Can retailers keep their holiday sales mojo working after Cyber Monday?
The Christmas selling season is off to a flying start. Traffic and spending between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday exceeded even the most positive of forecasts. Now that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday excitement is over, however, what will retailers do to maintain the sales momentum?
Many, based on past experience, will continue to promote deals in the coming weeks. But will consumers go for 20 percent discounts when they were mulling half-off breaks just a few days ago? Some consumers, again based on the historical behavior, will wait for retailer desperation to set in — and the bigger discounts that go with it — as the days leading up to Christmas dwindle.
Other consumers may have already completed their shopping and will be out of the market altogether. A recently published NPD Group survey found that adults have been moving their Christmas shopping starts up earlier for the last 10 years. Last-minute shoppers, in particular, have been moving their timing up earlier in the season.
New research from Rakuten Marketing claims that Amazon.com’s Prime Day in July along with rival deals from competitors have also affected Christmas shopping. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said they began shopping for Christmas in the summer, while 59 percent began making holiday purchases in the early fall.
Tony Zito, CEO of Rakuten Marketing, called the migration to earlier shopping “a marked shift in traditional retail patterns that is triggering changes in retail promotional strategies, including an extended peak holiday shopping period that has started as early as two weeks in advance of Black Friday this year.”
While many if not most consumers have gotten an earlier start on the holidays, 53 percent surveyed by Rakuten Marketing said they planned to spread their shopping budgets over the season and continue looking for special deals into December.
More than 174 million Americans shopped online and in stores from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). That number was higher than the 164 million previously forecasted by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
- Consumers plan to get started early on Christmas shopping – RetailWire
- Amazon Prime Day Triggered Early Start to Retail Holiday Shopping Season – Rakuten Marketing/PRNewswire
- Consumers and Retailers Win Big over Thanksgiving Holiday – National Retail Federation
- Retailers brace for December lull after Black Friday, Cyber Monday craziness – New York Post
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do retailers need to do to remain engaged with customers over the rest of the Christmas selling season? Do you expect to see a significant decline in last-minute shoppers this year?