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Influencer Marketing

2023 Holiday Retail Insights and Trends

'Tis the season for holiday planning! Here are the latest insights and data to inform your holiday strategies this year.
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As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start strategizing your holiday campaigns to gear up for the biggest shopping season of the year. To help you prepare for the upcoming season, we’ve compiled new data and insights to inform your holiday strategies this year. Let’s jump right in.

1. Holiday retail is beginning earlier than ever. 

50% of consumers expect to start their holiday shopping before the calendar turns to November. This follows the same pattern as last year, when 56% of people began their holiday shopping in October 2022 — with as much as 21% of consumers completing their holiday shopping by mid-October. Now, experts predict that early holiday shopping will become standard moving forward, especially as major retailers roll out big fall promotions like Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale.

But it’s not just consumers who are getting a head start on holiday shopping. Brands and creators are also kicking off the holiday season earlier this year by securing their holiday partnerships as early as August. 

Aspire’s sample holiday campaign timeline

In fact, 71% of marketers begin holiday campaign planning between July and September, as early holiday planning maximizes the opportunity to capitalize on the holiday buying surge. For influencer marketers, getting a head start also ensures that you give each creator partner enough time to plan and create high-converting content for your holiday campaign.

With more brands reaching out to influencers during this time of year, it’s no surprise that many creators make a huge chunk of their income during the holidays. 57% of creators make a quarter of their yearly revenue during the holidays, while 28% make half of their earnings for the year at this time. 

2. Consumers are on the hunt for the best deals and discounts.

71% of retailers expect consumers to cut back on holiday spending in response to inflation this year. As we continue to navigate this challenging economic environment, consumers will be looking to cut costs where they can. 

So, what does that mean for your brand? Provide discounts!

The easiest way to create cost-saving opportunities is by running an influencer-affiliate campaign. Give your influencer partners unique discount codes to share with their audience and pay them commission for the sales they drive. Then, track all of the conversions they drive through their discount code. You can even automate link tracking and affiliate payment using a tool like Aspire’s sales tracking feature

3. Holiday shopping is becoming increasingly social. 

Social media advertising will drive 10x more online shopping visits this holiday season than traditional marketing — but we’re not just talking about running paid ads on Facebook and Instagram.

A growing number of consumers want to see content from other shoppers throughout their holiday shopping journey. In fact, a new survey from Bazaarvoice revealed:

  • 74% of shoppers say that reviews will impact their purchasing decisions on social media over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • 73% of shoppers feel more confident in their BFCM purchase when their decision is based on user-generated content over brand-provided content like product descriptions and professional photos.

As consumers turn to platforms like TikTok and Instagram to find product recommendations and gift ideas, connect with creators who are native to these platforms to run a holiday influencer marketing campaign fueled by content that actually resonates with shoppers. These creators’ authentic content, ranging from try-on hauls to “get ready with me” tutorials, will have a bigger impact on purchasing decisions this holiday season than your brand-directed ads.

4. Consumers are shopping both in person and online. 

According to eMarketer, brick-and-mortar holiday spending reached $1 trillion for the first time in 2022 — up 3.9% from the year prior — signaling that customers are ready to get back to shopping in-store this upcoming season as the world has slowly recovered from the pandemic. 

At the same time, Deloitte forecasts ecommerce sales will grow between 10.3% to 12.8% year-over-year during the 2023-2024 holiday season, likely resulting in ecommerce holiday sales reaching between $278 billion and $284 billion this season.

So how can retailers adapt to these industry changes? This holiday season, embrace an omnichannel strategy that seamlessly bridges the gap between online and offline channels. For example, you can integrate services like Buy Online, Pickup In Store (BOPIS) or Buy Online, Return In Store (BORIS). Or, you can even work with influencers to promote a deal happening in-stores only, with a link to a store locator. The point is to blur the lines between physical and digital commerce. 

Need more tips? Check out our webinar, Black Friday Cyber Monday: How to Partner with Creators to Drive Product Sales This Holiday Season.

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