Black Friday and seasonal shopping habits have changed dramatically over the past few years. From the migration to eCommerce during the first pandemic Q4 in 2020 following the closure of bricks and mortar to a surge in early shopping in 2021 due to supply chain delays.
But while some retailers hoped for a return to normal this year, the latest trends and predictions indicate that it’s unlikely we will experience a return to a pre-pandemic peak this year.
Just as retailers and consumers began to breathe a sigh of relief as we emerged from the pandemic, we are now faced with new challenges due to rampant inflation and the cost of living crisis.
But what does this mean for eCommerce retailers preparing for the high season of Q4?
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An earlier and flatter Peak 2022
A survey by Salesforce revealed that 42% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping earlier to avoid price rises. Additionally, with national press and large retailers beginning to push holiday sales, it’s no surprise that many consumers have already started their Christmas shopping. As early as July, supermarket retailer Tesco had already begun promoting their Christmas ranges online, supported by slogans such as “Tis the season… soon”.
For eCommerce retailers, this means that they can expect less dramatic spikes in purchasing over key shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but rather a steady and sustainable increase over a longer period.
While on the face of it, this may sound manageable for many retailers, this may cause an overload for many unprepared Operations.
For those retailers managing in-house operations who rely on hiring seasonal staff for short seasonal periods, you may be at risk of being understaffed during Peak 2022. With the continuing shortage of workers, and a requirement to sustain higher-than-normal volume over an extended period of time, the recruitment of seasonal staff will no longer be an effective and margin-efficient model.
For those who currently outsource their eCommerce distribution, it’s essential to ensure that your 3PL partner is prepared and set up to manage high-order volumes over a sustained period of time.
What else can we expect for Peak 2022?
- While we are unlikely to see the same growth as last year, holiday retail sales are projected to grow by 4.2% overall.
- The Average Selling Price for products is predicted to increase monthly until the end of 2022.
- Over half of all shoppers claim that they will switch brands this year due to pricing.
- 16% of shoppers claim they will increase their use of online marketplaces.
- Consumers are likely to seek deals that support their current post-pandemic consumer habits, such as health and fitness.
So what can eCommerce retailers do to capitalise on Peak 2022?
- With consumers looking to shop earlier, eCommerce retailers must look to increase their return window to allow consumers to purchase gifts early.
- Consumers are no longer holding out for the Black Friday sales; therefore, releasing your seasonal stock earlier will provide a greater opportunity for sale.
- Last year’s supply chain issues have created overstock issues for many retailers. Brands should use this period as an opportunity to discount older or overstocked product lines.
- For brands concerned about their operations managing larger order volumes over a sustained period, now’s the time to create your plan B. Here at Synergy, we are continuing to onboard new clients until early October, and by exceptional circumstances, after that until 2023.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and under pressure this Peak?
If you have any concerns about your current fulfilment solution during peak or beyond in 2023, contact us today to see how we can help.
Here at Synergy, we have over 600 members of staff who have been expertly trained, working 7 days a week and providing next-day delivery order cut-offs as late as 10 pm.
Why not contact us today for a free consultation to see if we could be the right fit for your brand?