The retail sector has experienced an uphill battle over the past three seasons, and the next holiday shopping season in 2023 is expected to be no different. Predicting holiday sales is difficult due to the global pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and shifting consumer behavior. Although it combines innovation and tradition, the holiday season is crucial for eCommerce.
As 2023 draws to a close, possibilities and challenges are propelled by changing consumer habits, technological advancements, and economic issues. In order to help businesses succeed in the digital market, this blog investigates the complexities of forecasting eCommerce holiday sales, highlighting trends, insights, and early signs.
What are the early indicators?
Early indicators for the holiday shopping season in 2023 in the eCommerce industry are cautiously optimistic. Salesforce’s forecast of modest year-over-year online sales growth of 4% globally and 1% in the United States for November and December implies a cautious perspective, in part because of a slow start to the year.
Deloitte, on the other hand, is upbeat, projecting a 3.5% to 4.6% gain over the previous year and suggesting possible consumer spending over the holiday season. It is noteworthy that customers are cost-conscious; 80% expect to keep their holiday expenditures under $5,000, and 49% want to keep their budgets under $1,000.
Additionally, there is a tendency towards starting holiday shopping early, with almost 50% of shoppers considering doing so as early as September in order to take advantage of early deals. Most people still prefer to shop online, which emphasizes how important eCommerce businesses are to providing offers and discounts that draw customers in a dynamic retail environment. These early signs pave the way for a vibrant and cutthroat Christmas shopping environment in 2023.
Key factors that might impact Holiday Sales
Early Start to the Holiday Season: Retailers launch the holiday season earlier than ever, with early discounts and extended sales periods to entice consumers well before the traditional rush.
Omnichannel Commerce: While digital sales remain strong, there’s a growing emphasis on blending online and physical shopping experiences to cater to evolving consumer preferences.
Returns Dilemma: Retailers are grappling with the returns policy conundrum, debating between protecting profits with strict policies or risking higher returns and logistics costs with more lenient ones.
BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later): The adoption of BNPL options is rising, providing customers with more financing choices and potentially driving higher sales.
AI’s Ascendance: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming pivotal in eCommerce, influencing over $194 billion in global online holiday shopping expenditure, aiding operational efficiencies, and delivering personalized shopping experiences.
Early Discounts: Retailers launch early promotions to attract price-conscious shoppers. A surge of discounts is expected in October, peaking at 29% during Cyber Week, with 25% of all holiday digital sales likely to occur in these seven days.
Sales over the 2023 holiday season will be a key indicator of how well the economy will perform over the next 24 months. A successful season will probably boost hope and give growth momentum going into 2024. However, a downturn could bring a recession. As the holiday season approaches, we will continue to update this blog and constantly monitor the progress.