The 5 Hottest Days for Online Retail During the Holiday Season
November 6, 2018
By: Cathie Ericson
There used to be one huge, blow-out holiday shopping day that all retailers aimed for with enormous amounts of brainpower, energy and money devoted to ensuring the most spectacular sales and best door busters. You know it well: Black Friday.
But today’s shopper is no longer hobbled by “store hours,” and for many, waiting in a long line to score a discounted sweater has lost its allure. In fact, a PwC survey found last year that only 35 percent of consumers intended to shop on Black Friday, down from almost 60 percent in 2015.
The great news is that holiday shopping behaviors are shifting, from in-store to online. One report finds that there were a whopping 58 days during the 2017 holiday retail season when online shopping sales exceeded $1 billion.
Here are some key holiday shopping days that online retailers should align toward:
November 1 – 20, 2018: Online Research
This is when consumers will be finalizing their 2018 shopping strategy. Online retailers can use this period to stay top of mind by:
Creating a “drip” email campaign with their best customers.
Developing gift guides that help cement you as the place to go for all-in-one holiday shopping.
Maintaining a robust presence on social media platforms, highlighting upcoming deals as well as general trend information.
Sprucing up your online store with holiday-themed graphics.
Double-checking your mobile infrastructure is good to go.
Friday, November 23, 2018: Black Friday
Black Friday might not be the “end all, be all,” but it’s still an important holiday shopping day. Online retailers should try to focus on capturing the customers who want to shop from the comfort of their homes. Planning special door busters and other online shopping surprises can help these holiday shoppers feel like they’re part of the fun, but not the madness.
Saturday, November 24, 2018: Small Business Saturday
While your bricks-and-mortar counterparts might be holding events to lure customers into their stores, online retailers can still be successful on Small Business Saturday. Customers who make a point to shop at small businesses are particularly interested in the back story behind the business itself. They want to get to know the individuals running the company. So in addition to your special offers, try to make sure your website also touts what makes you unique and special as a company, whether you employ local moms to help package and ship your goods, or that an old family recipe inspired your best seller.
Monday, November 26, 2018: Cyber Monday
Although the original logic behind Cyber Monday — that consumers would use their workplace’s fast internet connection to shop for online deals — no longer applies, this online shopping holiday remains etched in consumers’ minds as a key day for deals, so try to make sure your site is ready to handle the traffic!
Also known as “Panic Saturday,” this is when shoppers realize they haven’t yet finished their list, and the big day is closing in on them. Online retailers can help ease the stress by offering curated suggestions and gift baskets. Free expedited shipping is a plus if you can swing it!
With a robust marketing strategy, online retailers can ensure that the holiday season is indeed merry and bright.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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