Though it is only October, and still a few weeks out from Halloween, the holiday shopping season has already begun! With retailers pushing up promotions to start far earlier than Black Friday, 40% of shoppers start their holiday shopping before Halloween. According to Think With Google, by the time Cyber Monday hits, half of consumers are already done shopping! Seems crazy right? It might be, but what that means for retailers is promotions, holiday sales and holiday content must get started early, or you may miss out on potential customers.

It may come as little surprise that men will be the ones procrastinating on holiday shopping with one in four starting their shopping in December. For these early months, gear content and creative towards women while focusing on men later into the holiday shopping season. However, never leave out either gender, there are always the over achievers and procrastinators from each side!

2015 Holiday Forecast

2015 is shaping up to be larger than what we saw in 2014. The National Retail Federation expects a 3.7% increase in sales for the months of November and December and a 6-8% increase in online shopping with mobile being the fastest growing channel for holiday shopping. With consumers constantly attached to their mobile devices, many are using them to research items and make online purchases. Having a mobile friendly site and email template are crucial for capturing holiday sales. With 67% of holiday shoppers moving between devices, it is increasingly important to test and make sure your content is optimized for every platform.

Need a mobile optimized template? Click here.

2015 Holiday Trends

  1. Most Connected Holiday Shoppers Ever. Shoppers are taking to their mobile devices to research products, look at reviews, find the best deal, and to ultimately make the purchase. Consumers are now turning to the internet for advice instead of their friends. 
  2. Online Sales Are Forecasted To Increase. With shoppers now turning to their mobile devices, it is no surprise that we should see an increase in online sales. Being connected at all times of the day, the consumer now has the power to purchase during their “Ah-ha!” gift moments. Consumers are also starting to feel safer giving their information out online and with mobile optimized sites, retailers are making easier than ever before to purchase online.
  3. Shopping Is Starting Long Before Black Friday. As mentioned above, the holiday shopping season is no longer tied to just November and December. With many shoppers starting early, retailers have shifted their sales to fit this trend, pushing the shopping season to get a huge head start by the time Black Friday arrives. More than half have done most of their shopping by the end of Cyber Monday.
  4. Loyalty Is Up For Change. During the holiday shopping season, consumers are looking for a deal, and that doesn’t always result in brand loyalty. Look at your competition, would you pick your product over theirs? Your customers are asking themselves the same thing.

Important Dates for Holiday Shopping

Black Friday
November 27th
The day after Thanksgiving accounted for 84 million shoppers last year.
Cyber Monday
November 30th
The Monday after Thanksgiving accounted for 127 million shoppers last year.
Green Monday
December 14th
 Started by eBay and said to be the best selling day in December.
Free Shipping Day
December 18th
 A one day event that highlights retailers that offer free shipping and guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery.
Week Before Christmas
Dec 18th – 24th
 Time to push gift card and e-card purchases. For eight years, gift cards have been the number one requested gift.
Post Christmas
Dec 26th – Jan 15
 Clearance sales galore! Shoppers are looking to exchange items, purchase gifts they didn’t receive, and use their newly acquired gift cards!

 

Resources and Additional Holiday Guides!

The National Retail Federation: https://nrf.com/resources/holiday-headquarters
The NRF’s Holiday Survival Kit: https://nrf.com/sites/default/files/Images/Media%20Center/2015-NRF-Holiday-Survival-Kit.pdf
Think With Google Top 5 Holiday Shopping Trends and infographic: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/infographics/5-holiday-shopping-trends-to-watch-in-2015.html
Signal’s Holiday Retail Trends and Infographic: http://www.signal.co/blog/retail-trends-holiday-2015/

Don’t get lost in the clutter! Stay tuned for next month’s post on holiday email best practices and ways to get noticed in the inbox this season!