Merry & Bright: Retail Marketing Outlook for the 2023 Holiday Season

The holidays are shining a little brighter this year in retail marketing, with more shoppers planning to increase their spending over last year, and fewer planning to decrease spending.

  • 25% of consumers surveyed plan to increase their 2023 holiday spending – a 9% increase over 2022, according to Retail TrendWatch Report from Vericast.
  • 35% intend to cut back – a significant decrease from 2022, when nearly half (46%) of consumers planned to cut holiday spending.

In the rural markets Mspark serves, 45% of consumers plan to spend the same or more on gifts as they spent in 2022.

19% of consumers in rural markets plan to reduce spending in a number of ways, including:

  • 29% will buy gifts on sale
  • 24% will do more comparison shopping
  • 20% will do more shopping online
  • 18% will do more research online before buying in store

Nationwide, consumers overall shop early and often to spread out their expenses and find the best deals:

  • 29% of consumers shop throughout the year
  • 51% shop earlier to spread out the holiday expenses

For holiday purchases:

  • 68% like the flexibility of online shopping – anywhere, anytime
  • 55% purchase gifts as they find deals throughout the year
  • 54% no longer wait for specific shopping days

Loyalty is shifting in favor of retailers who offer value and reward loyalty:

  • 40% of consumers are less loyal to stores and brands—a 6% increase over 2022.
  • 56% more likely to shop where their loyalty is rewarded with personalized offers or discounts.

How do Shoppers Learn About Holiday Deals and Promotions?

34% look for coupons arriving in the mail or newspaper—more than email (30%), online/internet (28%), and cable/TV (24%).

Engaging shoppers with targeted direct mail advertising ensures your message reaches your highest-value target audience to acquire new customers and drive traffic to your stores or website. The LOB State of Direct Mail Report 2023 revealed:

  • 64% of consumers say that direct mail has inspired them to take action, including exploring websites and reviews or making a purchase.
  • 65% say an offer or promotion caught their attention. Offers are key to prompt recipients to open and read direct mail.
  • 68% of consumers are more likely to engage with a brand’s message when it’s personalized to them.
  • 80% of consumers share direct mail with their friends and family making it more viral than you may think.

The In-store Shopping Tradition Isn’t Dead

While more than half of shoppers no longer wait for specific shopping days such as Black Friday, 45% yearn for traditional Black Friday shopping.

Younger consumers are nostalgic about the tradition of deep discounts and shopping alongside family and friends: 74% of Gen Z, 64% of millennials, 69% of parents, and 75% of millennial parents.

With the right incentive, consumers can be drawn to shop in-store:

  • 34% trying on apparel/shoes
  • 33% larger discounts or special offers
  • 27% samples
  • 24% touching/smelling food items
  • 21% in-person service and support

Did you know?

  • Nearly 60% of consumers visit a brand website after receiving direct mail
  • Over one-third visit a location or purchase a product

Holiday shoppers respond to ads and offers across a variety of media channels. Serving digital ads to the same audience receiving your print advertising increases reach, frequency, and response.

In the past 12 months, Black Friday shoppers have responded to the following types of ads:

  • Ads/offers in the mailbox: 68%
  • Email advertising: 65%
  • Pre-roll video ads: 63%
  • Internet ad: 63%

Learn more about hour Mspark’s solutions help retailers drive traffic and acquire new, loyal customers in our case studies. Reach out today to plan your strategy.

Sources: Vericast 2023 Retail TrendWatch: Prosper Insights & Analytics July 2023; A Joyful Return to the Holiday Spirit; 2023 The State of Direct MailConsumer Insights by Lob and Comperemedia; AdMall AudienceSCAN 2023