A recent report has discovered that an expected spike in shopping activity has not happened, despite encouragement to do so due to potential supply chain issues.
Businesses have been urging consumers to start their holiday shopping earlier this year because of potential low inventories caused by the supply chain issues. The issues also mean there are fewer discounts being offered as well as higher prices in general, though there are also some encouraging increases in demand.
Holiday Shoppers Didn’t Start Early Despite Supply Chain Warnings
Small businesses can use the data from the Square Holiday Retail Report to get an overview of general trends among consumers. The findings discovered demand for toys is up 36%, while their average price has increased by 12%.
Laptop sales are also on the rise and have increased by 20%, while there has been a massive surge of 81% in demand for health and beauty products. Interestingly for any businesses offering gift cards, consumer demand for gift cards has risen by 43%.
The gross payment volumes of manufacturers and distributors of books, magazines, and newspapers have also bounced back from a terrible 2020 with a 40% increase in demand. Last year saw an increase of just 0.5%. Another recovering sector is the home supply and warehouse, where retailers have seen a 32% increase in gross payment volume, which is 27% higher than last year.
Square Tips for a Successful Holiday Season
The publishers of the report have offered businesses several tips to have a successful holiday season. These tips include using inventory management software, communicating updates to customers and personalizing customer touch points.
The Executive Vice President of Square, Alyssa Henry, said: “Businesses must find a way to create memorable and seamless shopping experiences during the holidays, further encouraging customers to come back into the New Year.
“Convenience and customization will be key to meet buyer’s needs and expectations this year. These are the moments of truth that really matter and will build sustained brand loyalty and reputation.”
More Data on Demand Trends
Square also gauged the demand for other items popular during the holiday season to see how they compare to last year. Jewelry demand has increased by 26%, with general cookware items increasing by 36%. Air purifiers have leapt up 59% in sales, though this may be connected to their price dropping by an average of 21%.
While games, toys and puzzles have all increased in demand, not every item popular last year has maintained their popularity. Demand for air fryers has decreased by 5%, while home gym equipment such as dumbbells have decreased by 74%, despite a price drop of 37%.
With more details on demand trends in the report itself, businesses should be able to see which items are likely to be their big sellers this holiday season.
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I’m honestly starting to wonder if people will buy less this holiday season. The Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers were down too.