Is your marketing ready for the festive period – what’s going to happen and when?

Insights in this article are taken from the recently released Festive Insights 2015 white paper. Click here to download your copy.

Christmas is the most important time of year for retailers. For many of us, it’s quite simply make or break. A good Christmas can rescue a disappointing year or ruin a successful one. The key element to success is having the right insights on which to base your decisions and there’s no more meaningful insight than knowing website traffic volumes and predicted periods of interest.

In 2014, festive retail behaviour experienced a dramatic shift when for the first time the traditionally US-inspired pre-Christmas sales dates established themselves as major events in the UK retail calendar. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Manic Monday surpassed Boxing Day, the January sales and the weeks running up to Christmas as the busiest online retail days of the season.

Here’s a quick recap of last year’s key dates:

Festive marketing

Click on the image to access the free report on Christmas 2015

It’s clear from these 2014 results that the UK consumer fully embraced Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Manic Monday. Success can be attributed to the huge marketing effort brands put into pushing the Black Friday agenda and the sophisticated techniques that were employed, such as personalisation, segmentation and cross-channel programmes.

The level of success these dates experienced means they are probably now a mainstay of the UK retail calendar. Of course, what everybody wants to know is what’s going to happen this year and what can we, as marketers, do to ensure we are best equipped to make the most of the festive period? Well first off you need to be aware of the big dates.

Christmas marketing calendar

Click on the image to access the full Festive Insights 2015 report for more insights and analysis like this.

 

And in 2015?…

Last year there was an unprecedented amount of interest in seasonal online deals and promotions around Black Friday and we’re expecting this year will be just as popular, if not more so.

Retailers should be ready for a similar surge in 2015, with online activity potentially increasing by up to 5-10% in terms of the number of visits to retail websites on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Manic Monday and the other key shopping dates in the calendar.

We do not feel like there will be a significant drop in numbers, nor will there be anywhere near as large a growth. The significant spikes of last year caught a few retailers out and, as I’m sure you noticed, there was plenty of coverage in the news about the logistical and delivery capabilities of many companies being put under strain.

So while we do not think the amount of deals and interest will increase at the same rate, the ability of brands to cater for the demand will improve markedly.

Our traffic predictions

  • Black Friday – 190 million to 200 million
  • Cyber Monday – 170 million to 185 million
  • Manic Monday – 150 million to 157million
  • Christmas Day – 150 million to 155 million
  • Boxing Day – 170 million to 190 million
  • New Year’s Day – 130 million to 137 million

What can marketers do to be prepared?

Retailers need to be ready for huge demand and geared up for extra delivery pressures (next day, click and collect, etc.) as some got caught out last year and there’s no excuse this time around.

Brands need to understand who their audiences are in order to cater for their needs and reach them more effectively. This includes knowing where and when they are most likely to shop. To achieve more efficient results and to ensure you deliver as the most tailored and engaging experience possible, this understanding of your customers’ needs to be thorough and robust.

Marketers need to be able to confidently say where customers are going to be shopping, the sorts of things they are interested in and when they will be there. When you know this it’s a case of focusing your efforts where your audience is so your marketing spend is more efficiently targeted.

 All insights in this article are taken from the 2015 Festive Insights white paper. Grab your copy today for more analysis of the key dates plus a look at festive email performance and a breakdown of who is likely to shop when – based on our demographic data.

Experian Marketing Services is a leading global provider of consumer insights, targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing. We help organisations intelligently interact with today’s empowered and hyper-connected consumers.

By helping marketers identify their best customers, find more of them, and then coordinate seamless and intelligent interactions across the most appropriate channels, Experian Marketing Services’ clients can deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximise profits.