Despite rising interest rates, huge increases to cost of living and general anxiety over what the future holds, consumer spending was higher this year than in pre-Covid times. Whether buyers were overcompensating to provide their loved ones with some joy or simply had a bit of extra cash this year, one thing’s for certain – Christmas in 2022 was very Merry indeed.
It’s never too late for businesses to learn from this phenomenon, so make a list of these consumer Christmas shopping trends, check it twice and watch the dollars roll in next year.
Christmas Buying Trend #1: The early bird gets the best deals
According to recent research, consumers started their Christmas shopping earlier in the year. While the majority of shoppers began ticking off their lists in late October/early November, there are some who started as early as June, making use of the End Of Financial Year sales and spreading their spending across the year.
Statistics show that with events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November, shoppers actively prepared for the holiday season around this time; it’s a good idea for businesses to focus on this angle when promoting gifting products on their websites and socials.
Christmas Buying Trend #2: Consumers are becoming more savvy
Research shows that consumers in 2022 adopted a hybrid model of purchasing, doing their homework online and going in-store to complete purchases. Brand loyalty went out the door and value for money was the priority for most, so it’s important for businesses to maintain strong online profiles with easily accessible information about their products. Fast delivery options are a necessity or better still, physical store locations to facilitate consumers’ newfound preference for in-person purchasing.
Christmas Buying Trend #3: Gift cards and experiences are in
While many shoppers still opted for a physical present, there was a noticeable shift in gifting value and experience over tangible items. 39% of Australians said they prefer an experience to a tangible gift, while 41% of people said they’d be purchasing gift cards this year.
Shifts in opinions over wastage and unwanted presents (particularly in Gen Y and Z) means that this is a trend likely to persist; businesses would be wise to offer vouchers and special packages to appeal to this movement.
Christmas Buying Trend #4: The return of face-to-face shopping
Deloitte’s Retailers’ Holiday Survey found that, for the first time since 2018, consumers were slowing down online purchasing and shifting their preference to in-store interactions. Part of this shift may have come down to continued supply chain problems and the memories of Covid shipping delays, but the reliability of in-store transactions facilitated by humans was once again of high value.
According to Forbes, human interaction is what sets brands apart and connects them with their customers. This is great news for Brick and Mortar stores, particularly those with Click and Collect options blending the online and in-store shopping experience for maximum customer convenience.
Christmas Buying Trend #5: Social values must align
As younger generations begin to make up the market share of consumers, brands with good social values (i.e. sustainability, supporting First Nations suppliers, company ethics) started to see more growth than those without.
Businesses offering products made locally, from sustainable materials and with ethical manufacturing practices are encouraged to communicate this loudly and clearly on their website, social media platforms and branding.
(Post-) Christmas Buying Trend #6: There’s always Boxing Day!
If you left it too late to abide by the Christmas shopping trends of 2022, don’t worry – 37% of Australian shoppers say they will be making use of the Boxing Day sales.
This is an opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the desire for value without the frenzied time limit of buying for someone else. Make sure to communicate online early that your products/services are part of your Boxing Day sale and employ this technique throughout the higher buying periods of 2023.
It’s encouraging to see that, despite economic uncertainty, there’s hope on the horizon for businesses looking for longevity – you just have to know your customers’ buying habits and appeal to them at the right time.