Four marketing trends for the holiday season

A look at what retail brands can expect from their shoppers over the festive season, and how they can get ahead of their competitors with smart shopping offers.

Inflation has cast a shadow over this year's holiday shopping season, but it's not all bad news for retail brands.

Here are the four core trends impacting the holiday season.

Social commerce finds its footing with influencers

There will be more emphasis on social commerce. It hasn’t really found itself yet in the market. Instagram and Facebook went so far as to shut down their live shopping features but brands can make it work through influencers for holiday shopping.

Consider the numbers. By the end of this year, social shopping – transactions made on or through platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok – will become a $45.7 billion market according to eMarketer. Influencers and content creators are driving these conversions through promotions, posts and reviews of products that have been known to sell out items after going viral.

Currently 43% of retailers who sell on social platforms report that half or more of their revenue comes from social media sales. Retailers are earning the most revenue from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, respectively.

As customers get more comfortable buying products through social media, it also opens up a new way to interact through those platforms. Enter virtual experiences. More than one in three retailers will invest in livestream shopping in 2022, while 30% plan to implement virtual reality shopping.

Spending may increase but money won’t go as far

Supply chain issues will continue to increase prices, which might result in a dip in shopping. We anticipate that parents will spend the same, or a slightly higher budget that they’ve always spent during the holidays – but they will just get less for their money.

The National Retail Federation expects shoppers to spend between 6% and 8% more than they did last year. Unfortunately inflation – averaging nearly 8% at the end of October – accounts for much of that increase. And shoppers are then chasing sales even more than in a typical year. In surveys, more people are saying they will turn to discount stores and dollar stores for their holiday shopping.

We are not expecting a different year in revenue for retailers, but we do expect to see a difference in margins. For example, the war in Ukraine will increase the price of grain, which in turn, changes the price of meat and dairy. Retailers are a part of global trade so this impact will be felt in everyone’s wallets this holiday season.

Shoppable videos are on the rise

We expect to see more shoppable videos this holiday season. TV ads will feature QR codes that send consumers directly to purchase platforms and videos will be shoppable on YouTube. Shoppers make 37% of their monthly retail purchases online. Meanwhile 32% of retailers say not knowing their options keeps them from selling items through newer online or social channels. And 29% say delivering consistent shopping experiences across online and physical channels is a challenge.

Supply chain issues give local businesses a delivery edge

Nearly two in three shoppers prefer delivery over collection when shopping online but only 38% of retailers are offering same-day delivery due to continued shipping delays. Although the ongoing supply chain crisis is easing, with decreasing freight rates and improving port performance, we are still seeing the long term effects.

Shipping delays and supply chain issues are more common – and 48% of retailers expect to continue facing them. But local businesses have an opportunity to get products out faster than big e-commerce players by offering same-day delivery.

Gregg Manias, EVP, Performance Media and Oscar Au, Vice President, PPC