Numerous business offer discounts, coupons, promotions and free shipping before holidays and most of them know what they want to offer and how much they want to offer but when is a more complicated question. In this article, we will try to offer you some information that will allow you to determine the best time for starting offering discounts before a holiday.
Why Is Timing So Important For Discounts Before A Holiday?
Every store is different and every customer is different so the timeline for discounts varies from store to store, however, what is certain is that starting the promotions too early or extending special offers for too long may result in fewer sold products than you anticipated.
Do Research And Start Planning
In order to spread their spending, some people start shopping for Christmas in September. In 2016, National Retail Federation conducted a holiday shopping study that showed that in mid-November almost 50% of customers started shopping for Christmas. Some customers start holiday shopping for Christmas in September, others in October, some in November but there are also customers who shop only during December.
In order to determine when your audience is more likely to start shopping for holidays, you have to be able to determine the affordability of the products you plan to sell before holidays and how “serious” is the purchase for the customers.
When it comes to affordability, try to determine if the products can be an impulse purchase or they require a dedicated budget. You can conclude this by knowing the answer to one simple: Are the customers able to purchase the product on a budget or do they need to plan ahead and to save money for purchasing the product? If you cannot determine this by yourself, conduct a market research study to be sure of the answer.
The second thing you need to determine is how important the purchase is for your customers. Do customers need to discuss size or to review multiple options? Is the product you sell something that they purchase once in a lifetime or several times in their life or is the product you sell something that can be purchased during impulse shopping?
If the products you are selling fall in the first category, you will probably want to start offering discounts before a holiday a few months before the holiday. For example, you can start your Christmas promotions in September of October to offer your potential customers the time to research and ask questions about the products.
When your products are affordable and customers do not need to spend a lot of time thinking about their decision, you can probably start offering discounts before winter holidays during November or December.
If you sell a mix of products, offer discounts early for the most expensive products and extend the promotions to the rest of the products later.
Learn As Much As You Can About Your Audience
In order to determine the best time for starting offering discounts is to know the holidays celebrated by your audience. If you have an audience that resides in the US, you can start your holiday promotions in November and offer discounts until Christmas, but, if your audience is from another country, their shopping periods and holidays can be different so make sure you know what holidays they celebrate and create special personalized promotions or discounts for them.
If you have a worldwide audience that is diverse, extending your discounts period is the safest bet for your store.
Know Your Audience’s Needs
Conduct research to determine when your customers need your products. For example, if you sell food and other ingredients people use for holiday cooking, they will more likely to need them right before the holidays.
If you are selling gift cards, make sure you extend your discounts after the holidays since most people who receive gift cards for holidays, start shopping the day after the holidays.