In last year's holiday season, sales increased 2.9% over the previous year. While year-over-year growth is encouraging for brands, it actually fell short of National Retail Federation projections (4.3 - 4.8%). Looking at the growth more closely, it's clear that consumers are starting their shopping earlier than ever before. Holiday sales grew at a 5.1% rate during the first half of the season, but gained only 0.9% in the second half. Which days does your brand need to capitalize on this holiday season? Let's take a look!
Here are three things you need to know as you prepare for the holiday season:
Shopping Starts in the Summer
For many Americans, holiday shopping research doesn't start up in earnest until October. However, an increasing number of consumers have been taking advantage of sales in the summer months.
20% of shoppers planned to kick off their holiday shopping during Prime Day and other competing summer sales
12% of shoppers said they have already finished the majority of their shopping during these mid-July sales
October Lays the Groundwork
With 25% of shoppers kicking off their holiday shopping in the early fall, October is an important time for brands to lay the foundation before the big rush.
At this time, shoppers are reading reviews, asking questions about products, and perusing social media in order to make informed decisions once the major sale days arrive in November.
During October, brands see an 8% increase in interaction rate with user-generated content on social media.
November Sees the Sales
While consumers make their holiday purchases throughout the season, the majority of purchases happen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
2018 brought a 317% increase in order volume on Black Friday, the #1 shopping holiday in America
Likewise, there was a 314% increase in order volume on Cyber Monday, indicating that both holidays warrant the full attention of brands looking to drive holiday sales
Is your brand looking to stand out from the crowd this holiday season? Contact us today to learn how our suite of experiential-led marketing services can help you build brand awareness, encourage product trial, and earn lifelong loyalists.