The holiday shopping season always gets the top of concern from shopaholics, especially when we have come through the first half of 2019. Those who have prepared the whole year for this occasion even already draw up their purchasing list and start researching for on which and where to spend money. They are called “Early Birds” for a reason. Shopping ahead of holiday time is a wise way to avoid the stress coming from the frenzy of shopping crowds. Even when it comes to the online market, “finish before the crowds even get started” never goes wrong.
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If you are an ordinary shopper, maybe you don’t mind which types of holiday shoppers you are. However, it is crucial for retailers to define the types of customers coming to their stores. In general, there are four main types, including evergreen shoppers, early birds shoppers, deal seekers, and last-minute shoppers.
Early birds are people who shop early in or before the holiday season. The time before the holiday season starts, those people actively research for different products and retailers. The statistics from Google’s study conducted from November 2017 to January 2018 says that half of the early bird shoppers research before buying to make the best decision surely. While others are still stuck on the questions “What will I buy for the holidays” and “Where can I get wanted items with the best quality and price?”, the early birds already plan everything consisting of destinations in their holiday shopping journey. They may miss out on appealing discounts, but the benefits they get from this early-shopping are also substantial.
Early bird shoppers have the advantage of the best selection of merchandise. Because of the preparation for the holiday season, stores are usually fully stocked and ready to welcome buyers right after Halloween, or even sooner. You can comfortably enjoy shopping without worrying about the shortage of sizes or colors of your wanted items. There will be no battle in shopping which often happens at the peak of the holiday season. Everyone has a choice and freely fulfill their wishlists.
When starting ahead of time, early shoppers have more time to search for various retail stores and make a comparison in term of prices and enclosed services. For instance, a product can be priced differently by different retailers, that’s why with the same product, shoppers usually find its information from multiple store sites before purchasing to find a reasonable price they are willing to pay. According to a study conducted by Google (Nov. 2017 - Jan. 2018), the Early Birds spend 55% of their shopping time online. This tendency can be the reason behind a vast amount of searching time before making a purchase decision from this group of shoppers. It makes sense as online shopping makes it easier and convenient for them to surf, browse, and search for products.
Time is money, and nowadays one thing we all like to do is to save it, especially for working parents with a hectic family schedule. Holidays bring full of joy and indulgence but also make you as busy as a bee. Hence, early birds tend to start shopping for the holiday way earlier as long as they find convenient.
The endless checkout and customer services lines become shoppers’ fears all the time. In rush time of the holiday season, it is such an unlucky experience if you have been waiting for hours but end up bringing home nothing. However, by starting early, early bird shoppers will avoid the crowds and speed up their purchasing process. They will have more time to be with their family when the holidays arrive, while everyone else is still spending hours surfing on the internet or lining up to tackle their shopping lists.
Shopping early can save a great deal of money from overspending, which will be likely to happen if you are under holiday time pressures. Shoppers typically make hurry purchasing decisions because they’re afraid of the sales running out at the last minute. There will be some extra spending for unexpected items as a result. On the other hand, they may exorbitantly pay for things which retailers sell at better prices at the other stores. To be sure, they will feel regretful later. In contrast, it is more relaxing for early shoppers to choose the product and consider prices worth it. Furthermore, some retailers will offer early discounts, taking advantage of this opportunity to reduce the financial burden on the holidays is a good idea.
Maybe the fear of being stressed out in the big shopping crowds haunts shoppers the most. It must be tired of being stranded in the massive crowds during the holiday season and seeing the infinite queues of shoppers spilling over the streets to grasp everything on sale.
Being an early bird, in reverse, brings with it much peacefulness in shopping for you. The number of shoppers at this time will be much less than that at holiday time. It means that early birds can fully enjoy their shopping time without overcrowding or too long-waited delivery due to the overloading excessive number of orders.
Early shoppers themselves may be active to visit your stores to scratch names of items off their holiday shopping list, but it is still definitely necessary to do an early promotion. Because the Early Birds start researching and looking around to find potential products for their upcoming purchases by October or even earlier, online retailers need to take time to prepare for this in advance of their early entry to the stores.
There are several tools to support online stores in featuring deals, sale campaigns and setting up special promotions. You can take advantage of these tools to catch early birds’ attention.
According to the statistics from Google (Nov. 2017 - Jan. 2018), 42% of Early Birds visit multiple websites when shopping online before they make purchasing decisions, so optimizing store websites is one of the most crucial things that retailers should carry out first. Also, 53% of the early birds use their mobile device to shop or browse, and 38% of them use mobile while in the store. 2018 holiday shopping report by Salesforce for Retail reveals that mobile shopping eclipses the desktop for the first time. In particular, mobile takes in 48% the orders surpassing 44% of the orders from computers and increasing 19% compared to the holiday 2017. All these statistics prove an enormous impact of the mobile on the purchasing. Therefore, it is imperative to design your websites to be mobile responsive and user-friendly as well as make all relevant information accessible for visitors.
Customers will not hesitate to buy from your competitors if they can’t conveniently view the details of products, even only a slight cover of the name. OuterBox, a website design, E-commerce, and SEO services company reveals that 40% of users will go to competitors after a bad mobile experience, and 84% have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction. Every retailer should bear in mind this incredibly high number in order to take advantage of mobile phone to increase customer conversion and then boost sales.
If you have a right plan for this early promotion, not only will it bring people in your store effectively, but also keep them coming back through the end of the season and beyond. You can do several things with an early promotion, but there is one way that you should consider to win an early promotion: email marketing.
Holiday shopping is coming earlier and earlier. Shoppers begin shopping before Halloween, so it is not too early to start your holidays’ email marketing at this time. The emails should be a friendly notification and invitation about the upcoming holiday shopping season. You can trigger customers by offering some early discounts but don’t amplify it. Customers know there will be significant discounts when the holiday season gets closer. Instead, let assure that shopping early will give them peace of mind that they’ve done, and they’ll get what they want without dealing with the crowds. A final tip to make your email marketing campaign successful is to use an additional tool such as Mageplaza SMTP that will make sure your emails arrive in the right customers’ box.
Starting ahead of time will be an excellent opportunity for retailers to do price testing, which is a great way to optimize products’ prices. Based on the early birds’ behavior on the cost of products, you will know whether customers satisfy with the price and which ideal price they are willing to pay for their needed items.
By analyzing patterns and margins and making a comparison between last year findings and current early shopping findings, you will be able to test price for the whole holiday season. Surveying the early birds also provides you with real useful response and document contributing to your optimal pricing strategy determination.
The trend of early holidays shopping is more popular than before, especially for online shopping. The early birds are as important as other types of shoppers, so treating them well when starting an early holiday shopping will be the key for your online store’s success on this sensitive season. Preparing a good promotion and making your website be the most useful and mobile-friendly destination for your customers’ holidays shopping journey will bring you many benefits than you think.
Posted by Jade in Blog . July 16, 2019