It’s no secret that the first half of 2022 has come with more than its fair share of rocks and hard places, yet tomorrow always holds a new opportunity. These past six months have done much to prepare us for what is going to come next. We know the holiday shopping season will kick off with Prime Day lasting through the end of the year and that is always a bright spot, especially in years that have been a challenge. However, we also know that all the changes we have faced this year are likely to stick around. The good news is that all the work that has gone in to opposing inflation and supply shortages will pay dividends when the Black Friday season rolls around.

2022 has reaffirmed the grit and determination of any business still operating today. Many companies that were waiting for these economic issues to clear up aren’t around anymore. Inflation has taken a heavy toll on every industry and highlighted the importance of strong relationships between manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers. Prices have skyrocketed everywhere, and the struggling supply chain has worsened the issue. So far, consumers have been willing to pay these prices up to a point. Companies that have instituted gradual increases and have also been upfront with consumers regarding supply & price changes have seen the most success. That transparency has created a camaraderie that we are all pushing through this mess together.

We would all like prices to return to normal by the holidays, though there is no guarantee that will happen. If problems continue to persist, then that knowledge gained during the first half of this year will be instrumental in making the holiday shopping season a success. Retailers have been developing and renovating their own customer loyalty/rewards and hopefully for years and it is paying dividends now. These loyalty services help a company keep a consumer in their ecosystem and consumers often get exclusive deals or discounts that ease the pain of inflation. These applications are also tied into online retail systems that reduce the need for shelf stock and additional employees, opening more opportunities for suppliers to close deals. Technology has done some heavy lifting to fight inflation and we should see companies continue to invest in these areas for the rest of the year.

As we look forward to the second half of the year and the holiday season, we should be cautiously optimistic. If the snapback spending that has characterized the first half of the year continues into Black Friday, then everyone should be able to reap the benefits. Also, we already know that hottest holiday items and essentials will be in short supply since we experienced the same symptoms last year. With that said, knowledge and foresight are our greatest tools. Ordering and stockpiling essential holiday items are the surest way to avoid a shortage. Shopping multiple suppliers and manufacturers will also cut down on increased costs and instances of scarce goods. For B2B companies, that means retailers & restaurants that previously declined an order may be more open now as we lead up to the holiday season. Technological innovations like online retail and loyalty apps can also increase consumer spending power. Even though 2022 has been difficult, there is still half a year of successes to come.