data you have work best for you. Suggestions on what you should be focusing on, apart from consumer trends and hot product categories:
Who’s buying what?
Knowing who is buying is just as important as knowing what they’re buying and the problem they’re trying to solve. When you understand purchase motivation, you can position your products in a way that maximizes the benefits consumers want most.
We’ve looked at the retail trends of 2022, now it’s time to focus on how they’re influencing consumers; we know shoppers are more price-conscious than they have been but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to lower your prices. Rather, communicate the value of your product—in short, why it’s better, different, and well-priced.
CTR and conversion metrics.
Analyze your sales metrics to understand which of your own products are driving sales and make sure you have optimized your supply chain to keep these products in stock. Alleviating customer frustration caused by limited product availability will vastly improve your chances of success this holiday season—and pay dividends in the future.
A Final Thought
As we head into the 2022 holiday season, the uncertainty we’ve seen for the past two years is still a factor. However, as people look to return to a new, pandemic-influenced version of normalcy, the environment is shifting constantly. It’s important that brands remain nimble enough to react to ever-changing trends.