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Get Ahead for the 2024 Retail Holidays


Beyond the chime of festive bells and the melodies of carols, the tune of the holidays reverberates with sales pitches and “buy now, pay later” deals. In 2023, consumers jammed to this music earlier than expected. Let’s dive into some of these key insights and learn a better way to prepare for the 2024 holiday season.

2023 US Holidays in Numbers

In 2023, despite ongoing inflation, holiday sales reached a record $964.4 billion, a 3.8% increase from 2022. This upward trend extended to overall sales for the year, which reached an impressive $5.13 trillion, reflecting a growth of 3.6%. These figures remained consistent with the average annual increase observed from 2010 to 2019, showing a successful season for retailers.

A shift in spending timelines seemingly played a hand in these statistics. The National Retail Federation had anticipated this change, forecasting that 43% of consumers would start their holiday shopping earlier, elongating the holiday season. Surely, in 2023, many consumers set their sights on purchases before November, seeking better deals before items sold out, while others expected the best discounts later in the season.

Consumer expectations regarding speed and convenience also played a role. According to a Telus International Survey, faster customer experiences matter to 48% of consumers. Younger shoppers, in particular, preferred expedited delivery options, with over 50% of Gen Z consumers indicating a willingness to pay for the convenience of same-day delivery.

Key Questions for 2024

With the lessons gleaned from previous holidays, retail leaders should prioritize planning and enhancing their customer experience strategy. For those with a BPO partner, here are three critical questions to ask to optimize your holiday retail performance:

1. Did your partner BPO proactively begin holiday readiness preparations as early as summer?

Consumers are shopping earlier and over a longer period. Getting a head-start in planning saves you and your team any unnecessary stress from ineffective, last-minute strategies.

2. Did your partner BPO create a post-holiday strategy to address and resolve previous holiday support issues to prevent reoccurrence?

Analyzing customer metrics like CSAT, NPS, and Ease of Use offers insights into the effectiveness of your readiness plan. An action plan borne out of this review could help address overlooked issues, altogether preventing recurring problems in the future.

3. Did your partner BPO offer a social strategy to manage and address support inquiries that are likely to come through social channels?

An effective social media strategy can help retailers connect with their target audience, drive brand awareness, build customer relationships, and drive sales during the holiday season and beyond. According to a Sprout Pulse Survey, 74% of US and UK consumers would interact with brands through social media during holidays, with 55% using such platforms to discover new products.

The OP360 BPO Holiday Self-Assessment is a comprehensive roadmap through these essential questions, offering a better way to evaluate and optimize your holiday retail performance. Simplified into a straightforward “Yes” or “No” format, gain insights into your BPO partner’s effectiveness during peak periods, identify areas for improvement, and enhance customer retention. 

This year, make the holiday season one to remember for your shoppers and your team for all the right reasons. Contact us today to start planning, assessing, and swaying to the beat of an improved sales strategy. At OP360, there’s a better way to retail success.