The year 2022 is a mixed bag for all of us. The economy is slowly getting back on track after the pandemic, and people are excited to meet and celebrate. Yet, at the same time, we’re challenged by major fear of a long-term economic decline, leading to lower purchasing power.
To deal with this tough environment, a better overall picture is helpful.
Key differences in 2022
Multiple unique issues plague the year 2022, making its holiday season a complex landscape for sellers.
- Low consumption: Rising prices intimidated consumers. 51% of consumers plan to purchase fewer holiday gifts this year, according to Salesforce.
- High product costs: With a Producer Price Index (PPI) in the double digits, prices are still sharply on the rise.
- High travel costs: Gas prices are expected to increase further. This makes delivery and returns expensive.
- Inventory issues: Overbuying from 2021 and supply issues caused by global supply chain disruptions from the pandemic create irregularities for large inventory holders.
- Consumers’ pessimism: Consumer sentiment hits record low, according to Yahoo Finance.
- Celebration enthusiasm: After 2 years of limited gatherings and lockdowns, consumers are excited to meet with loved ones and celebrate together.
What does this mean for online sellers?
As shoppers are looking for ways to cut back on prices, they are expected to switch to cheaper brands. Salesforce estimates that “half of all shoppers worldwide will switch to a different brand this holiday season because of pricing.”
Earlier shopping to avoid price hikes is also likely to happen.
This creates a unique opportunity for small and mid-size sellers to fill in this demand, since they can operate in a more agile manner.
Therefore, importing cheaper alternative products and delivering them earlier could be a deciding factor to maximize profits this year.
As shipping costs drastically changed for major retailers, a same-day fulfillment or in-store pickup option could attract more attention.
This holiday season will likely defy expectations of big retailers that are not flexible enough to make full use of it. Offering the right products earlier than usual could be a great way to stand out.