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Holiday Shopping: Marketing Dates, Trends, and Forecast for 2023

As the 2023 holiday season approaches, marketers are gearing up to make the most of this festive time. The holiday season is crucial for businesses, with numerous opportunities to boost sales and connect with customers. To help you navigate this season effectively, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide with essential tips for preparation and a post-holiday strategy.

Marketing Preparation Before the Holiday Season

  1. Start Planning Early – Successful holiday marketing requires careful planning and execution. Begin your preparations well in advance, ideally starting in the summer. This will give you enough time to develop strategies, create content, and set up campaigns.
  2. Analyze Past Performance – Examine your past holiday campaigns closely. What worked, and what didn’t? Understanding your previous performance will help you make data-driven decisions and avoid repeating mistakes.
  3. Identify Key Dates – List all the key dates for the 2023 holiday season, including Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Consider including lesser-known holidays that may be relevant to your audience. Here’s a list to start from:
Nov 1, 2023WednesdayAll Saints’ DayStart planning holiday campaigns and promotions
Nov 23, 2023ThursdayThanksgiving DayLaunch Thanksgiving-themed marketing campaigns
Nov 24, 2023FridayBlack FridayPromote Black Friday sales and deals
Nov 27, 2023MondayCyber MondayFocus on online sales and promotions
Dec 6, 2023WednesdayHanukkah BeginsCreate Hanukkah-themed marketing materials
Dec 12, 2023MondayEid al-FitrReach out to the Muslim community with offers
Dec 24, 2023SundayChristmas EvePromote last-minute Christmas shopping
Dec 25, 2023MondayChristmas DayLaunch Christmas marketing campaigns
Dec 26, 2023TuesdayKwanzaa BeginsInclude Kwanzaa-themed promotions
Dec 31, 2023SundayNew Year’s EvePlan New Year’s Eve promotions
Jan 1, 2024MondayNew Year’s DayStart the year with New Year’s Day promotions
  1. Craft a Content Calendar – Create a detailed content calendar outlining what type of content you’ll produce, when it will be released, and which platforms it will be distributed on. Ensure your content aligns with the holiday spirit and resonates with your target audience.
  2. Optimize Your Website – With the surge in online shopping during the holidays, your website must be ready to handle increased traffic. Optimize your site for speed, security, and mobile-friendliness. Check for broken links and ensure that product pages are up to date.
  3. Set a Budget – Determine your holiday marketing budget, including expenses for advertising, promotions, and additional staff if necessary. Allocate funds strategically to maximize ROI.

Marketing During the Holiday Season

  1. Launch Early Campaigns – Start your holiday marketing campaigns before Thanksgiving. Early birds often catch more customers, and shoppers appreciate the opportunity to plan ahead.
  2. Leverage Social Media – Utilize social media platforms to reach a wider audience. Share holiday-themed content, promotions, and user-generated content. Encourage engagement by running holiday-themed contests and giveaways.
  3. Monitor and Adjust – Your campaigns should be monitored regularly. If something isn’t working, be prepared to adjust your strategy. A/B testing can help you fine-tune your campaigns for better results.
  4. Create Special Offers – Incentivize purchases by offering special holiday discounts, bundles, and limited-time deals. Encourage shoppers to take advantage of these offers by creating a sense of urgency.
  5. Personalize Customer Experiences – Use customer data to personalize the shopping experience. Send personalized recommendations and shopping reminders based on past purchases and browsing behavior.

Marketing After the Holiday Season

  1. Analyze the Results – Once the holiday season is over, it’s time to evaluate the results of your marketing efforts. Review the sales data, engagement metrics, and customer feedback to gain insights into what worked and what didn’t.
  2. Plan for the Future – Use the insights from your analysis to inform your marketing strategy for the following year. Consider what can be improved and apply those lessons to future campaigns.
  3. Continue Engagement – Don’t let the momentum slip after the holidays. Keep engaging with your customers through post-holiday promotions, new product launches, and exclusive offers for loyal customers.
  4. Show Gratitude – Send thank-you messages to your customers, acknowledging their support during the holiday season. A little gratitude can go a long way in building lasting customer relationships.

The holiday season presents many opportunities for marketers to connect with their audience and drive sales. By planning, optimizing your strategies, and staying adaptable, you can make the most of this festive period and set the stage for a successful year ahead. Remember, holiday marketing is not just about sales; it’s about creating memorable and valuable customer experiences.

2023 Holiday Shopper Trends

As we approach the 2023 holiday season, it’s essential for marketers to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to evolving consumer preferences. Understanding the latest holiday shopper trends can be the key to success in this competitive landscape. Medallia’s 2023 Holiday Shopper Trends report offers valuable insights into the behaviors and expectations of holiday shoppers. Let’s delve into some of the key findings:

Budget Constraints:

  • 3 in 5 Consumers: A significant majority of consumers (60%) anticipate tighter budgets due to inflation.

Personalization is Paramount:

  • 43% Seek Product Suggestions: Nearly half of shoppers express a desire for suggested product information based on their purchase history.

Conscious Consumerism:

  • Social and Environmental Responsibility: 34% of shoppers prioritize shopping at socially and environmentally conscious brands.

AI-Assisted Gifting:

  • 1 in 5 Plan to Use AI Tools: Twenty percent of consumers plan to use AI tools like ChatGPT to come up with gift ideas.

Made in the USA:

  • 43% Prioritize American-Made Products: A substantial portion of US-based shoppers will prioritize products manufactured in the United States.

Experiences Over Things:

  • Preference for Gift Experiences: A growing trend is the preference for gifting experiences over physical items.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Enthusiasm:

  • Boomers and Gen X: 26% of Boomers and 36% of Gen X shoppers are most likely to shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
  • Millennials and Gen Z: 40% of Millennials and 47% of Gen Z shoppers are equally enthusiastic.

This infographic from Medallia provides a breakdown of consumer behaviors that can help you plan your marketing during the 2023 Holiday Season!

2023 holiday shopping forecast
Source: Medallia

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and CEO of DK New Media. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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