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How Merchant Cash Advances Fuel Retail Success

October 31, 2023

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Unlocking the Holiday Sales Surge: How Merchant Cash Advances Fuel Retail Success

Over the past two decades, holiday retail sales in the United States have consistently showcased a remarkable upward trend. According to comprehensive data from sources like Statista and Oberlo, these trends provide encouraging insights into the strength of the retail industry during the holiday season.

From the early 2000s to 2022, holiday retail sales in the U.S. have steadily increased year after year. The statistics reveal a consistent pattern of growth, highlighting the enduring popularity of holiday shopping among consumers. These trends are not confined to a single sector; instead, they encompass various retail segments, including online and brick-and-mortar stores.

The holiday season has become a crucial period for retailers, with consumers eagerly participating in the festive shopping spirit. These trends suggest that retailers have adapted and thrived over the years, responding to changing consumer preferences and adopting innovative strategies to attract holiday shoppers.

These positive trends in holiday retail sales underscore the resilience and adaptability of the retail industry. Despite economic fluctuations and changing shopping habits, retailers have consistently delivered strong performances during the holiday season. As e-commerce has gained prominence, online sales have soared, complementing traditional in-store shopping experiences.

The last 20 years have demonstrated a continuous and encouraging upward trajectory in holiday retail sales in the United States. These trends signify the enduring appeal of holiday shopping, highlighting the retail industry’s ability to evolve and meet the demands of consumers during this festive season.

Staying ahead of the inevitable uptick in consumer demand ahead of the holiday season, many small businesses often engage with the MCA industry to secure financing for increased inventory, staffing needs as well as marketing and advertising.  At Supervest, Q4 submissions from our MCA Funding Partners often represent over a third of the annual volume, with Retail, Restaurants/Food Services seeing anywhere from a 10-20% increase when compared to the entire year.  

The holiday season is not only a time for celebration but also a crucial period for the retail industry. As shoppers gear up to exchange gifts and embrace the festive spirit, retailers are poised to welcome an influx of consumers. The year 2023 brings with it a set of trends and transformations that are set to redefine holiday retail experiences. In this comprehensive analysis, we will explore the holiday retail trends of 2023, with a special focus on the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI).

Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash Retail
Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

Holiday Retail Trends for 2023

In the landscape of holiday retail trends for 2023, several key developments are set to redefine the shopping experience. E-commerce continues to assert its dominance, offering consumers the convenience of browsing and purchasing from the comfort of their homes, complemented by rapid delivery options. Deloitte’s projections indicate an impressive 15-18% growth in online sales compared to the previous year, prompting retailers to invest in optimizing online platforms, enhancing user experiences, and fortifying cybersecurity measures for seamless and secure transactions.

Personalization takes center stage, powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Retailers are harnessing AI algorithms to dissect customer data, encompassing past purchase history and browsing behaviors, enabling them to offer tailor-made product recommendations and exclusive promotions. This elevated personalization not only heightens customer satisfaction but also serves as a catalyst for increased conversion rates. MediaPost suggests that AI-driven shopping guides will play a pivotal role in assisting shoppers in discovering ideal gifts and lucrative deals throughout the holiday season.

A notable shift towards sustainable shopping is evident as consumers increasingly prioritize sustainability and environmental considerations in their purchasing decisions during the holidays. In response, retailers are adopting eco-friendly product offerings, reducing packaging waste, and advocating for sustainable practices. This shift reflects a growing consumer consciousness towards ethical and eco-conscious shopping practices.

Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup services continue to gain favor among consumers in 2023. These options combine the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of in-store pickup, providing a valuable solution for last-minute shoppers and those seeking to bypass potential shipping delays.

The prevalence of mobile shopping is on the rise, with mobile devices emerging as the primary shopping tool for consumers. Retailers are prioritizing the development of mobile apps and optimizing websites to cater to the mobile-savvy demographic. The seamless experience of mobile shopping, coupled with AI-driven recommendations, ensures an efficient and tailored purchasing journey.

