Home CommerceNext: ‘Generally Optimistic’ Retailers Ponder Holiday Challenges
October 6, 2022

CommerceNext: ‘Generally Optimistic’ Retailers Ponder Holiday Challenges

Posted In: Retail Articles

According to a survey from CommerceNext in partnership with The Commerce Experience Collective, retailers are heading into the 2022 holiday season generally optimistic but dealing with challenges that include inflation-prompted consumer attitudes and marketing return on investment difficulties.

The survey, conducted in August 2022, of 100 retail and brand executives demonstrates that retailers are preparing to face stiff competition head-on by turning to promotions, email and SMS, paid search, affiliate marketing and a mix of shipping incentives to get consumers to shop this season.

Most merchants expect this year’s holiday sales to exceed their 2019 numbers, but not necessarily those from holiday 2021, which was a record year for most, leaving many optimistic but cautious about profits. Retailers will continue to hack at excess inventory this upcoming holiday through promotions. As such, 32% of respondents will increase the number of promotions versus only 13% in the survey conducted in 2021.

A majority of survey respondents said they are concerned about privacy changes impacting their ability to target customers and generate the same marketing ROI from advertising.

“Competition is tight this holiday season, as many brands face more expensive customer acquisition costs,” said Veronika Sonsev, co-founder of CommerceNext, in announcing the survey findings. “Privacy changes have really hurt paid social by limiting targeting and measurement, and for the first time in years, we’re seeing affiliates and partnerships rise to the second most used marketing tactic after paid search. Ultimately, attribution will be the key to expanding marketing channels. Retailers must go beyond last-click ROAS and implement incrementality testing and/or media mix modeling in order to successfully scale marketing.”

As retailers ramp up promotional strategies, they are also focusing more on retention marketing strategies. While email marketing still remains the top and most reliable retention strategy, SMS continues to gain popularity with nearly two-thirds of merchants relying on their SMS programs to beef up their holiday sales,” said Brian Walker, chief strategy officer at Bloomreach, a CommX member. 

With SMS, “which is often viewed through the same device as email, marketers can embrace an omnichannel strategy that seamlessly connects the buying journey, ensuring shoppers have a singular brand experience even as they shop across multiple channels. In this new era of commerce, a widespread adoption of an omnichannel strategy will be essential for building customer loyalty that lasts especially in the upcoming competitive holiday season,” he said.

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