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Advertising: Holiday sales broke records, but marketers should ride 2023 with caution

Last year’s online holiday sales appear to have been a success, in a way. According to Adobe Analytics, the final online sales tally amounts to $211.7B, which represents a 3.5% year-on-year increase.

According to Adobe Analytics, the final online sales tally amounts to $211.7B, which represents a 3.5% year-on-year increase.

But that success may not spill into 2023…

Blame the discounts: Toys were discounted by 34% on average alone. That’s a steep increase from the average 19% discount in 2021.

Discounts also enabled retailers to trim excess inventory in preparation for the anticipated slowdown.

Meanwhile, store traffic was slow even during the peak of the holiday season, declining by almost 5% compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

Speaking of slow: Adobe predicts more frugal spending as shoppers run out of cash, and slower sales of high-ticket items like jewelry and consumer electronics.

But online sales are here to stay: E-commerce accounted for 21.6% of total retail sales over the holidays – a 7% lift from 2019. And it’s expected to keep rising.

Why we care: If retailers are preparing for the worst and consumers are tightening their purse strings, this year might prove to be a challenge for marketers, too.

However, with e-commerce establishing itself as an inseparable part of retail, there’s still hope that consumers can be convinced with the right offer.

If you’re marketing smart, that is…

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