The Tyro Blog

19 December 2022 - 5 min read

Trends

5 trends to look out for this festive season

Off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that the landscape for Aussie retailers and hospitality businesses has (and continues to) evolve. Needing to meet customers where they are, businesses had to either build or expand their online payments processes, conduct social media marketing, create a superior experience with innovative technology, and provide unique experiences that leave a lasting impression on their customers.

But what about the holiday season? What will retailers and hospitality businesses need to do to win customers during the busiest time of the year? We’ve scoured the internet and compiled five key trends expected to hit the shopping and dining industry these holidays, so you know what to expect. Read on to discover what they are and how you can adopt them.

2022 holiday trends

Despite the surging costs of goods and services currently impacting Australian households, insights released by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in collaboration with strategic partners Roy Morgan and Salesforce has revealed consumers are set to continue opening their wallets this Christmas, with $63.9 billion expected to be spent in stores and online in the lead up to the big day – a three per cent increase on last year1.

With customers roaring and ready to indulge in everything the Christmas season has to offer, it’s important to understand what you can do as a small business to make the most of it.

Here’s five trends customers are likely to follow this Christmas (and what they mean for you).

It’s all about experience

This holiday season, customers are on the hunt for experiences, especially since Covid-19 prevented them from partaking in so many. According to Accenture’s Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, customers are looking for brands that provide them with more than just a product or service, but a creative, engaging, and easy experience that makes them feel truly valued and that will stick with them for a long time2.

An easy way to generate festive experiences in your business is by injecting it with the Christmas spirit, including decorations, carols, and activations. If you have a retail business, you could leave a free treat bowl at the counter and run a gift wrapping station so customers can get their gifts ready to put under the tree. If you have a hospitality business, you could put a few Christmas-only items on the menu and add festive table settings that suit the style of your venue. Focusing on providing a memorable experience for customers, rather than just selling commodities, will be sure to satisfy those experience seekers.

Customers are vouching for value

According to research conducted by Brandwatch when consumers are working out what to buy this Christmas, value is expected to be a big priority3. Understandably, consumers want to get a good bang for their buck, and will be looking for deals that will help achieve that. This said, according to Deloitte Retailers’ Holiday Survey 2022, value doesn’t just mean affordability; it could be sustainable products, limited-quantity items, special trend offerings or exclusivity through membership opportunities4. Either way, as a small business wanting to stand out from the crowd, it will be up to you to offer that extra value for customers.

In-store shopping is in vogue this festive season

Online and omni-channel shopping aren’t going anywhere, but more customers are expected to emerge from their loungerooms and head in-store this Christmas. According to Deloitte’s Retailers’ Holiday Survey, just 45 per cent of retailers are now expecting online sales above 10 per cent, compared to 55 per cent back in 2021.

As a retail business owner, this means you’ll need to ensure that your in-store shopping experience is up to scratch. Make sure those shelves are full, you’re delivering superior customer service, and are offering a seamless shopping experience – all of these will help ensure that your cash register and EFTPOS machine get a good workout these holidays.

Personalisation, please

According to Deloitte’s Retailers’ Holiday Survery 2022, personalisation is also expected to be a major drawcard for consumers this holiday season, with 76 per cent of those surveyed in the Deloitte survey saying that personalising the retail experience is the way to connect with customers4.

Personalisation can come in many forms including paid memberships that provide free or discounted delivery, bespoke promotions, online and physical integration such as click and collect, and marketing campaigns that reach consumers at the right place and the right time. However you choose to personalise your brand experience is up to you.

The rise of the conscious consumer

Another insight gathered from Deloitte’s Retailers’ Holiday Survey 2022 is that sustainability continues to grow in importance as a key driver for purchasing decisions, so it’s safe to say that consumers will be looking to shop more sustainably this Christmas4.

As a business, you’ll need to lean into this expectation (if you haven’t already) to keep existing customers and increase sales. This may involve making sustainable swaps in your operations, such as plastic to biodegradable packing, as well as spelling out what you’re doing to look after the planet. It’s these measures that can be the difference between a customer choosing your or a competitor for their Christmas needs.

Conclusion

Despite the economic uncertainties the nation is currently facing, Australians still love to spend, and this Christmas is no exception. By accompanying customers along their journey and adapting to their shifting needs, you’ll put yourself in a solid position that enables you to reap the rewards of a strong holiday period.

1 Roy Morgan. (2022). Pre-Christmas sales forecast to reach $63.9 billion – up 3% from last year: https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/pre-christmas-sales-forecast-to-reach-63-9-billion-up-3-on-last-year

2 Accenture. (2022). Planning for the holidays with greater precision: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/consulting/consumer-holiday-research

3 Brandwatch. (2022). The biggest consumer shopping trends for 2022: https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/consumer-shopping-trends-christmas-2022/

4 Deloitte. (2022). Deloitte Retailers’ Holiday Survey 2022. Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/consumer-industrial-products/articles/retailers-holiday-survey.html