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Brighten up your bottom line: 4 ways to navigate economic headwinds this holiday season
'Tis the season—the busy season—when businesses around the world prepare for the holiday rush. Checking inventory, stocking shelves, staffing up. And while economic challenges persist, businesses that plan ahead can turn these challenges into opportunities and brighten up their bottom line.
Keep reading for an overview of the economic headwinds facing you and your customers this holiday season. And download our 2022 holiday ebook, This year's holiday forecast: Strong headwinds, but still, there's a reason for cheer for a complete picture of the economic environment—plus strategies to help you meet customer expectations and drive revenue to your bottom line. We'll help you make 2022 your best holiday season yet.
Up the chimney and through the roof
Everyone's feeling the pinch of inflation. And escalating costs have led 42% more shoppers worldwide to buy gifts earlier this year.
US and Canadian customers say inflation has changed their shopping habits. They're cutting overall spending, postponing major purchases and buying more discounted items this year.
While many Asia-Pacific regions have experienced a post-lockdown "urge to splurge," which outshines inflation and uncertainty, pandemic lockdowns continue to disrupt the Chinese economy.
Meanwhile, across Europe, consumers describe price increases as significant. More than 60% have changed their shopping behaviors in 2022, including purchasing smaller quantities, delaying major purchases or switching to lower-priced brands.
As inflation impacts economies around the world, shoppers are searching for more discounts and more ways to pay for the gifts they buy. Buy now, pay later solutions can give them more time to pay for purchases.
2. Supply chain disruptions
Will there be gifts this year?
Supply chain disruptions are wreaking havoc across the world. Already, out-of-stock items have caused nearly 80% of customers to walk, rather than wait, for stores to replenish their shelves.
Customers are anticipating shipping delays and empty shelves. They're shopping early, both online and offline, and planning gift-giving months in advance.
3. Staffing shortages
Happy employees—where are they?
As customers return to in-person shopping and dining, staffing shortages and retention still plague many businesses worldwide, especially in restaurants and retail. A recent study predicts a global talent shortage of more than 85 million workers by 2030, roughly equivalent to the population of Germany.
When you do find good employees, retention is key, and technology can help. Automating once-manual processes can help reduce employee frustrations. It also frees up valuable time that employees can use to focus on better serving your customers—a win-win for you, your customers and your employees.
Leverage the latest digital solutions and point-of-sale retail technology that empowers your employees to complete tasks quickly and efficiently.
4. The pandemic
The changing landscape of commerce
The pandemic has contributed to underlying causes of inflation, supply chain disruption and staffing shortages. But there's a significant long-term impact of the pandemic that we have not yet touched on—its lasting effect on global commerce.
COVID-19 has altered commerce permanently. Worldwide, customers now expect businesses to offer a variety of ways to shop—in person, online or on the go. And they expect businesses to provide a variety of payment options, especially contactless payments.
Offer the preferred payment methods your customers expect, including digital wallets, buy now, pay later (BNPL) or pay by link. These options let your customers pay any way, anywhere and anytime.
Brighten up your bottom line this holiday season
Download our 2022 holiday ebook, This year's holiday forecast: Strong headwinds, but still, there's a reason for cheer to explore this year's unique holiday shopping trends in greater depth. It's got the four commerce strategies we recommend that will help brighten up your bottom line from Thanksgiving to Boxing Day and well into the new year!
And stay up to date on the latest technology impacting commerce and payments all year by signing up for our Payments in Focus newsletter.