Consumer Expectations During Peak SeasonA
s we get closer to the holiday season, retailers are adopting new strategies and solutions to prepare for increasing consumer demand and meet their expectations. A shift in consumer behavior, largely influenced by technological advancements, economic uncertainty, and global events, has transformed the traditional retail landscape. Consumers are shopping across multiple online and offline channels as they compare products and prices.
Here’s a look at some consumer expectations for the upcoming peak holiday season and how retailers can adapt their retail channels to accommodate consumers’ needs and preferences.
Consumers Want Seamless Omnichannel Experiences
Today’s consumers regularly shop between online and offline retail channels with ease. They are tech-savvy, well-informed, and value convenience. They may start their shopping journey by browsing products on their smartphone during a commute, continue on their laptop at home, and finally make a purchase in-store.
Whether they’re using an app, website, or visiting a brick-and-mortar store, consumers expect a seamless shopping experience. As consumers look for holiday gifts, they want to browse, purchase, and pick up items in the ways that are most convenient for them. Retailers that provide a consistent experience across their digital and physical channels will increase customer engagement and drive holiday sales.
Consumers Will Spend Less on Gifts
Amid high inflation and economic pressures, consumers have cut back on spending this year and expect to do so this holiday season. Eighty percent of shoppers plan to reduce their holiday spending this year, according to a survey by Celigo. Roughly half (49%) expect to spend less than $1,000 this year on gifts. Cost will be a driving factor in determining holiday gift purchase decisions. Seventy-seven percent of consumers say they will prioritize value and look for cost-effective options for their holiday purchases.
Retailers are adjusting their peak season planning and promotional strategies to attract cost-conscious customers, according to a report from Ware2Go. Eighty-four percent of retailers plan to create more robust promotional calendars, including features such as longer sales cycles, steeper discounts, and earlier promotions. Over half of retailers intend to launch new deal days, coupons, or promotions to drive holiday purchases. Popular consumer engagement strategies retailers plan to use include loyalty rewards, attracting new consumers with first-time purchase discounts, and fast and free shipping.
Consumers Value Fast Delivery and Fulfillment
As consumers increasingly do their holiday shopping online, flexible delivery and fulfillment options like same-day delivery, curbside pickup, and buy online pickup in-store are no longer luxuries, they’re expectations. Consumers are willing to pay a premium to ensure their deliveries arrive on time. Over 50% of consumers would be willing to pay up to a $9 per-package premium to receive same-day or next-day deliveries, as well as deliveries made during a specific day and time slot, according to a ShipStation survey.
Retailers are expanding their delivery infrastructures and fulfillment capabilities in order to meet consumer expectations and provide fast and convenient delivery and fulfillment options. Almost all (95%) of retailers have added at least one delivery option in response to growing consumer expectations for flexible delivery and fulfillment choices. These options include free shipping, one to two-day delivery, and in-store pickup, according to Ware2Go. Retailers are also implementing digital solutions to provide consumers with real-time delivery tracking and the ability to choose the delivery date and time-window that suits their needs.
Retailers that understand and adapt to these expectations will not only boost holiday sales, but also build customer loyalty and increase customer satisfaction, ensuring a prosperous future in a competitive industry.
For more information about how our delivery and fulfillment management solution can help you manage your deliveries and store fulfillment more efficiently and meet consumer expectations this holiday season, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.