Although industry leaders may be taking a conservative approach to 2023 peak season sales predictions, Ware2Go found that 73% of merchants expect higher holiday sales compared to previous years.
This sentiment seems positive in nature, however, merchants are not leaving anything to chance in 2023, with 93% noting they have made significant adjustments to their peak season planning.
“For many merchants, peak season accounts for 30% or more of their annual revenue, however, with industry uncertainty amid the 2023 peak season, merchants must implement a reactive sales strategy. To counter the unknown, data and agility will be merchants’ greatest resources. While regular analysis of demand forecasting informs shifts in promotion strategies, merchants must ensure that their fulfillment partner is able to quickly pivot and successfully adapt to changes in sales volume. The 2023 peak season will be unlike any other, challenging the retail industry to remain dynamic in their approach across the season,” says Ware2Go CEO Steve Denton.
- The report found that merchants are relying on two major strategy shifts: more frequent demand forecasting and a greater investment in promotions.
- 84% of merchants will focus their efforts on more robust promotional calendars. This involves longer sales cycles (52%), steeper discounts (39%), and earlier promotions (28%).
- Approximately two in five merchants plan to provide an economy shipping option this year. Recognizing the importance of delivery experiences, 95% of merchants have added at least one delivery option in response to growing consumer expectations for choices. These options include free shipping (47%), 1- to 2-day delivery (37%), free returns (39%), real-time tracking (37%), in-store pickup (36%) and the ability to choose delivery date (32%), among other features.
- Merchants are not yet out of the woods from the inventory surplus that plagued merchants last year. Most merchants (73%) noted they have higher inventory levels compared to last year, with some merchants intending to offload current inventory (33%) and old inventory (34%).