It's important for all marketers to be ahead of the game when it comes to the busiest times of the year - and for e-tailers there's no bigger time than the holiday season. Most of us start our Q4 planning in Q1 - and the plans are locked down for the most part by Q3 so that we have time to make magic. Here are some reasons why it has been more important than ever to be prepared for this holiday season.
Holiday spending is expected to increase by 11% this year according to Experian, and if you haven't noticed, everyone's getting an early start this year. For instance, 40% of consumers surveyed by the National Retail Foundation earlier this year said they planned to start their holiday shopping before Halloween.
Experien's data shows that marketers are rising to that occasion with 49% of marketers saying they planned to launch holiday campaigns before Halloween this year to meet the early demand.
The signs are everywhere that this will be a holiday season unlike any other with extra hustle and bustle for consumers and retailers alike. Why is this year different from, say, last year?
For starters, this year marks the first time since the 1800s that Hanukkah starts on the same day as Thanksgiving. What's more - it won't happen again for 70,000+ years. What does this mean? With many gifts being exchanged on the first day of Hanukkah, holiday shopping once again must shift forward, starting before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is also taking place later than usual this year. Because Thanksgiving takes place the last week of November this year, there are only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. That means Black Friday madness is pushed that much closer to the holidays, increasing the urgency that consumers feel when it comes to finding the best deals.
A late Thanksgiving also means that Cyber Monday is pushed into December this year - making that yet another urgent shopping experience for all.
If you're still looking for ways to make the most of your holiday campaigns, consider the following statistics:
Mobile is expected to have an effect on 87% of all holiday purchases.
- Mobile Marketing Association
66% of 2012 Black Friday purchases were the result of a social media interaction.
- Mr Youth
64.8% of shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift.
Here are some key dates to remember this holiday season as you fine-tune your holiday promotions and plans:
Nov. 28: First day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving
Nov. 29: Black Friday
Dec 2: Cyber Monday
Dec. 9: Cyber Monday II
Dec. 16: Green Monday
Dec. 18: Free Shipping Day
The key takeaway from all of this is that for retailers this holiday season, it's already Game On! The holidays start now.
You can also download this collection of holiday tidbits in PDF form.