Preparing for End-of-the-Year Holiday Sales

As the holiday season swings into full view, small businesses are getting ready for the expected surge of customers during November and December. Here are a few things to know — or be reminded of — as you set up for a successful holiday season. 

 Busy Retail Holiday Season Is Forecast

A report by Deloitte predicts holiday retail sales are likely to increase from 4 percent to 6 percent over last year.

Between November and January, there will be a $1.45 and $1.47 trillion increase in holiday sales, according to a press release by Deloitte issued in September about its annual holiday retail forecast. 

Expected Climb in E-Commerce Sales

Shoppers are forecasted to buy more online this year than last year during November and December, according to the 2022 online holiday predictions analysis by Adobe.

The report predicts online holiday sales to hit $209.7 billion during the last couple of months of 2022. "That would represent a 2.5% year-over-year growth," notes Adobe in a press release.  

Adobe forecasters say Cyber Week -- from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday -- is forecast to bring in $34.8 billion overall, up 2.8 percent over last year.

The Adobe predictions report forecasts that Cyber Monday will continue to be the biggest shopping day of the season and the year, generating a record $11.2 billion in sales, up 5.1 percent from the previous year.

E-commerce sales are forecast to hit between $260 billion and $264 billion this holiday season, down 12.8% to 14.3% from last year, according to the Deloitte retail holiday report.

The increase in retail sales brought on by higher prices has the potential to further boost e-commerce sales as people hunt for online discounts in order to make the most of their money, says Deloitte's Nick Handrinos, U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution and consumer products leader.  

"Retailers across channels who remain aligned with consumer demand and offer convenient and affordable options can be well positioned for success this season," Handrinos stated.

Building Your Digital Brand

Marketing and brand experts are advising small businesses to work on staying in front of their target online audiences during the holiday months.

Look at every way you can keep building your digital brand in November and December – from posts on social media to email promotions, advises Paola Garcia-Villari, vice president at Pursuit Lending, in a Business News Daily story.

Consider offering holiday discounts to those who like or follow you on social media. 

"Social media is arguably the easiest way to get your message out there, and better yet, it's free," says a retail holiday marketing blog by Get Beyond, which specializes in payment processing, payroll, business capital, and point-of-sale solutions for businesses. "You can leverage multiple platforms to share your business's story, promotions, and engage with new and old customers."

Further, if you have an email list, send updates to highlight new merchandise and other specials, Garcia-Villari suggests in the Business News Daily article by staff writer Kiely Kuligowski.

"Other opportunities for interacting with prospective customers include responding to comments and reviews of your business, developing targeted promotional campaigns, and creating Pinterest boards focused on gift-giving ideas or themes," says the Business News Daily post.

Consumers Turn to Social Media for Gift Ideas, Reviews

Social media greatly impacts consumers' shopping decisions, whether they are looking for gift suggestions or where to shop this holiday season.

According to a study by ad design platform Creatopy, most consumers (52.05 percent) told a survey that word of mouth would be the main purchase driver for their 2022 festive season.

"Recommendations coming from family, friends, and acquaintances can weigh in favor or heavily against certain products or services, so businesses should strive to offer top notch customer experiences to everyone," says a Digital Information World post about the survey.

Online ads are the second largest source of inspiration for holiday purchasing, at 40.63 percent, after word of mouth and the power of social proof. "This means display ad campaigns should not be missing from this holiday season’s marketing strategies," says the post.

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