Kick Off The Holiday Season With Our 2022 Guide

Our report, A Retailer’s Guide To The 2022 Holiday Season, reviews lessons learned from last year’s holiday season and advises retailers and brands on tactics to prepare for the next few months. This year, we’re suggesting five key areas for retailers and brands to focus on, as follows:

1. Meet and exceed customer expectations with authentic marketing. In 2021, promotional email volume skyrocketed as brands worked to reengage customers. Rather than overwhelm customers’ inboxes, retailers should focus on offers that their customers really want. One way to do this is with personalized ads. Target leveraged insights from its Circle loyalty program during the 2021 holiday season to personalize its offers and experienced an $8 to $10 lift in promotional basket size compared to mass offers and a conversion rate of 70% compared to 40%.

When it comes to authentic marketing, retailers can appeal to values-motivated customers, which Forrester defines as

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US Digital-Influenced Retail Sales Will Top $3.8 Trillion In 2027

Forrester expects US digital-influenced retail sales to grow from $2.7 trillion in 2022 to $3.8 trillion in 2027. These figures represent a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2%.

  • Forrester defines digital-influenced offline retail sales as purchases from consumers who research products online but then buy them physically, at the store.
  • The term “research” is broad: Consumers look for product price, quality, features, availability, warranty, shipping information, consumer ratings, and more. They also compare a product’s price and features with those of other products before making a brand or purchase decision.
  • Digital-influenced total retail sales (or, simply, digital-influenced retail sales) represent the total impact of the internet and include online retail sales and digital-influenced offline retail sales (see figure below).

Digital-influenced retail sales’ share of total US retail sales will rise to 70% in 2027. In that same year, US digital-influenced offline retail sales will grow to $2.2

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How Did Retailers Compete With The Prime Early Access Sale?

On October 11 and 12, Amazon held its Prime Early Access Sale, intended to “[give Prime] members a chance to kick off the holiday shopping season early.” Last year, we found that 30% of US online adults started their holiday shopping in October or earlier, so it’s not surprising that Amazon, along with other major retailers, announced major sales events for this month.

To get a closer look at what retailers and brands did during the Prime Early Access event, we reviewed 50 retailer’s and brands’ websites, spanning numerous categories. Among other highlights, we found that:

  • Nearly two-thirds of these 50 retailers and brands participated. Of these retailers and brands, 60% ran some form of a promotion, but only 8% held a sitewide sale. Instead, many offered sales on select products or ran additional promotions on their already-discounted sales sections. Additionally, a mere 6% offered free shipping with no minimum
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Are Consumers Really Eco-Conscious? The US Shopper And Environmental Sustainability

US consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, although they’re still behind other countries, particularly in Europe, when it comes to adopting more sustainable shopping behaviors. In our just-published report, The State Of The US Shopper And Environmental Sustainability, 2022, we dive into Forrester’s consumer data to uncover US consumers’ attitudes and behaviors toward environmentally conscious and sustainable shopping habits. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the data from the full report:

  • US shoppers expect and want companies to be environmentally conscious. When shopping, 34% of US online adults are strongly influenced by companies that engage in limiting waste, and 26% are strongly influenced by those that actively support environmental and climate change policies.
  • US shoppers do not always consider the environmental impact of their behaviors, however. When asked what’s most important for retailers to include on their website, social or environmental policies were low on US consumers’ list.
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Design Do’s And Don’ts For Retailers This Holiday Season

The season of sales is already here, and with Black Friday almost here, retailers are preparing for an influx of site traffic, store visitors, and (hopefully) purchases. You might be out of time to launch brand-new features or completely redesign your site, but you should still review some of your current design practices and maybe even make a few last-minute tweaks. Retailers can improve their websites this holiday season by:

  • Decreasing clutter in websites and apps. Bizrate Insights found that, around the 2021 holiday season, only 12% of US online shoppers said they “love deals — the more, the merrier!” compared to 31% the year prior. Coupons, discounts, and promotions can benefit customers, but the common practice of overloading sites with promotional content detracts from the site’s usability. Websites are difficult to use when the experience is interrupted by pop-ups, autoplay videos, and animated content like carousels. Test your digital
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