The sun is out. The heat is rising. The drinks are cold, and the beach is calling. So, clearly it’s time to start planning for the holidays (?). With total sales expected to reach $917B this holiday season, retailers need to make sure they’re armed and ready to compete for their share. In just 61 days (November through December), retailers can generate up to 30% of their annual sales. The competition for attention in the digital space is fierce. Winter is coming. So, break through the clutter for victory.
EIGHT TRENDS TO STEER YOUR COURSE1. The holiday shopping season is starting earlier and earlier
In 2016, major Black Friday sales began the week before Thanksgiving. And this year, like those past, expect a surge in shopping activity within the 5-day window between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. In 2016, Cyber Monday broke records as the single biggest online shopping day in history, generating $3.45B. According to the National Retail Federation, last year’s consumers started researching holiday gift purchases as early as October! But, only a third of those shoppers were actually making purchases during that time...
2. Many consumers are still shopping down to the wire
Last year, PebblePost saw the largest spike in online web traffic one week before Christmas. This is becoming a common trend as consumers and retailers both become more confident in faster shipping and next day delivery. This year, consumers can expect more options to buy online and pick up in store.
3. The shopping doesn’t stop at Christmas
The holiday shopping window remains open until the start of the new year. In fact, during the 2016 holiday season, PebblePost saw the highest daily conversions the week after Christmas (12/27 – 12/30). This means marketers can continue to influence purchase decisions as shoppers head back online and in-store to make returns or use their newly received gift cards or cash.
4. It’s the most digital time of the year
The online revenue is just waiting to be unwrapped! According to eMarketer, total e-commerce sales are expected to increase 15.8% in 2017. And 77% of consumers say they will avoid shopping in stores during the holidays to evade traffic, crowds, and long lines. Interestingly, PebblePost saw the highest online conversions during the 2016 holiday season on Wednesdays. This shows the convenience of e-commerce. Now, with just the click of a button, mid-week shopping can be just as easy, or easier, than weekend shopping.
5. You still need to follow the foot-traffic
Even though we are seeing lots of growth in online holiday sales, that doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar stores lose their value. In fact, despite record-breaking numbers last year, in-store sales still accounted for 90% of total holiday spend.
6. Let ‘em save, Let ‘em save, Let ‘em save
During the holidays, shoppers want—and expect—deals and discounts. 65% of consumers say deals and promotions motivate their holiday purchases. Many shoppers feel a sense of urgency during the holiday season because they are on a deadline to buy the perfect gift/s—and marketers can help trigger impulsive purchases by offering limited-time promotions.
7. For consumers, the holidays are a time for giving and receiving
Marketers, remember: you’re reaching consumers who are not only buying for their friends and family; they’re also buying for themselves. According to an NRF holiday survey, 70% of shoppers said they self-gifted during the 2016 holiday season. In fact, 20% of their purchases were for themselves! If they are already shopping, there’s a chance you can influence them to make an extra purchase based on the offers you provide.
8. The gift that keeps on giving
During the holidays, 73% of shoppers will research products online before making a final purchase. With PebblePost’s Programmatic Direct Mail® solution, marketers can capture this online interest and intent data—and then retarget consumers with a highly relevant and respectful tangible media impression, delivered directly in-home. 25% of holiday shoppers use printed catalogs to research products, so why not also leverage our Programmatic Catalog™ to increase your canvas for commerce? Flex your content muscles with 8 pages to fully tell your brand story. Include customized editorial and targeted merchandise to drive more conversions.
It’s clear that the holidays present a huge opportunity for marketers. ‘Tis the season for giving, and consumers have a lot of shopping to do. Make an impact and stand out from the crowd to drive online and in-store traffic during this key shopping window. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so start preparing now to make the best of it.