The holiday shopping season has become increasingly condensed into Thanksgiving weekend. During this span of five days (Turkey Day through Cyber Monday), 79 percent of consumers will do “most of” their holiday shopping. That’s according to a survey of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted in September by BlackFriday.com. Those shoppers will be spending an average of $335 each during that long weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.
So suffice it to say that Thanksgiving weekend is a big opportunity for retailers. Here are four ways to harness that holiday shopping enthusiasm:
1. Don’t sit out Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
With nearly 80 percent of consumers saying they’ll have done most of their holiday shopping by the time Cyber Monday draws to a close, it’s vital for retailers to capture their business during that weekend. And the “weekend” begins on Thursday, with some major retailers launching in-store and online sales on Thanksgiving itself.
Retailers don’t necessarily need to open store doors to these eager early-bird shoppers. In fact, nearly 70 percent of Black Friday shoppers say they’ll do their Black Friday shopping online, according to BlackFriday.com’s survey. However, retailers should start marketing online deals to their email lists and social media followers as early as possible Thanksgiving week to capture customers’ attention when they’re starting to get into a shopping frame of mind.
Note that the day you advertise deals also matters. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are powerful magnets that draw most of the weekend’s shoppers. Forty-six percent of consumers say they do most of their shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and 22 percent say the same about Cyber Monday. Small merchants hoping to capture some Small Business Saturday momentum should note that only 11 percent of consumers say they’ll do most of their shopping on that day. Therefore, be sure to jump into the Black Friday fray.
2. Appeal to deal hunters.
BlackFriday.com found that 71 percent of holiday shoppers search for coupons and deals before making their holiday purchases. Therefore, capture your customers’ attention with promo codes for discounts and free shipping. If your offer pops up in consumers’ inboxes, you could snag their business.
3. Play up clothing and tech deals.
According to BlackFriday.com’s data, clothing and technology are the the top categories for deal hunters. Twenty-three percent of holiday shoppers will be seeking clothing deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and 22 percent will be seeking tech deals during those same days.
If you're wondering which deals to promote the most, fashion and tech are on the top of shoppers’ minds this year.
4. Emphasize when your price wins.
Big-box retailers and Amazon.com are Black Friday giants. According to Hitwise, Amazon and Walmart (combined) accounted for nearly 60 percent of online retail transactions on Cyber Monday 2017.
So how can smaller retailers gain an edge? BlackFriday.com found that the best way to get consumers to try a new retailer is by having the best price. One-third of consumers said price was the biggest motivator in pulling away from their usual shopping destinations. Price even beat out free shipping (22 percent of shoppers said free shipping would convince them to choose a different retailer).
Therefore, if you’re an online retailer deciding whether to bake free shipping into a slightly higher price or charge for shipping and lower the sticker price, choose the latter.
Kristin McGrath is the editor at BlackFriday.com.
Related story: 3 Tips for Holiday Email on Black Friday and Cyber Monday