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Axios has a story about how "the traditional holiday shopping season is dead, with retailers no longer waiting to clear out the Halloween leftovers before rolling out Black Friday-like deals …  Inflation and excess inventory are new factors in this year’s earlier push."  The story says that "44% of consumers say it's better to buy gifts and seasonal items now because they believe prices will go up before the end of the year because of inflation, a National Retail Federation survey found."

Amazon's second Prime Day promotion of the year is this week, and "a survey from Klaviyo found 78% of consumers were planning to purchase holiday gifts during the Prime sale instead of waiting for Black Friday."  And "Amazon has played a huge role in getting other retailers, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, to start their own competing sales earlier in the year."

KC's View:

It seems like the past few months have seen a lot of stories about how the e-commerce advances seen during the pandemic are receding to some degree, and that people are going to return to physical stores simply because they're tired of being cooped up.

I've never thought it was that simple - there are going to be a lot of ebbs and flows in this scenario, with all sorts of influences.  This is an example of that.  People concerned about the economy are going to be affected by the massive promotional efforts made by companies like Amazon, which will suggest that by starting early they can save money.  These e-commerce companies are going to be able to target shoppers, based on past behavior, to a degree that many traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers cannot or will not.

It is all about getting closer to shoppers than ever … about identifying with their pain and aspirations … about figuring out ways to give them "wins" that will define the retailer as an advocate for the shopper, a particularly important differentiation in moments like the current one.