What will Q4 2022 bring for retailers—and consumers? Last week, FedEx signaled a downbeat forecast, falling short of revenue expectations and withdrawing prior financial guidance; the CEO heightened macroeconomic worries when he said he expects a recession. This is notable, because as The Wall Street Journal describes, “delivery companies are the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the economy.” But FedEx competitor UPS is optimistic, forging ahead with plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers. Amidst the mixed signals, we recommend paying attention to your consumer and how they are feeling; even in this uncertain environment, many are very excited to celebrate after two years of holiday disruptions—demand remains pent up. For more Stella predictions on Q4—with a focus on what consumers want from brands right now—watch our StellaVision episode on the topic.
Q4 Expectations: Infographic Highlights
- Retail sales are expected to exceed $1T for the first time ever, reflecting 7% growth over last year’s $974.4B
- Adjusted for inflation, however, 2022’s expected figure represents an overall contraction of -1.8%
- Consumers are still purchasing more goods than they were pre-pandemic—a good sign for Q4
- 82% of consumers will shop multichannel, with 30% expecting to shop equally in stores and online
- 45% of consumers expect to do most of their shopping before Thanksgiving. Consumers want a sale, but they also want to shop earlier; we expect peak week’s emphasis to soften
- 59% of consumers are influenced to purchase by personal recommendations. Media ads influence 51% of consumers—and Gen Z and Millennials are more influenced by media than older generations
At Stella Rising, we excel in understanding consumers and using that intelligence to power brands to new heights across the omnichannel landscape. Connect with us to create transformative business value for your superstar brand.