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Christmas In October? Retailers Say ‘Yes’

‘Amazon’s Prime Day 2020 might have kicked up an early holiday digital shopping frenzy on the site earlier this month, but as it turns out, other retailers hoped to benefit directly and indirectly from the commotion too.’ BARE shares an article by Grace L. Williams for Forbes with early retail holiday shopping.

‘According to a recent report by Digital Commerce 360, an estimated 24% of e-commerce sites at the largest North American online retailers got in on the hype by using holiday-themed messages in tandem with Prime Day.

Bear in mind, dear reader, that Prime Day and the early holiday shopping frenzy took place on or around Oct. 13-14, nearly 10 weeks away from the week of Christmas and six weeks away from Black Friday by my estimates. If you’re one of those shoppers who can’t believe the premature nature of Back-to-School advertisements on July 5 or Christmas carols piping over your local radio station starting on November 1, your head might be exploding right now on this news. But 2020 has taught us, if nothing, that one potential strategy forward could be the attitude of, “Well, sure, why not?”

More than just a few merchants and shoppers have decided to start their shopping early. “Data collected shows a sizable number of retailers are capitalizing on the influx of web traffic from deal-seekers who are comparison shopping with non-Amazon merchants by tempting consumers with big sales and nudging earlier gift buying,” wrote Jessica Young in the report by Digital Commerce 360.

Young also noted in the report that 39% of shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping by the end of October, up from 27% last fall. It is anticipated that more of us plan to stay close to home and ship out our holiday cheer far and wide this year. And with mail and shipping services being as heavily relied upon as they are, shoppers hoping to get a jump on their holiday spend cited factors including mail delays or pandemic-related spikes in digital shopping traffic to avoid crowds as influencers on their head start mentality for this year.

Amazon ranked #1 on the list for a few reasons, including the trove of discounted and featured items over the duration of its promotion. Amazon suggested on its website that shoppers “get a head start on gifts: Shop Prime Day deals now.” The company also mailed out a holiday guide to consumers on Prime Day called “Joy Delivered.”

Here’s a recap of how a few of the top 100 online retailers kicked off “Christmas in October” this month, according to Digital Commerce 360:

Best Buy (#10)—The electronics retailer offered shoppers a gift ideas section that provided them with date reminders for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa as well as recipient categories (think: kids, teens, etc.). Shoppers could also sort ideas by price range or interest, including stocking stuffers.

Macy’s (#14)—The department store is a shopper’s delight and a beloved beacon of holiday kickoffs (Thanksgiving Day parade, anyone?) To get the holiday spirit started early, Macy’s provided online shoppers with its holiday gift guide, allowing shoppers to browse according to price, recipient, or idea. In a nod to the possible changes in travel plans related to COVID-19, Macy’s also had shoppers covered by offering up board games, table decor, and matching holiday pajamas for the whole family.

J.C. Penney (#31)—This department store introduced shoppers to “Cyber Days” and encouraged shoppers to “Kick off your holiday shopping early & save big!” J.C. Penney featured select items priced at up to 60% off during the promotion. Meanwhile, “Penney’s Playland” advertised toys from legendary brands including Fisher-Price and Barbie.

Qurate Retail Group (#9) Qurate held a “Deal Reveal” promotion with new clearance sales prices every six hours and the message “It’s deals season—and you’ll find a whole lot of cheer right here.”

The Walt Disney Company (#89) Last but not least, the famous maker of merriment and magic appealed to shoppers on its homepage with suggestions to “Get a holly jolly head start to the season” and “Make your home merry & bright.” As part of the company’s limited-time “Early holidays: Shop early, save big” promotion, popular items like talking action figures and figure playsets.

While merchants hope to get holiday shoppers in the mood early this year, the undeniable and inevitable is nobody expects 100% gift satisfaction across the board, which means returns will happen. Digital Commerce 360 noted in its report that retailers took this into account. From the list above, Amazon, Qurate, Best Buy, and Macy’s plan to accommodate shoppers by allowing returns on qualifying purchases made over their specified time periods through January 31, 2021.

With Halloween canceled in many communities and aggressive woodland creatures eating our Jack O’ Lanterns at warp speed as is, maybe the merchants have it right this time. Maybe this year, we should strike up the carols, break out the egg nog, and treat ourselves to a holiday season that spans from mid-October until…?

Sure, why not?’


Read the original article in full here.

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Disclaimer of endorsement: Any reference obtained from this article to a specific business, product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by BARE International of the business, product, process, or service, or its producer or provider.