The 2019 holiday shopping season is going to be a bit shorter than it has been in recent memory. With industry experts predicting the first-ever trillion-dollar shopping season, marketers need to read and react to signals quickly in order to optimize their campaigns mid-flight.
With the U.S. economy still extremely robust, wages up, and consumer unemployment down, households have more to spend during the holiday shopping season. According to eMarketer, U.S. retail sales for the 2019 holiday season are expected to grow significantly —up 3.8% year-over-year—making it the first trillion-dollar holiday season ever.
A short holiday season
Normally, Thanksgiving falls around November 22nd, which provides potential customers with plenty of time to shop before Christmas. This year, however, Thanksgiving is on November 28, with just 26 days between it and Christmas.
While the data seems to show that the Q4 consumer spending isn’t typically affected by a short holiday season, the abbreviated timeline does have an impact on marketers as they will have less time to adapt to market fluctuations.
For example, it’s hard to predict which products will get hot or which ad channels will work best, but in years past, marketers could wait and watch and then adjust their strategy accordingly. However, this year, marketers will have to read the signals and react faster in order to optimize their programs.
With the holiday season shorter than usual, yet bigger than ever, here are a few tips to help marketers stay nimble:
Stay connected to troubleshoot faster
Schedule a brief team meeting every morning between now and Christmas to surface any issues and figure them out quickly. Sometimes issues get drawn out because of the back and forth through email is inefficient. You can’t afford these delays this year with the short holiday season. Fix problems fast.
Look at your accounts three times a day
Have your channel teams take quick “sanity checks” every morning, noon, and before they leave for the day. Make sure that all of your priority accounts are all on and driving the expected amount of activity. If something silly like ads get put on editorial hold, a campaign runs out of budget, or a landing page crashes, it could result in lost sales that you won’t have time to make up.
Promote and Prune
We’d all like the proper time to fully analyze and test our hunches, but you might have to trust your gut this year. If an ad, ad group/set, or campaign seems to really be outperforming expectations, then run with it. Feed it some more budget. On the flip side, if any parts of your campaign seem to be lagging—and aren’t critical to your strategy—go ahead and shave off some their spend and redirect the investment into high performers.
Leverage our free advice
Kenshoo has guides to assist you with all your different 2019 holiday season marketing needs. Check out our Holiday Tips Checklists for the most important digital advertising channels. Kenshoo clients will find some amazing hacks to make this a successful short holiday season.
- Paid search holiday tips checklist
- Social advertising holiday tips checklist
- Amazon Advertising holiday tips checklist
- App marketing holiday tips checklist
This short holiday season, be more diligent than ever
The theme for marketers this year is “fast and furious.”
For methodical marketers, this might be a bit out of your comfort zone. But this isn’t the season to slow things down. It doesn’t mean you should go so fast that you make more mistakes—that just can’t happen. But there are certainly opportunities throughout the days and weeks to react faster than normal and push a bit harder. This is the most important time of year for most retailers, and your marketing organization is counting on you!