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Top retail trends from the 2023 holiday season

Another Thursday, another Spotlight issue. This time, we’re rewinding the deets on how the holiday went down for the general ecommerce industry:

We promise—this is the last #ThrowbackThursday (for now 😉).


Now that the holiday chaos is over, it's time for a cozy recap of the 2023 retail rollercoaster! Retail Dive listed all the highlights—from the inflation scares to the virtual shopping trends that dominated the season.

📣 New-age marketing

  • Virtual retail shenanigans: Brands embraced newer tech with open arms. Just look at J. Crew's holiday-themed haven and Kohl's virtual events. Likewise, Walmart went big with Add to Heart, a 23-part rom-com series that features products you can buy in their stores.
  • Hybrid shopping: Pop-up shops and markets, like Shein at Forever 21's Time Square store, provided a unique blend of online and in-person interactions.

🧌 Inflation as the Grinch last Christmas

  • Inflation woes: Inflation affected essential purchases throughout the year. However, consumers remained resilient and adjusted their spending habits.
  • Early deals: Despite concerns, retailers kicked off holiday deals earlier than in 2022. Shoppers, though cautious, jumped on board with bargains and discounts.

📺 Black Friday evolution

  • Foot traffic shift: Online sales trumped in-store visits, marking a significant change in consumer behavior.
  • Mobile takes the crown: ICYDK, almost 52% of online sales during Cyber Week happened on smartphones.

What do these trends mean?

Aside from the festive holiday finale, the trends suggest that retailers and sellers—you—need to quickly adapt to new consumer behaviors. That is, if you want to survive the ever-changing currents of the retail world until the next festive season. 🌊



DYK: Online holiday spending in 2023 beat expert predictions

Back in October 2023, experts predicted that the holiday sales (from November 1 to December 1) would reach $221.8 billion. Guess what? The real deal ended up being a bit more—$222.1 billion!

🔢 According to Retail Dive’s report:

  • Online consumer spending in November last year grew by 6%, hitting $123.5 billion.
  • The real rush came between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday when shoppers splurged a staggering $38 billion!
  • December maintained the momentum with a 3.7% year-over-year increase, reaching $98.6 billion.
  • From the early kickoff of Black Friday on November 17 to Cyber Monday, online spending smashed records, breaching $4 billion.

The reasons?

The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payment option and extra huge holiday discounts!

Retailers leaned on these two to entice shoppers, and it worked like a charm. Klarna, a BNPL heavyweight, reported a 29.5% spike in orders on Black Friday compared to the previous year.

Another hero of the record-breaking holiday performance is mobile shopping. A whopping 51.1% of online shoppers purchased on their phones, up from 47% last year. Guess it’s safe to say that the future of holiday shopping is in our hands—our smartphones, to be exact. 📱

💡 Moral lesson: Expect the unexpected

The 2023 holiday shopping season was initially believed to be a season of uncertainty. But the numbers don’t lie, and they’re saying there are definitely more positive things to come for online shopping.


5 post-holiday marketing strategies to maintain sales momentum

​​The 2023 holiday season was indeed one of the merriest for sellers. But the profit-making game doesn't stop there—there's still that post-holiday shopping energy!

❤️‍🔥 Ninja Van shared some marketing strategies to turn post-holiday blues into a second wind for your online business:

  • Clear your shelves by hosting post-holiday clearance sales. Not only will this make room for new stocks, but it'll also attract customers who feel guilty about post-holiday shopping. 
  • Prepare for returns. With great sales comes great responsibility—for managing returns! Instead of draining your bank account with refunds, offer exchanges or store credit for a win-win situation.
  • Handle customer complaints with care. Follow these 5 steps: Listen, Thank, Apologize, Record, and Discuss. It's not just about quickly solving the problem; it's about showing you care.
  • Launch new campaigns. Countdown emails, teaser trailers, and exclusive early access to New Year deals keep the excitement alive.
  • Monitor your metrics. While it's tempting to only look at the sales figures, they're just one piece of the Amazon puzzle. Track your overall performance based on new customers, website traffic, and sales from existing customers.

Out with the old, in with the new

The post-holiday season is not the end but a fresh start. The key is to stay creative, responsive, and focused on customer satisfaction in this crucial time. 🎯

Author : SellerBites
Faith began working on SellerBites in 2021, a weekly newsletter that provides sellers with the latest news and updates in FBA. With first-hand experience in managing various seller and vendor accounts, she understands what sellers face on this platform. Her background led to the conception of SellerBites, which main goal is to help people become better, more informed entrepreneurs in the Amazon marketplace.
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