Recent research released by ComScore is indicating that the holiday shopping season, especially the ecommerce season, is starting much earlier than expected and ending earlier than expected.The key, it seems, is to begin your marketing early to stay out front with regard to brand awareness and name recognition. Those small businesses who have not developed a holiday plan by now may find themselves left in the dust by their rivals.
- The research suggests there will be just 33 shopping days in this holiday season. The secular shopping season tends to begin on Thanksgiving with the Jewish holidays happening in early December with Christmas close on its heels this year. This is a positive thing for small business as everyone seems to be out and about and looking for holiday deals beginning on Thanksgiving evening. The shopping season’s most intense time, when much of the holiday shopping gets done, is happening between Thanksgiving and Cyber Tuesday.
- Most small businesses, especially those in the retail and ecommerce sectors, will have to already have their ad spends and strategies in place or the opportunity of the year will be missed. The ComScore research finds that most shoppers are working with fixed budgets and most of that money gets spent withing the first few days following Thanksgiving. Those businesses that don’t leverage themselves in those early days will find themselves chasing fewer and fewer dollars as the holiday season plays itself out.
- Tracking the money for the past few years finds that within two weeks of Christmas, holiday spending continues to slow every year. In 2017, the average daily spend in the two weeks leading up to Christmas dropped 20% over the previous year. The reason, it seems, for this drop seems to be brands offering deals earlier and earlier into the shopping season. Brands have also conditioned buyers to know that the best deals on big ticket items like appliances and televisions generally happens on Thanksgiving and Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday and Tuesday. For now, ecommerce is where it is at and where it will be for the foreseeable future so small businesses need to have their plans, and their inventory, in place earlier than ever or risk being left out in the proverbial cold.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer