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Important Q4 Online Holiday Shopping Events to Know
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
This Q4 is shaping up to be the biggest for e-commerce to date. Consumers have gained a newfound appreciation and reliance on e-marketplaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are driving consumers to shop online during the upcoming holiday events to adhere to the shift in buyer behavior and health concerns.
Retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, announced they will close their brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving in an effort to minimize crowds. These companies are abandoning their typical doorbuster incentives and providing Black Friday deals online.
To accommodate consumers who prefer to shop in-store, Walmart is also offering Black Friday in-store discounts on three separate dates to create a safer shopping environment. Health ambassadors will remind shoppers to wear their masks prior to entering the store and employees will distribute shopping carts that are sanitized. There will be a limit to the number of people allowed inside.
Amazon’s Prime Day in Q4 kicked off holiday shopping early this year, causing brands and retailers to pivot their strategies to maintain a presence where — and when — consumers are for holiday purchases.
Target, for instance, launched its Deal Days event on Oct. 13–14, the same dates as Prime Day, to compete with Amazon and take part in early holiday sales. The retailer offered consumers nearly 1 million more deals compared to last year. Discounts were offered on products, such as electronics, home, essentials, toys, beauty, and more. Best Buy also offered discounts on select products during Prime Day.
Retailers have launched additional shopping events on the heels of Prime Day to capitalize on early holiday shopping. Amazon itself rolled out Holiday Dash — which showcases daily product discounts — on Oct. 16, just two days after Prime Day. Amazon’s Holiday Dash event will run until Nov. 19. Best Buy also took a similar approach and launched Prep for the Holidays Event, which runs through Oct. 28.
Holiday shopping events are happening now and projected to end in late December. Retailers are extending the duration of their holiday shopping events and primarily offering holiday deals online to alleviate the concerns consumers have about safety, product availability, and delays in shipping.
Upcoming Holiday Shopping Events
– Amazon: Holiday Dash is currently underway and will run though Nov. 19. Amazon also offers new deals every hour on the week of Black Friday, and will feature discounts during Cyber Week.
– Best Buy: Prep for the Holidays Event is active until Oct. 28. Best Buy’s Black Friday ad scan has not been released.
– Walmart: Black Friday has been split up into three separate events. The first event starts on Nov. 4 online (in stores on Nov. 7), the second event will begin on Nov. 11 online (in stores on Nov. 14), and the third event is on Nov. 25 online (in stores on Nov. 27).
– Target: The retailer will offer Black Friday deals throughout the entire month of November, featuring discounts on electronics, home, apparel, accessories, and more.
Tips for Sellers to Increase Holiday Sales
– Inventory: Lean on the side of caution when it comes to inventory. Refer to data from previous holiday shopping events to determine appropriate inventory levels for your products. Make sure to also look into growth predictions for product categories. Providing greater inventory for products that are anticipated to be in high demand will help meet consumer needs during the holiday season.
– Reviews: Increasing your reviews will help convert on-the-fence shoppers to purchase products from your brand. Over three-quarters (79%) of consumers go to Amazon to check reviews prior to making a purchase, according to Feedvisor data. Best practices include a minimum of 15 product reviews and a 3.5-star rating per ASIN. However, achieving a 4-star rating for your products will help you gain a competitive edge by improving your organic search rankings during high-traffic holiday shopping events.
– Advertising: CRM prices for paid ads across channels have significantly dropped. Take advantage of the reduced rates for ads and promote your business during a highly competitive Q4. Ensure you are also differentiating yourself from your competitors in your ads to build interest from leads and nurture existing customers. Examine your competitors’ advertising strategy and determine opportunities to leverage your brand.
– Partnership: A strategic partnership is very valuable in reaching new audiences. This tactic is mutually beneficial for you and a business partner to drive product discoverability and gain customers from a new demographic. Establishing a partnership for the upcoming holiday shopping events can increase your sales by reaching more consumers, while requiring minimal investment.
– Mobile: More consumers are now using their mobile phone to shop online. Over half (59%) of U.S. adults said they prefer to shop using their mobile phone, according to eMarketer. It is important to meet consumers where they are and create campaigns on holiday sales that offer shoppers a positive user experience through their mobile phone.
This is an unprecedented Q4. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated consumers’ adoption of online shopping by three to five years, and e-marketplaces are anticipated to grow 32–35% in Q4 alone, per Feedvisor data.
While holiday shopping events are already underway, it is not too late to optimize and perfect your Q4 strategy to leverage the growth opportunity. Implementing the tips provided can help you differentiate your brand and products from the competition, improve discoverability, capture net new customers, drive incremental sales, and maximize your holiday impact.