While the holiday season feels a long way away, retail and ecommerce brands must start preparing now for their holiday 2022 campaigns. While certain holiday tactics are always evergreen (pun intended), we expect several important trends to shape the 2022 holiday shopping season.

Canal's Holiday 2022 Trend Predictions

Promotions start earlier and run longer

We saw the trend of earlier holiday promotions begin during the initial supply-chain shock of the pandemic, but we expect brands to continue offering earlier and earlier ‘holiday sale’ messaging and promotions. The result is a lengthened holiday shopping window that runs from before Black Friday (even as early as Halloween) until the new year. For brands, padding promotion windows can insulate against shipping delays, stock outs, and customer dissatisfaction. 

Increased price sensitivity

Consumers are feeling the pinch of inflation, and consumer sentiment reflects it. Expect greater price sensitivity and deal shopping during the 2022 holiday season. We expect this trend to not only impact the amount of money spent by holiday shoppers, but also the type of products purchased. Consumers may seek out more practical items or ‘little luxuries’ during the upcoming holiday season.

The consumer as the influencer 

Digital advertising acquisition costs are increasing in general, and CAC tends to be particularly high during the holiday shopping season. For that reason, we expect brands to put extra effort into leveraging already-loyal customers as micro-influencers through social media platforms like TikTok. VIP programs, referral incentives, and special rewards offers can drive customers to create content that effectively evangelizes for the brand while maximizing customer retention.

Celebrity campaigns and collaborations

In the last year the trend of celebrities investing in and even joining DTC brands in honorary roles like ‘creative officer’ has accelerated. The natural extension of this move is to expect even greater saturation of celebrity-driven product drops during the holiday season. Brands hoping to cut through the noise during the holiday shopping season should plan ahead to create hype around their activations and promotions. 

Omni-channel shopping

While retail was pushed online by the pandemic, growth in ecommerce has decelerated. In fact, according to the Future Commerce Visions Report, retail foot traffic in Q4 2021 exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Perhaps it’s the natural reaction to long shipping times: customers would rather just head to the store and pick it up themselves. Options like BOPI (buy online, pick up in store) meld the digital and the physical world together, too. For brands looking to capture the largest market share for holiday 2022, physical activations and seasonal pop ups will be more important than ever. 

Gathering as 'normal'

As new Covid-19 variants come and go, consumers are acting like the pandemic is over. Air travel is back to pre-pandemic levels, and consumers are likely planning to gather with the friends and family they weren’t able to see over holidays in 2020 and 2021. This has behavioral implications (for example, holiday travelers might appreciate last-minute overnight shipping and generous return policies) but can also serve to inform campaign planning: content focused on travel, gathering, and hosting will likely perform well as consumers can finally execute their ‘normal’ holiday travel plans. 

With a little preparation, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday can majorly boost your brand’s revenue for the year. As you begin preparing your promotions, campaigns, and retail pop-up plans, Canal can help you access more products your customers will love. Use Canal to manage your existing brand partnerships, and discover products from brands you can trust; all without holding inventory. Learn more

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