Moreover, consumers are anticipated to initiate their holiday shopping endeavors earlier in 2023. This shift is motivated by the desire to secure highly sought-after items, mitigate potential supply chain disruptions, and take advantage of early-bird discounts. In response to this trend, retailers are launching holiday sales and promotional campaigns well in advance to attract and engage early-bird shoppers.

While e-commerce continues to reign supreme, in-store experiences retain their significance in the retail landscape. Retailers are proactively working to craft immersive and enjoyable shopping environments that entice foot traffic. Initiatives include hosting in-store events, unveiling holiday-themed displays, and offering interactive experiences designed to captivate and entertain shoppers, showcasing the enduring importance of physical retail spaces alongside the digital realm.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence

In 2023, the holiday retail landscape is poised for transformation, with artificial intelligence (AI) emerging as a driving force. AI is set to revolutionize the industry in several ways.

Firstly, AI-driven shopping guides are gaining prominence as indispensable tools for guiding consumers through the complexities of holiday shopping. These guides utilize machine learning to comprehend individual preferences and offer personalized product recommendations. Shoppers can anticipate receiving assistance in selecting the ideal gifts, comparing prices, and identifying the most enticing deals.

Moreover, AI-powered inventory management systems are enabling retailers to optimize their stock levels effectively. Predictive analytics and demand forecasting empower businesses to avoid the pitfalls of overstocking or understocking popular items, resulting in reduced inventory costs and a heightened likelihood of shoppers finding their desired products.

Enhanced customer service is another realm where AI shines during the holidays. AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants are taking on pivotal roles by addressing frequently asked questions, aiding with returns and exchanges, and even processing orders. These automated systems offer round-the-clock support, ensuring customers receive timely assistance.

As the surge in online shopping heightens the risk of cyberattacks and fraud, AI-driven fraud detection systems have become paramount. These systems employ pattern recognition and anomaly detection to spot suspicious transactions in real time, safeguarding both retailers and consumers from fraudulent activities.

Additionally, AI is spearheading a revolution in supply chain management. Machine learning algorithms analyze data from diverse sources to predict potential supply chain disruptions and suggest alternative routes or suppliers. This ensures retailers maintain a consistent flow of goods, even in the face of unforeseen challenges.

The 2023 holiday sales forecast paints an encouraging picture for the industry. According to CNN, holiday sales are projected to experience robust growth, with year-over-year projections ranging from 7% to 8.5%. Consumers are displaying a penchant for spending, bolstered by increased disposable income and a strong desire to celebrate the holidays in style.

Deloitte’s forecast further underscores this positive sentiment, indicating that holiday shoppers are prepared to splurge. Average household spending is anticipated to rise significantly compared to the previous year. This surge in consumer confidence augurs well for retailers, particularly as they harness AI-powered strategies to capture a larger share of the market.


The 2023 holiday retail season promises to be a dynamic and transformative period for both retailers and consumers. E-commerce continues its reign, AI-powered personalization is on the rise, sustainability is gaining momentum, and early shopping is becoming the norm. These trends, combined with the positive sales forecasts, suggest that retailers are well-positioned to capitalize on the holiday shopping fervor.

Artificial intelligence, with its ability to enhance personalization, streamline operations, and optimize supply chains, is the driving force behind many of these trends. As shoppers embark on their holiday shopping journeys, they can expect a seamless and tailored experience, thanks to the power of AI. The 2023 holiday season may very well set new records in terms of sales, innovation, and customer satisfaction, marking it as a memorable chapter in the history of holiday retail.

Opportunities for investment into the MCA asset class project are strongest for industries positively impacted by the holiday season.  With businesses tapping into this capital to meet calculated consumer demand, the resulting performance of these underlying contracts is boosted by peak revenue months and increased ability to repay.  From E-Commerce to Restaurants/Food Service to the Retail sectors, historical contracts have demonstrated a 25% reduction in delinquency for Q4 originations when compared to the prior 3 quarters, further evidence that this is the time to take advantage of the increased demand for financing and improved outlook on returns for these select industries in their most profitable season.  

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