The 2016 holiday season is close at hand. Here’s a handy guide for local business owners who want to make the most of the biggest shopping days of the year.
The 2016 holiday retail season could be the tipping point for a variety of trends, from Black Friday sales to mobile-dominated shopping (click here to learn more about how mobile will be influencing holiday shopping) . Being ready on the biggest shopping days is essential for holiday success. Here’s a handy guide to help along the way.
Post-Election-Day Weekend: Consumers cut loose
When: Friday, November 11 – Sunday, November 13
With each side predicting disaster if the other wins, presidential elections can cause shoppers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. This year’s volatile campaign has many Americans more than ready for the election to be decided. Retail traffic tends to drop during election week. But once the campaign is over, Americans get out and spend. Offering specials the weekend after Election Day allows you to get the jump on your competition and the holiday season.
Gray Thursday: Turkey and shopping
When: Thursday, November 24
Consumers who can’t wait for Black Friday hit stores and websites on Turkey Day, gobbling up great deals. Thank your best customers with special offers and rewards for their loyalty. Not open? Put the deals online. Don’t sell online? Send out a targeted email with deals that are good as soon as you re-open your doors. Whichever path you choose, promote it well beforehand via email, social, and your website.
Black Friday: Still a big deal, despite digital
When: Friday, November 25
Though Cyber Monday has surpassed it in terms of gross dollars, Black Friday remains a crucial shopping day. In fact, many experts now class Black Friday not as a day but a period of time that can exceed two weeks, starting well before Thanksgiving. Why? Because it pays for retailers to plan ahead and build momentum with a well-thought-out, multiplatform marketing strategy.
Small Business Saturday: Shine your brightest
When: Saturday, November 26
Consumers spent a record $16.2 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2015, up 14% over the previous year. This is a huge opportunity for local retailers to emphasize a local presence and attract shoppers. Build your big day around what makes your store special and offer unique specials. Multiply your promotional power with tie-ins to charities, your local chamber, and other businesses.
Cyber Monday: Draw digital shoppers
When: Monday, November 28
Boosted by double-digit growth in mobile shopping, Cyber Monday is the king of the holiday shopping scene. If you sell online, tease your Cyber Monday shoppers well ahead of time. If you don’t sell online, make the most of Cyber Monday by using mobile and online advertising to promote your business.
Giving Tuesday: Caring and sharing locally
When: Tuesday, November 29
Giving Tuesday is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate why local businesses are vital to thriving communities. This special day, when the focus is on giving back, gives you an opportunity to showcase everything your business does to makes a difference. Why not offer a percentage of the profits to the good causes your business supports?
Green Monday: The busiest for business
When: Monday, December 12
Historically the busiest day of the month, the second Monday in December marks the start of the home stretch. Gross sales often approach Cyber Monday totals. Consumers don’t expect as many deals, so it’s a great day to highlight unique services and high-quality items.
Free Shipping Day: Get it to them free by Christmas Eve
When: Friday, December 16
Consumers love free shipping, and participating in Free Shipping Day is the retail equivalent of fishing while they’re biting! While it isn’t free for you, free shipping often leads to larger purchases and reduces shopping stress.
Super Saturday & Christmas Eve: The procrastinator’s big-spending ball
When: Saturday, December 17 & 24
The last Saturday before Christmas and Christmas Eve are the two of the most frenzied shopping days of the season. Panicked procrastinators and cool-headed bargain-hunters jam stores and sites before the clock runs out. You’ll need top sellers, a full staff, delightful deals, and plenty of gift bags and boxes.
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From holidays to every day, Michigan.com is here to help your business shine. Contact us online or call 313-223-3203 to get learn more.
Editorial Staff, “Final 2015 Desktop Holiday Online Sales Reach $56 Billion, Up 6% Vs. Year Ago,” ComScore, January 8, 2016, comscore.com.
Editorial Staff, “Lessons Learned from the 2015 Holiday Shopping Season,” Newgistics, 2016, newgisitics.com.
Editorial Staff, 2016 Holiday Headquarters Reports Series, 2015, National Retail Foundation, nrf.com.
Kraus, Elizabeth, “Move Over Black Friday: 9 Holiday Shopping Days to Help You Build Business During the Holiday Season,” DB Squared Inc., November 2013, dbsquaredinc.com
Leinbach-Reyhle, Nicole, “Small Business Saturday Spending Tops $16.2 Billion,” Forbes, December 1, 2015, forbes.com.
Small Business Saturday Statistics, Grasshopper.com, 2015
Tuttle, Brad, “The 5 Big Lessons of the 2014 Shopping Season,” Money, December 2014, money.com.