A Quarterly Review: Q4 2022

Unlike last year, which was defined by supply chain constraints, high demand, and high intent to purchase even early in the holiday season, the end of 2022 marked a return to pre-pandemic shopping behavior.

We saw this shift most clearly in the additional competition for wallet share, a shift back to stores, and a promo-conscious consumer who waited for key promo days to shop. Our clients saw mild YOY growth in Q4 with the strongest YOY growth during Cyber Five.

Q4 Ecommerce Results by Month – Belardi Wong Clients​

Via our aggregated client data in Google Analytics (.com only), we saw that the holiday season delivered mild growth – across our clients, revenue was up 5% in December and Q4 closed at up 6% YOY, in line with Q2 and Q3 growth rates.

Q4 YOY Change in Ecommerce KPIs by Category – Belardi Wong Clients​

In December, overall industry revenue was up due to YOY strength in Apparel and Shoes & Accessories (+11% and +5% respectively), while Home Décor is back in the negative, down 6% YOY​.

In Summary

Economic Recap

  • The end of 2022 marked a return to pre-pandemic shopping behavior, although new headwinds took shape – including concerns over a potential recession impacting consumer sentiment ​
  • Savings are diminishing as more than a third of consumers took on debt to pay for their holiday purchases​
  • Despite these obstacles, Q4 saw an increase in spend YOY, with holiday-related revenue rising 6.7% compared to 2021​

Key Trends

  • Our data revealed that overall industry revenue was up, however the rate of growth is softening YOY​
  • Foot traffic had to comp the strong performance in 2021, which was driven by pent-up demand and accumulated savings​
  • Unsurprisingly, consumers are more discerning than ever, with many holding off to ensure they can take advantage of the deepest promotions​
  • But they continue to spend! Customer retention will be more important than ever in 2023​

What’s Ahead

  • Brands that were previously contemplating an all-digital future are revisiting this idea and looking to strike a balance between brick-and-mortar, online, and wholesale​
  • 2022 was marked with unexpected challenges, which will continue to impact 2023. Despite these hurdles, there are also new opportunities ahead as marketers will find more effective ways to measure data and utilize evolving platforms and emerging technologies​

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