Ready or not, holiday season is officially upon us and with that retail prime time.
In 2014, American consumers are expected to spend almost $617 BILLION in the last two months of the year.
There will be more than 40,000 Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals! It has become completely unrealistic for anyone to keep abreast and know where and when to get the best deals.
But also marketers are overwhelmed: Where should I focus my efforts: online or offline? When should I run my door-buster deals? Should I run a Black Friday deal early (like Amazon who started their Black Friday a week early)?
Here is a run down of all the important dates and important facts to keep in mind when planning your last minute marketing adjustments for this holiday season.
Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, Nov 27th 2014
Many Americans have associated the beginning of their holiday shopping with Thanksgiving since the first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924.
During the great recession, many retailers began opening their stores during Thanksgiving Day resulting in a great divide between the stores that allow their employees a day off and enjoy the traditional dinner with their families and the stores that open their doors to early Black Friday shoppers.
In the rise of social media and social awareness, shoppers increasingly support stores that remain closed. According to the National Retail Federation, only 18.3% of shoppers want to shop on Thanksgiving Day, which is down from 23.5% last year.
Thanksgiving Day shopping will be mainly in stores with expected revenues of $2.6 billion versus $766 million online. Consumers can expect the best deals on gaming (229% more deals compared to Cyber Monday), android phones, TVs and Blu-Ray Players.
Inbound Marketing Pro Tip: Use social media and email marketing to clearly communicate your opening hours during Thanksgiving. If you are not open, use the social media pressure to remain closed in a positive way and shine a spotlight on your employees.
Black Friday - Nov 28th 2014
Google just released today a study of Black Friday / Thanksgiving related search terms. This year's search for the best deal is largely mobile driven: "Nearly 50% of 25-34 year-olds use their phone to shop online while standing in line at a store."
According to Google, 27% of shoppers have already begun hunting for the best deals. The top keywords search for were:
- “what time do stores open on black friday”
- “what time does black friday start”
- “when does black friday end”
- “what to buy on black friday”
According to Merchants Warehouse, five times more revenue on Black Friday will be generated in store ($9.8 billion) versus online ($1.9 million). A whopping $238 million (which is up 40% from last year) will be spent using mobile devices as shoppers want to avoid long lines.
Consumers are looking mostly for laptops, data storage devices, as well as kitchenware and appliances.
Inbound Marketing Pro Tip: Send out personalized emails to your database. Use past buying history as well as their recent browsing history on your website to tailor your message content to your buyer's preferences.
Oh, and as an added bonus, you will find an awesome holiday shopping guide infographic below from Merchant Warehouse.