Early Look: 2023 NRF Holiday Trends

BBI analysis of the National Retail Federation exploring an early look at how consumers plan to shop this season

Consumers are gearing up for the holiday season earlier than ever, with 39% of shoppers planning to start their purchases in advance, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Last year, 46% began shopping before November, a trend expected to continue. Spreading out budgets is a key motivator for early shopping.

In the confectionery industry, holiday preparation focuses on creativity and seasonality.

Companies can prepare by:

  • Introducing Festive Treats: Create holiday-themed confectionery items, packaging, and gift sets that capture the season's spirit.
  • Early Promotion: Follow the early shopping trend by promoting holiday offerings well in advance to attract customers seeking unique gifts and treats.
  • Online Presence: Enhance online visibility with engaging content, social media campaigns, and e-commerce options to meet the preferences of online shoppers.

Online searches play a significant role in gift inspiration, with 85% of online shoppers conducting research before making purchases. Despite the focus on deals and promotions, shoppers prioritize thoughtful gift-giving, with 69% purchasing gifts for others first.

Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target encourage early shopping with October sale events, but traditional shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain popular. Sales-related searches surged during these events last year, with 196.7 million consumers shopping over Thanksgiving.

This holiday season, consumers are looking beyond just buying; they are budgeting, researching, and preparing for meaningful gift-giving. The confectionery industry can leverage these trends to offer delightful holiday experiences to customers.

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