Inflation might move up holiday shopping

While reviewing articles around ecommerce this week, one part of one caught my eye:

  1. Holiday Purchases Will Come Early

We know that inflation will increase prices. Buying a gift for your loved one will be more expensive in December than in October.

This will encourage two trends.

First, if holiday consumers might start shopping even earlier this year, knowing that annualized prices are rising between 6% and 8% per month. June might be a good time to start buying Christmas gifts.

Second, this behavior means key Christmas shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday will likely generate a smaller share of total holiday retail sales.

Inflation though has been making headlines and the regular customer would have heard of it by now. They’ve also already been paying more this year due to it so it’s top-of-mind.

Customers that plan ahead and think about the impact, might be shopping for their holiday gifts already. Right around summertime when there aren’t a lot of strong buying incentives. Then by the time the buying season gets started, those customers will already be done with their money spent.

It might not make sense to go to the holiday level of incentives and discounting, but it might be worthwhile having some deals going early. Maybe some messaging or guides around gift-giving.

You could even be direct about it and have an “inflation sale: because these things will be more expensive later on”.

It’s definitely going to be another interesting year for customer behavior.

It’s also been long enough now that you can check on last year’s holiday customer performance with Repeat Customer Insights. Did they stuck around? Were they only one-time buyers?

If many of them bounced, you’ll want to rethink how you promote this year or invest effort in a new customer welcome campaign.

Eric Davis

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