Last year we saw the first wave of retail holiday sales advertising hit the airwaves just a few days after Halloween! Some refer to this phenomenon of holiday sales moving earlier on the calendar as “Christmas Creep.”
So how soon is “too soon” for holiday sales? And how do you avoid “jumping the gun” without “missing the boat?” I always advise our clients to take full advantage of natural sales periods. However, I believe in advertising holiday sales in the most cost effective way possible to maximize return on investment.
The downside of starting your holiday sale too early is that you wind up diluting your ad budget and spreading the same amount of sales over a longer time period.
What makes a holiday sale successful is two things; One, this is the naturally occuring time period that consumers equate with getting big savings. Two, there is only a short time to take advantage of the offer – which causes urgency and a little bit of “buying panic” among customers. So if you start more than a week ahead of time you not only wind up losing both the timing and the urgency, but you also end up ringing up the same amount of sales from a two week sale as you would have brought in from a 5 day sale!
As an owner of an advertising agency, my suggestion to retailers that want to start their holiday sales event earlier than last year is this: Go ahead, start earlier! But instead of just advertising a message that says, “Our big holiday sale is on now,” send out special VIP invitations to your loyal customers…Or have a 3 day “sneak preview sale” before the big sale.
This way, you are providing an urgent message, a value to your best customers, and you can start advertising early with minimal spending that will result in incremental sales.
So you can start your Holiday Sales early, just remember to keep an eye on your ROI!
Advanced Marketing Strategies can help you with understanding your target and developing the right plan at the right time!
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