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Christmas 2022: Is the ‘Golden Quarter’ at risk of losing its shine?

Christmas 2022: Is the ‘Golden Quarter’ at risk of losing its shine?

For many retailers, and retail employees, 2022 was going to be the year that put all the hardship of the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns and surges, behind them. However, this has not been the case. In fact, for many, 2022 has been even harder.

A myriad of factors have played into this difficult situation that retail finds itself in but few are more impactful than the ongoing cost of living crisis that has thinned the wallets of businesses, employees, and customers alike. This crisis was at the forefront of our latest market research and has resulted in some interesting results that look set to bring further difficulties this Christmas and well into next year.

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Consumers' spending is set to slim

Our latest data shows that almost half (49%) of consumers plan to spend less during this Christmas season – this has shot up from last year when only 19% planned to spend less than usual. Consumers also think the cost of living crisis lowering budgets will most impact their seasonal shopping experience this year.

This impact on consumers’ finances looks set to continue into 2023. So, it is no surprise that the technology customers look set to take advantage of most in the new year will help them cut costs – nearly a third (32%) of consumers want retailers to provide a loyalty app to receive offers on their shopping.

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Retail employees feeling the strain

Back in Q3 when we surveyed over 200 retail employees, we found that 42% were feeling overworked and underappreciated due to staff shortages. Fast forward to when we surveyed the same amount of retail employees and that number has now shot up to over half, with 53% now feeling the strain of this lack of staff.

Retailers must action a plan that helps support the current workforce from the start of 2023 and help quell the growing trend of burnout throughout the industry.

Retailers brace for a rough start to 2023

The list of worries facing retail leaders appears to be never-ending, however, the priorities on that list can flex and differ depending on a number of circumstances. As we say goodbye to 2022, here are the current priorities facing retailers, and the technology most needed to counteract them.

Retailers’ biggest worries for 2023:  Technology most important to High Street success in 2023: 
Supply chain issues (61%)  QR Code adoption (I.e. endless aisle, interactive window displays, etc.) (35%)
The impact of having to increase prices (31%)  eCommerce presence (33%) 
Cost of running a store (due to the energy crisis, etc.) (28%)  Warehouse automation (30%)

 

In our latest whitepaper, we explore how retail consumers, employees, and employers plan to enter 2023, combating a recession and the subsequent economic impact that entails. Our latest data has  revealed a number of interesting findings, here are just a few of the key takeaways from this latest tranche of data: 

  1. With reduced spending likely from consumers this winter, retailers should be realistic about their hopes for the golden quarter and perhaps turn focus on what they can do to start 2023 strongly. 
  2. Retail workforces are struggling with burnout. Employers should invest in technology and financial wellbeing services that can support them with greater stability. 
  3. With 89% of retail leaders worried about talent shortages in their business for the festive season, increasing engagement and retention within retail workforces is a necessity for businesses. 

2022 has once again thrown curveballs towards the retail industry, requiring businesses and workforces to dig deep financially as well as stay fluid throughout the hardship. As we move into 2023, retailers should be aware that workforce management tools are available to help keep running costs streamlined, employees protected, and customers engaged.

For the full data and insights from our Q4 report, download A view from the experts: The shape of retail 2023 whitepaper now.

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