The results are in for the start of the sales season. Figures from NRF suggest that sales in the US were better than expected with 197m people shopping between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
This is a much-needed boost for retailers and consumer brands but the data also indicates that the pace of growth for retail’s busiest and most profitable time of year is slowing.
Heading into peak season, we undertook research to gauge retailers’ plans and confidence, which showed that 57% of US businesses were concerned about their financial performance heading into the peak season. And it’s no wonder, 2022 was tough, with record inflation, ongoing supply chain disruption, and low consumer confidence. The tempered growth we’ve seen across Black Friday and Cyber Monday doesn’t come as a surprise but with challenging times set to continue, retailers need to do everything they can to maximize profitability, especially during these key moments in the retail calendar.
Our research also revealed that the majority of businesses felt that sales pricing was more complex this year. Despite this, a huge proportion of respondents still planned to manage their seasonal markdowns manually.
Promotion events are a major opportunity but they can only be maximized when businesses can execute their pricing strategy with precision and agility, pivoting in response to consumer demand. Manual pricing can’t provide the margin visibility, speed or accuracy needed.
More challenges are likely in 2023 and price adjustments will be necessary to adapt to changing conditions and consumer behavior. To hold onto profits in the new year, retailers and consumer goods businesses need to gain control of their pricing so that when changes are needed they can be executed fast and with total confidence.