The Christmas Creep

Does it seem that the stores are displaying holiday items earlier and earlier each year? The term “Christmas Creep” was first used in the mid-1980s to describe the merchandising of goods and decorations before the day after Thanksgiving which had heretofore been the traditional start of Christmas shopping. Since then, the term “holiday creep” also came into play to describe early sales for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

If your company still observes the day after Thanksgiving as the official start of the Christmas shopping season, here are some things you might consider as you plan your strategy for this year.

Popular Milestones

Despite earlier holiday promotions, Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain highly popular signposts for the holiday season. Collectively, the two days are known as Cyber Week. Shoppers have come to expect huge bargains on both days for just about anything on their lists. Here are some things you can do to make those days even more successful.

Historically, traffic to websites begins to soar 10 days before Black Friday with not much in sales yet as visitors anticipate better discounts on Black Friday. Research also shows that customers also swarm websites days through the Wednesday after Cyber Monday.

Plan and prepare for an entire week of busy activity. You can do that by promoting your site a week or two in advance. If you also advertise, consider branding your merchandise or company at least a month out. Generating this awareness through ads, TV, and/or emails and text messages should result in an increase in traffic to your website.

And although you may be off work on Thanksgiving, be sure to have adequate resources available to handle the crunch of anticipated traffic. Research has shown that sales dramatically see hikes in sales over previous season just by driving this awareness and targeting customers in advance.

The third busiest nine day is Green Monday. Started in 2007 by eBay, it’s the second Monday in December. Again, be sure to promote this well in advance so your customers return, visit and buy even more.

As usual, gather as much information about your customers as you can. That way, you can catch up with them after the holidays and nurture the relationship with them.

Test these three big days by trying something different for each campaign. Although history has demonstrated the volume of each day, you should still be able to assess and compare the success and effectiveness of each campaign.

Ask yourself and your team, “What resonated most loudly, what appeared to be the most successful hook or incentive, and what might we tweak to make any of those campaigns more successful?”  

Rest assured that just about every holiday shopper has one thing in common: they want to ship and fill their holiday wish lists. If you have what they’re seeking at a good price, you’ll fill your holiday stocking really fast!