This year will be the shortest holiday season since 2013. With Thanksgiving falling on the last Thursday of the month, it shaves off nearly a week of shopping days before Christmas. According to a new survey from RetailMeNot, only 1 in 3 Americans is currently aware that there is nearly one week less between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year. And 68% of those in the know say the shortened time frame will impact their holiday shopping this year. So, with less shopping time for consumers, sellers have to be smart with the shopping days they do have. How do you stand out from other retailers in your area or in the sea of online sellers? Let’s take a look at four ways to boost sales during this short holiday season.
This is when holiday marketing efforts begin earlier than usual. You know, when you see holiday promotions and decor weeks before you’ve carved that Thanksgiving turkey? While most shoppers are likely to wait until at least November to begin holiday buying, many sellers will begin their campaigns earlier. 54% of retailers surveyed said they will begin running deals earlier, while some have already kicked off promotions. This helps lessen the blow of the compacted shopping season and maximize sales opportunities once shoppers are ready to buy. Keep in mind, of course, with more retailers marketing earlier, the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be more cluttered and competitive.
How low can you go? The competition will be fierce this year. In fact, 55% of retailers surveyed will offer deeper discounts than they usually do and 76% of those plan to offer more deals and discounts in 2019 vs. 2018. Of course you need to make sure that your sale prices allow you to at least break-even, and ideally generate some profit even if it is smaller than usual. Additionally, you want to make sure that slashed prices don’t make customers think that there is something wrong with the product. One offer idea is bundling several items together and offer a special discount if the customer buys multiple products.
With six fewer days to visit a store this holiday season, more buyers will shop online and on-the-go! Last year, mobile accounted for 60% of online shopping traffic and 40% of sales, and those numbers are expected to grow this year. There are several things you can do to prepare for mobile shoppers:
Optimize your site for mobile shopping: make sure the page layout works with mobile screen sizes. There’s nothing worse than trying to navigate a screen you can only see properly on a computer!
Diversify payment options: accept new payment options beyond the traditional offerings. Accommodate alternative payment methods like Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, and Venmo.
Streamline your checkout process: too many clicks and shoppers will ultimately abandon their cart leaving you with lost sales. Make your purchase process easy and fast. To learn more about how to prevent cart abandonment, read our article 4 Ways to Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment.
Black Friday isn’t necessarily the most high profile or hyped day of the year anymore. Retailers expect to see an impact from Prime Day. In fact, around half of Americans bought something during Prime Week and 70% of those shoppers included a holiday gift. With additional deal days to be found throughout the year, shoppers don’t feel the pressure to purchase as much on Black Friday. However, Black Friday still holds huge potential for retailers. It’s predicted to be the top shopping day for 2019, with the Monday and Saturday of Cyber Weekend taking the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
Aside from holiday promotions and a streamlined purchasing process, there is more to it when it comes to holiday selling success. Most importantly, you want to make sure you have the top gifts that people want! To make sure your shelves are stocked with this year’s holiday ‘must-haves’, check out our post Don’t Fall Behind…Start Sourcing for the Holiday Season.