Black Friday Holiday Shopping Trends

Topics: Retail

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues impacted retail sales over the last two seasons. This year, inflation may affect holiday spending, but by how much? In this article, we’ll look at what recent trends could impact retail sales, and discuss how the retail industry can prepare for its busiest season.

2022 Black Friday Shopping Trends

Black Friday is usually the unofficial start of the busy holiday shopping season and when most retailers say they start going “in the black” financially, or making a profit, for the year. The last two years have proven to be challenging, with COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020 and supply chain disruptions in 2021. This year, experts suggest that the busy holiday shopping season could be followed by an economic slowdown in the United States, and that consumers may significantly cut back on their holiday gift giving due to higher inflation.

Black Friday Shopping during Inflation

The National Retail Federation stated that holiday sales throughout November and December could increase between 6% and 8% over 2021. However, factoring in inflation, which as of September 2022 is up to a near four-decade high at 8.2% from a year ago, this actually represents a decrease. Research from financial firm Deloitte found that among people who will spend more on holiday shopping, 51% say inflation is the reason why. And, 66% plan to spend less this holiday season to deal with the soaring prices. People may plan to spend roughly the same amount they spent on gifts in 2021 - but there is no doubt fewer gifts will be given to cope with the rising costs of many items. 

What to Expect During the Holiday Shopping Season 

black friday shopping trendsConsumers had already changed the way they shop due to COVID-19. They became more mindful of where, when and how they shopped. In 2021, shortages, delays and other supply chain disruptions hit retailers at the worst time, just ahead of the holiday shopping season. Smaller retailers ordering less inventory fell behind the major chains like Target and Best Buy when it came to receiving stock, as the national stores can order thousands of items as opposed to the dozens a smaller operation may need. Now, with inflation on the rise, shoppers will expect retailers to offer bigger discounts and incentives like price matching to entice them into purchasing more items. 

Here are a few things small businesses and consumers should keep in mind to prepare for Black Friday shopping:

Be Ready for eCommerce

In 2022, online shopping is estimated to make up 18.4% of total holiday sales in the U.S. Online sales will continue to outpace in-store shopping events and drive holiday sales. Retail store websites need to be updated, and eCommerce sites need to be optimized for user experience and speedy transactions.

Continue to Offer Contactless Shopping Options

During the pandemic, curbside pickup and delivery became a popular option to maintain social distancing protocols and keep employees and customers safe. Fifty-four percent of potential holiday shoppers stated they would choose to shop at stores that offer contactless shopping or buy online/pick up in-store (BOPIS) options. Stores should have systems set up to handle rushes of online orders, curbside pickups and deliveries. Procedures for contactless shopping should be posted on a store’s website, and employees need to be given the information and tools required to properly, safely and efficiently process online orders.

54% of potential holiday shoppers stated they would choose to shop at stores that offer contactless shopping or buy online/pick up in-store options. – Source: Think with Google

Support Local Businesses

Even before the pandemic, consumers understood the importance of shopping locally. Small Business Saturday, which takes place the day after Black Friday, will continue to be a significant event this year, as shopping locally will help neighborhood retail shops survive. Local shop owners should provide their shoppers with the right information for their products and services and update health and safety policies to encourage them to visit.

66% of shoppers said they plan to shop more at local small businesses for the holidays.- Source: Think with Google

AmTrust is Here for Our Retail Insureds

Retail is one of the key industries AmTrust writes. We offer customized small business insurance solutions retail operations need to thrive. Additionally, our Loss Control department helps provide safety resources to help minimalize injuries, incidents and control costs at retail operations. For more information about our small business insurance solutions, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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