4 reasons why Christmas starts now

“Christmas gets earlier every year”.

We’ve all heard it. You’ve probably even said it yourself at one point.

Loathed by some and loved by others, “Christmas Creep” is a concept that’s been around since the mid-80’s.

It describes how retailers supposedly ‘sneak’ Christmas onto their shelves and into their marketing campaigns earlier each year. Creeping into our shopping experience.

But while consumers may remain baffled over retailers’ apparent lack of seasonal-awareness. As marketers, we know there’s a good reason.

For many brands, Christmas is a big deal. It takes a lot of time, planning, and resource to get it right. Which is why for many marketers, Christmas begins in Summer.

If your business hasn’t started thinking about Christmas yet, there’s no time to lose. But if the mere mention of the C word turns you into a Scrooge, maybe we can convince you.

A Christmas like no other

It’s safe to say that 2020 will be welcoming a very different Christmas to what we have been used to.

Shopping habits have changed. Stores have had to close. Many have lost their jobs. Others are dealing with a decreased income.

That being said, families are intending to spend around 25% more than usual on Christmas presents this year.

It seems the rule book has well and truly been thrown out the window.

This means that businesses have to think differently. Planning a COVID-friendly flow of customers in retail stores. Potential increases in online activity. Changes to messaging and positioning. More offers, promotions, and sales.

All of this takes a considerable amount of time and preparation. Which leads us neatly onto our second point.

Planning needs to start earlier. Probably even earlier than you think.

If your business isn’t planning for Christmas. Then you’re already behind.

During the average year, Christmas requires a lot of planning from any business. However, this year businesses also need to plan to be flexible.

Marketers need to approach Christmas 2020 with caution and adaptability. Consumers’ habits and behaviours have changed and are continuing to adapt to varying lockdown restrictions.

Therefore, scenario planning and flexible marketing is key to ensuring your business adapts to these changes.

Shoppers start early too

The average high street experience has changed dramatically. Meaning that for many, the buzz and festivity of Christmas shopping is a distant memory.

For many consumers, this means wanting to get the dread of Christmas purchasing out of the way as soon as possible.

Research from eBay Advertising found that 27% of consumers expected to get their festive buying underway sooner this year. In fact, more than a third (34%) have already bought some Christmas items.

And with August 1st being hailed as the best day to begin Christmas shopping to bag a bargain, consumers are already ahead of many businesses.

Of course, potential shop closures, limited capacities and opening hours, and longer delivery times are all further encouragement for consumers to get their shopping done and dusted well in advance.

Delivery overwhelm and cut offs

Online retail sales have continued to boom despite the easing of lockdown. This of course means additional strain on logistics and home delivery.

It’s true that every Christmas businesses need to be conscious of delivery cut off dates.

However, with recent increased pressure on delivery services, and potential decrease in available staff members, being mindful of cut off dates is more important than ever.

Businesses need to ensure that all of their Christmas marketing is planned and executed early enough to secure a spike in sales prior to delivery or shipping cut-off dates. This is particularly important for businesses who deliver to international audiences.


Feeling the festive overwhelm?

If you haven’t yet started on your Christmas marketing and need some support, why not chat to one of our experts?

Our friendly team are always on hand to offer advice, support, and strategic suggestions.

Meet the author

Komal Helyer

VP Marketing

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