SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — This year, both retailers and consumers got ahead of the holiday shopping season in response to supply chain disruptions — and experts say this could mean slower spending this Cyber Monday.
“With respect to Cyber Monday, I think there are two major themes and they’re somewhat related; one is forward buying, the other is inflation,” said Dr. Gerard Burke, a professor of operations management for the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Georgia Southern University.
Since the start of the pandemic, holiday shopping has seen some changes.
“If you’re trying to compare Cyber Monday from 2021 to Cyber Monday 2020, you have to keep in mind that Cyber Monday for 2020 was phenomenally high because so many people were hesitant to go out shopping,” Burke said.
According to Reuters, this year, Cyber Monday shopping was expected to be lighter and to have fewer deals.
“There’s price pressures on all commodity types, higher transportation costs included, and so that’s going to moderate the level of deals and the levels of discounts you’re going to see,” said Burke.
“Cyber Monday, people buying online, people buying for the holidays is all affected by this — by the tightness of this market,” said Dr. Richard McGrath, a professor of economics at Georgia Southern University.
Experts say this year, retailers spread out promotional deals ahead of peak holiday shopping times in response to supply chain problems and product shortages.
“A lot of retailers started Black Friday deals days or weeks earlier than usual,” Burke said.
Shoppers also got a head start on their holiday gift buying this year in response to concerns.
“Consumers have seen and heard about limited availability of products and so we’re also buying early than we have in past years,” says Burke.
No matter how you’re doing your holiday shopping this year, experts say to shop smart and stay informed on things like product availability, price increases and possible delays.