- As retailers prepare for the holiday season, an Accenture survey of 150 retail executives found nearly all of them (99%) said they had increased their promotional activity and availability guarantees (98%) as part of their holiday plans. More than a third (37%) said their company is stockpiling items to ensure they have enough supply for customers, and 35% said their companies are deeply discounting or taking other measures to get rid of excess inventory.
- Solidifying the early holiday shopping trend, a survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers found that just under half (44%) are planning to shop earlier to ensure they get what they need in time for the holidays. Forty-two percent of respondents are shopping when retailers are offering discounts.
- According to the survey, a fifth of respondents have noticed that retailers are trying to lure them into the store to pick up their purchases. Most consumers (87%) said they are glad retailers are introducing self-checkout options in stores and 68% said services could make them choose one store over another.
Accenture’s research echoes other reports indicating that consumers are looking for the best price this coming holiday season. A Gartner survey released in late September found that 65% of holiday shoppers are basing their decisions on price, followed by value (53%) and free shipping (51%).
Given that retail sales have risen alongside inflation, consumers are seeking discounts and shopping earlier to stretch budgets further. While Gartner’s survey found that 10% of shoppers planned to spend more on the holidays this year, more than a quarter plan to spend less this upcoming holiday season. Adobe predicted that retailers will begin offering markdowns in October, some as high as 15% off. After the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted retailers, the past couple of years have seen retailers offer discounts further in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“In times like this — when prices are rising and merchandise stock levels are fluctuating — consumers feel the volatility and take a long view of the gift giving season to ensure they can enjoy the holiday celebrations,” Jill Standish, a senior managing director of Accenture’s retail industry practice, said in a statement. “To succeed in this market, retailers must pay close attention to data and analytics to identify areas that require increased marketing efforts, as well as targeted and highly customized offers to the different customer segments without eating into profits.”
As more shoppers return to physical stores, buy online, pick up in store transactions are expected to generate more sales. According to data from Insider Intelligence released in March, U.S. customers are predicted to spend $95.9 million on BOPIS purchases this year, a 19.4% bump.