Retail Holiday Season 2023 Strategy Guide

Our latest blog post dives into the heart of this festive frenzy, offering insights and strategies to ensure your brand not only partakes in the cheer but also thrives. From tapping into the latest shopping trends to mastering the digital marketplace surge, we unwrap the secrets to a prosperous retail holiday season. 

As the leaves turn and the air chills, the holiday retail season beckons—a period pulsating with the promise of twinkling lights and ringing registers. It’s that time of year when consumer spirits are at a high and shopping lists lengthen. This creates a bustling marketplace ripe with opportunities for both seasoned retailers and vibrant start-ups in this upcoming season. Thus, you have the opportunity to paint every sale with the joy of giving as businesses large and small gear up for the most pivotal chapter in their annual narrative.

image of holiday gifts in retail holiday season

Join us as we explore the nuances of consumer behavior and innovative marketing tactics that can help your business shimmer in the holiday retail spotlight.

Ready to see how you can light up your business with the glow of eCommerce success?

When does the retail holiday season start?

The US holiday retail season traditionally ignites with the embers of late November’s Thanksgiving and the ensuing Black Friday madness. These holidays signal retailers to unveil their festive strategies for the year. This period marks a transformation in the retail landscape, setting the stage for holiday season retail winners to emerge. 

Seasoned retailers, in tune with the usual timing of the highs and lows of consumer excitement, often begin their preparations even earlier. Thus, they ensure that their offerings resonate perfectly with the festivities when they begin as soon as the calendar flips over to November.

This strategic foresight and planning builds winners in the competitive holiday marketplace. As the season unfolds, these retailers stand ready. Their stores and websites act as a testament to the joy and generosity of the season’s spirit.

Holiday season retail: Do’s and Don’ts

image of holiday season dos and donts

As we approach the vibrant tapestry of the holiday season, retailers are poised to capitalize on the surge of consumer enthusiasm. To navigate this period effectively, certain do’s and don’ts stand out, particularly in light of this year’s holiday season retail predictions.


Embrace Flexibility: Stay abreast of trends and adapt quickly. This year’s predictions indicate a continued rise in online shopping, with a significant portion of sales happening on mobile devices.

Personalize the Experience: Utilize customer data to tailor suggestions and services, creating a personalized buyer journey that can bring you increased customer loyalty and sales.

Invest in Customer Service: The holidays can be stressful, so providing excellent customer service can set you apart from the competition and ensure a positive shopping experience.

Maintain Inventory and Shipping Transparency: Be clear about stock levels and delivery times. With supply chain issues still lingering, customers appreciate honesty regarding potential delays.


Forget About Your Physical Stores: Un-person shopping remains a staple despite the massive eCommerce boom. Ensure your physical outlets are festive, well-stocked, and staffed. 

Forego Returns Policies: Be clear and fair with returns. A generous policy can be the deciding factor for customers on the fence.

Ignore Employee Well-Being: Your staff is the backbone of your operations. Keep them motivated and well-supported during this hectic season.

Overlook Your Security: Both online and physical stores should have heightened security measures in place to protect against fraud and theft.

By adhering to these do’s and don’ts and considering the latest holiday season retail predictions, retailers can expect to meet and exceed their customers’ evolving expectations. This foresight can differentiate between a good season and a great one.

How did retail do this holiday season? Last year’s recap

Reflecting on the last year’s holiday shopping season, retail performance unveils a period marked by resilience and transformation. The percentage of retail sales throughout the holidays traditionally accounts for a substantial slice of annual revenues. Also, despite the preceding economic uncertainties, last year was no exception. It stood as a beacon, highlighting the adaptive strategies retailers embraced to meet the evolved shopping behaviors head-on.

The culmination of last year’s efforts was manifested in a robust holiday retail season. Statistics showed an appreciable increase in sales compared to previous years. This indicated that consumers, though perhaps more budget-conscious, were eager to indulge in the spirit of giving and celebration. Online channels saw significant traction, underpinning the narrative of how retail is doing this holiday season, with e-commerce platforms reporting a surge that underscores the now-indelible shift towards digital.

The statistics

image of holiday stats 

In numbers, the holiday season saw a hearty percentage of retail sales, with figures suggesting that nearly 20-30% of annual retail incomes were generated in this period alone, a testament to the season’s economic weight. Although facing challenges, brick-and-mortar stores also demonstrated a remarkable comeback, leveraging the sensory experience of in-person shopping complemented by festive decor and cheer.

Moreover, the season was a litmus test for omnichannel strategies. Retailers who offered seamless experiences across online and offline platforms emerged as the clear holiday shopping season retail victors. Integrating services like click-and-collect, curb side pickup, and real-time inventory updates became more than just conveniences—they were critical to retail success.

What we learned

However, the season wasn’t without its lessons. Supply chain disruptions led to stock shortages and delivery delays, prompting retailers to reassess their logistics strategies. Customer service also faced the heat with the increased demand, pushing retailers to innovate in their engagement and support approaches.

In retrospect, the question “how is retail doing this holiday season?” found a positive echo in last year’s outcomes. The sector’s resilience was reflected in the numbers and the adaptive strategies employed, promising an insightful template for the seasons to follow.

Holiday season retail sales: How to win

The retail sales holiday season is not just a chaotic few weeks of consumer spending; it is the crescendo of the retail calendar, often determining the financial health of a business for the entire fiscal year.

image of holiday sales

This critical period can significantly impact a retailer’s bottom line due to the amplified consumer buying power propelled by the festive spirit. Gifts, decorations, and the desire to indulge in the celebratory atmosphere drive customers to open their wallets wider than at any other time of year.

Bottom Line

A substantial portion of a retailer’s annual revenue is earned during this peak season. For many, the surge in retail sales holiday season can account for almost 30% of the yearly take, making it a make-or-break period for achieving profitability. This sales uplift is not just about immediate profits; it’s also a golden opportunity to acquire new customers and nurture loyalty, which can result in a sustained increase in sales beyond the holiday season.

Even further, the holiday season serves as a barometer for consumer confidence. It influences stock orders and marketing strategies for the upcoming year. Retailers often invest heavily in holiday inventory and advertising, knowing that successful engagement during this period can lead to a prosperous new year. In essence, the retail sales holiday season acts as a multiplier. It’s where the success achieved not only bolsters the current year’s financial statements but also sets a positive tone for the future.

Therefore, understanding consumer behavior, optimizing supply chains, and innovating marketing during the holidays is crucial. It sets you up for long-term business sustainability and growth. Visit Pimberly to learn how you can smash your eCommerce KPIs this holiday season.