Puffy vests, tall boots, pumpkin spice, and everything nice. All signs point to the start of Q4—we’re officially in spooky season and on our way to November. For everyone, especially retailers, November is a huge month and by far the strongest contributor to the whole year’s revenue.
One might assume that the end of November holds the bulk of shopping traffic, but Black Friday has been dethroned as the official start of the peak shopping season. In 2020, the first peaks of shopping started two to three weeks before Black Friday. Sales in the first 22 days of November showed all-time high YOY growth, specifically with the third week of November peaking a season-high of 121% YOY growth.
With just 20 days left till November 1, that’s 20 glorious days to strategize for the season. As we mentioned in our strategies from 2020 early planning is key. We’ve gathered up the key dates for both gift-giving and gift shopping and outlined some timed strategies to get publishers and advertisers alike ready for the most wonderful time of the year.
The final countdown:
- Diwali 11/4
- Singles Day 11/11
- Thanksgiving 11/25
- Black Friday 11/26
- Cyber Monday 11/29
- Hannukah 11/28
- Giving Tuesday 11/30
- Free Shipping Day 12/14
- Boxing Day (Canada) 12/26
Advertiser Agenda at a Glance
Here are four things advertisers can do now to make the most of the days leading into November.
- Start now! Inspire customers to shop earlier and ensure that all online and in-store messaging and creative is in place before Black Friday. Building on shopping trends from 2020, the pandemic greatly hindered in-store shopping last season, retailers were quick to introduce online promotions earlier in the year to maximize sales.
- Map it out for customers: Break out your publisher investment strategy based on the consumer journey to help identify gaps and opportunities. Access your Affiliate Customer Journey data in Insights to explore the influence of CJ partnerships across the entire customer purchase journey—from discovery, through evaluation, to the purchase.
- Expand your reach strategy: Google’s study, Making Sense of The Messy Middle, explores the idea that consumers are no longer as loyal to their favorite brands as they used to be—competitors were able to hijack an average of 67% of cases by showing an ad with the right message. You must be present where the consumers are and invest strategically in a diverse group of partners to maintain competitive market share. One such group is publishers with high social reach to promote gifts and products with authentic, personalized reviews and recommendations. Provide gifts and links in different “guide” categories like wellness gifts, self-care gifts, environment-friendly gifts, gift vouchers, and more.
- Move to mobile: As more and more shoppers are moving toward mobile due to convenient shopping experiences and unique offers, ensure you’re set up to track mobile traffic across environments – mobile web and mobile app. Take advantage of mobile conversion increases by booking mobile-focused placement opportunities.
Publishers, Sort Out Your Priorities!
As most stores were universally closed on Thanksgiving 2020, retailers now have a chance to re-establish industry norms in this mostly post-pandemic time and focus efforts on ecommerce.
Your planning strategy should include prioritizing partnerships with brands or products that are expected to grow this year. Insights from eMarketer point to the following categories to drive heavy demand this season:
- Pent-up demand for upgraded wardrobes for socializing and return to office is expected to drive increased sales volume for clothes. Apparel and accessories will continue to outpace its 2020 growth, up 23.1%.
- Like apparel, those returning to travel and seeking winter vacations will also cause a spike in sales.
- Furniture, Food & Beverage, and Health & Personal Care will grow more than 20% YOY in 2021.
- Click and collect and curbside pickup are here to stay as the convenient mode of shopping was made popular during the pandemic. Brands that offer these will also be crucial to highlight in promotions and forecasts predict that revenue from pick up is expected to nearly double from $72.6B in 2020 to $140.96B by 2024.
Getting started sooner rather than later and thinking strategically with your partnerships for your Q4 marketing plan will ensure a smooth close to Q4.