According to Information Research Inc. Holiday 2009 Forecast, nearly half of all shoppers will have already started their holiday shopping by November 1st. The shopping season is in full swing with less than a month to Black Friday and less than 2 months until Christmas Day. Holiday shoppers are already taking advantage of discounts so read on to find out some of the predicted 2009 trends. So what are you waiting for? Start promoting!
The National Retail Federation is predicting a 1% decline in holiday sales this year. However, when compared to last year’s 3.4% drop in holiday sales, 2009 shopping isn’t looking too bad. What will some of the trends be this year?
Tip: Create a sense of urgency and promote early shopping.Back to Basics
Experts are anticipating spenders will buy the lower priced items. A retail example is Wal-Mart’s recent launch of their “100 toys for less than $10” promotion.
Tip: Feature Sections that highlight gifts under a certain price threshold.
The Frugal Shopper
Shoppers are forecasted to focus primarily on practical gifts and shop on a budget this holiday season. In addition, research into this year’s holiday shopping patterns from Information Research Inc. predicts that 2009 will be the season of the online budgeter.
Tip: If you don’t already have one, create a ‘free shipping’ or a featured deals section on your site.
Retailers are more prepared this year and have had the last 12 months to plan for the pull back in consumer spending. Many have cut back on operating costs, so they can pass along the savings to the consumer. We should expect to see more aggressive promotions and some great bargains.
Tip: Review promotional emails.
Thanks to social shopping exploding onto the scene, expect to see more promotions distributed on Twitter. According to Experian’s The 2009 Holiday Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, “The downstream traffic from Twitter to the Rewards and Directories category displays a spike in traffic referrals around the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2008 as well as during the post-holiday season.”
Tip: Twitter and Facebook are great sources of traffic throughout the year; create accounts and grow a member base.
Don’t Forget the Other Mondays
According to Shop.org, Mondays in December 2008 continued to be the highest grossing online revenue days of the season for many retailers. In 2008, Cyber Monday fell on December 1st, and was the highest grossing online revenue day for approximately half of retailers surveyed. Surprisingly, Black Friday came in fourth place behind the three Mondays for online revenue.
Tip: Take advantage of December Mondays by creating excitement surrounding the promotions you offer during those days.
Monday: Set Up Realistic Shipping Expectations & Timeframes on Websites
Wednesday: Review Customer Service Process
Friday: Review Holiday PPC Campaign
Monday: Prepare Holiday Email Campaigns
Wednesday: Launch Holiday Theme & New Categories on Websites
Friday: Launch Holiday PPC Campaign
Monday: Launch Holiday Email Campaign, Send Holiday Gift Guide Increase PPC Bids
Monday: Send Second Holiday Email Newsletter.
Monday: Send Third Holiday Email Newsletter.
Friday – Promote “Last Day to Order before Christmas”
Dec 21st – Lower Bids On High Spending Keywords & Shopping Engine Products.
Dec 26th – Send End-Of-The-Year Sale Email Newsletters