If you feel like Christmas offers come earlier each year, this year you'll definitely feel like Christmas starts in October. That's because there are fewer days between Black Friday and Christmas Day this year.
Last year there were 31 days between Black Friday and Christmas versus 25 this year—and retailers feel the need to respond (To make things worse, there are only four full weekends, not five like there were in 2012). To combat this smaller window of shopping time, US retailers report they will start holiday promotions soon. A recent Experian survey of US marketing executives shows 49 percent of retailers will push their 2013 holiday campaigns before Halloween. The survey also showed 18 percent of advertisers began planning their holiday promotions in June and within the retail sector the top promotion tactics they'll use will be free shipping, online coupons and deal of the day offers.
Many marketers have focused on stepping up their mobile promotion tactics. Marketers said their top mobile strategies include mobile advertising, mobile optimized emails and mobile coupons. I guess we can expect to see more ads on our smartphones…
Even though there is less crucial shopping time, eMarketer expects 15.1 percent growth in 2013 holiday online retail sales. The 2012 holiday / Q4 growth estimates did not hit the predicted numbers, so it will be interesting to see how sales perform this year, particularly considering the current government shutdown and looming debt ceiling deadline.