This holiday shopping season brings a ton of conflicting predictions. The National Retail Federation said, “it expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.” On the other hand, Bank of America, “projected same-store sales to grow by 2.7% in the fourth quarter, down from 3.8% last holiday season.” So what’s with all the differentiating opinions? Well, it may have something to do with the fact that we will see a shorter selling season with five fewer days between Black Friday and Christmas compared to last year.
A few days shorter…what’s the big deal?
Five missed days for brands to connect with consumers may not seem like a big deal to the average person, but this reduction has marketers in a frenzy. In 2018, the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas was 33. This year it is 27. With consumer spending in the two weeks leading up to Christmas in historical decline, marketers have less than two weeks (13 days) to reach their target audience. Thus making Black Friday and Cyber Monday higher stakes than ever before. According to comScore, “brands that fail to reach consumers early in the season may not be able to recover, possibly leading to holiday seasons that fall short of expectations.”
Consumers rely on those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to knock out the bulk of their holiday shopping lists. In a study by Retail Me Not, 2018 saw consumers spending an average of $803 during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend, up from an average of $743 in 2017. There were more than 165 million Americans shopping either in stores or online, from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday in 2018. [Source: National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 2018]. eBay along saw 7B searches during the holiday season. This year, marketers will encounter a similar recurrence but need to reach these deal conscience shoppers quickly.
The Ideal Holiday Season Kick-off Date
Start your holiday campaigns too soon and you’ll be touted a Christmas Creep. Too late and you’ll miss a high volume of holiday spend. So what’s the sweet spot? The short answer…NOW. The holiday spirit begins to kick in as the leaves change colors for most Americans around the country. And while they may not be shopping for gifts just yet, they do want this cheer reflected in their homes. From November 1st to December 31st, on eBay alone, there is a 430% lift in Holiday and Seasonal Décor. Once their homes are decked out, shoppers move to making purchases for loved ones, co-workers, and themselves. What’s the best date to kick off those holiday campaigns you ask? This year November 25th through December 13th will play an important role in brands securing those major shopping holiday dollars.
Make Your Marketing Dollars Work Smarter on Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday was a big day for eBay in 2018. The platform saw a:
- +27% lift in visitation
- +39% lift in daily purchases
- +15% lift in searches
How does this success translate to advertisers? The more visits, the more shopping data. Data is at the heart of who eBay is. Unlike marketplaces who only have access to credit card data or keep their insights in a walled garden, eBay provides brands with actionable data derived from an average of 109 MUVs [Source: Comscore, Dec 2018] during the holiday season.
Take for instance those holiday and seasonal decor shoppers. eBay has made the people behind this 430% lift targetable to marketers, segmenting users who shopped for Christmas items within the last two years. This translates to over 6M Christmas Enthusiasts looking to deck their halls. Christmas Enthusiasts might have an item in mind but not always a brand. They’re coming to eBay to discover their version of holiday perfect and advertisers can be there to help.
Whether you’re looking for a high impact brand awareness campaign or want to reach holiday shoppers with wallet in hand, if it’s happening during the holidays, it’s happening on eBay. To launch your next holiday campaign, talk to us here.