Fast Facts: 2022 Amazon Holiday Sales Growth
2022 has been a rollercoaster of a year with inflation as the key destabilizer for discretionary spending. That said, the holidays — and holiday shopping — will go on. It’ll just look a little different from previous years.
Below are a few key insights from both retailers and shoppers, read on to see what takeaways will help your holiday sales growth strategy.
Sales Obstacles in the 2020’s
The last few years have seen hurdles for sales growth, albeit for different reasons each year:
- 2020 (pre-vaccine): Unprecedented e-commerce demand in the wake of store closures and social distancing resulted in massive delivery delays through the holidays.
- 2021: Supply chain issues in the form of shipping container shortages, bottlenecked ports, and scarcity of raw materials stunted e-commerce growth.
- 2022: Consumers are expecting deep discounts this year as inflation continues to rise and retail manufacturers grapple with excess inventory.
So far, we only have retail sales data from the U.S. Department of Commerce through Q2 of this year, but the numbers show ecommerce growth in the single digits for 4 consecutive quarters. This evening out from pandemic levels of online shopping was to be expected, especially after such unprecedented growth.
Q2 2020 through Q1 2021 saw 4 straight quarters of more than 40% sales growth — an insane surge fueled by stay-at-home shopping — before dropping to 15.4% in Q2 2021 when vaccines became widely available.
While we don’t have Q3 data yet, there will likely be a bump in growth as Amazon moved Prime Day to later in the quarter, and it will be interesting to see what effect the Prime Early Access Sale in October will have on Q4 growth.
Products sold online have seen inflation between 2-4% over the last 2 years until this past June when prices finally dropped. However, according to Salesforce’s holiday shopping predictions, the average selling price of goods will increase as much as 12% through the remainder of this year.
With a higher percentage of household budgets going to necessities and less money to spend on discretionary items, the theme of this year’s holiday shopping is going to be marked by fewer purchases at more affordable prices. A Bizrate Insights survey shows that more than half of surveyed shoppers will be influenced by competitive pricing because of economic inflation and 40% will do more comparison shopping.
According to Digital Commerce 360, nearly 20% of retailers have excess inventory heading into the holidays, including major companies like Walmart, Target, Macy’s, and Kohl’s.
Shoppers are savvier than ever and they’ve been paying attention to headlines such as these — customers know that retailers are flush with items they need to move and as such, they will be looking for deals.
2021 saw less promotional deals due to low inventory levels (because Supply Chain issues), giving retailers the upper hand when it came to supply and demand. Now, the script is flipped — shoppers will be holding out for the right deals this season.
Extended Holiday Shopping
While Turkey 5 used to be the unofficial kickoff to holiday shopping, recent years have shown a push by retailers to offset holiday congestion by opening shopping events earlier — and customers have responded favorably.
So far in 2022, 64% of retailers have opened up their seasonal promotions and holiday shopping events in October while 44% of shoppers have expressed their plans to start holiday shopping in the same month, extending the holiday shopping season earlier.
Both of these are huge bumps over previous years, and have come as a boon for retailers who are looking for a more balanced distribution of revenue throughout the year.
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