Holiday scheduling used to seem like a simpler affair--- from Black Friday to Christmas you simply had to roll out your holiday deals and witness as people flocked to your business. In the intervening years however more opportunities have arisen. The landscape of the holiday season continues to evolve with the holiday season starting earlier and earlier than ever before (what Time.com refers to as “Holiday Creep”) and throughout this period more and more days have arisen that lets you take advantage of the season. We’ve numerated a few below that will help you make decisions when planning your savings to make sure your business does not miss a day.
Gray Thursday (11/26): The first date to be aware of is Gray Thursday, better known of course as Thanksgiving. In order to compete with the other stores’ Black Friday sales, many outlets are opening up on the night before. As Adweek puts it, the value of Black Friday is largely symbolic, and it does a business well to attempt to use that symbol for all its worth. Daily Finance reports that opening your doors up the night before can result in upwards of 6% of increased foot traffic and in 2014 rose 14.3 percent according to CNN. This year Gray Thursday will take place on Thursday, November 26th.
Black Friday (11/27): Directly after Gray Thursday is of course, Black Friday, the shopping day that defines the holiday retail schedule. Black Friday is of course when you offer the best deals on your wares and the day consumers know to look for them. In 2014 Americans spent 50.9 billion in total over the Black Friday weekend with an average of 380.9 centers per person according to the National Retail Federation. Of course, as noted above and will be noted below, Black Friday is no longer only one day. It’s the entire weekend with Friday being key. This year Black Friday will take place on Friday, November 27th.
Small Business Saturday (11/28): Coming up next on the retail calendar is Small Business Saturday, a day sponsored by American Express that lets small businesses take part in the holiday shopping weekend sales. According to the day’s official website, the day generated 14.3 billion dollars in sales and attracted 73.9 million people came to shop. Likewise, American express offers advertising material to help you promote your business on this day. This year Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, November 28th.
Cyber Monday (11/30): As key as Black Friday is to retail outlets, Cyber Monday is as vital a day to observe for your digital business. According to USA Today in 2014 Cyber Monday brought in two billion dollars in sales with at least 448 million of those coming from mobile devices. The day is relatively new but it keeps growing and growing and it’s important to keep abreast of it as it goes on. Cyber Monday will take place on Monday, November 30th.
Giving Tuesday (12/2): With the Black Friday weekend out of the way, its time to focus on the more fringe holidays. Amongst them, while not associated with any sale days but potentially important to your company is Giving Tuesday. Created by the 92nd Street Y in New York City, the day encourages businesses and individuals to give back to their communities and those in need. It could potentially be good PR for your business to participate. More information about Giving Tuesday can be found here and the day takes place on Tuesday, December 2nd.
Chanukah (12/6-12/14): Between all these days is the Jewish holiday, Chanukah, this year lasting from December 6th, 2015 to December 14th, 2015 and being a potential holiday to take advantage of at your business.
Green Monday (12/10): Green Monday (12/10), the busiest online sale day in December. While Green Monday does not hit the heights of Cyber Monday, it is still a sale day to be reckoned with.
Stamp and Ship Day (12/14): Ten days before Christmas, which would be on 12/14, is Stamp and Ship Day, considered to be the final day you can mail out Christmas gifts in the 7-10 day standard shipping period so they hit your home before Christmas Eve. A good day to remind customers of if you run an internet business.
Free Shipping Day (12/17): Free Shipping Day (12/17) is often also advertised by business giving free shipping on rush delivery orders for Christmas which can give you a good bump in sales.
Super Saturday (12/19): The final key day to consider before the holiday begins is Super Saturday, aka the Saturday before Christmas. Considered a last minute shopping day, stores often take advantage of it by extending their hours or offering special deals. It’s considered the busiest shopping day of the year and will take place this year on December 19th.
Then comes the lull. The gifts are given, the holiday celebrated and the nation takes a deep rest from the excitement of the holiday season. If you’ve done your work promoting your sales and days of celebration well, you too have earned a much deserved rest.
Gift Card Exchange Day (12/26): The final day you need to keep in mind is Gift Card Exchange Day on December 26th. It’s a day not quite useful to a traditional business but it’s good to be aware of it being the day that many who have received gift cards for the holidays exchanging them for monetary sums.
Regarding “Holiday Creep”: Another thing to keep in mind is the “Holiday Creep” period, meaning the season begins earlier and earlier. The earliest it’s been known to begin is November 1st, the day after Halloween. The point of this period is to make sure to beat other businesses to the money many consumers have. However, if not done correctly, the earliness of it can cause fatigue amongst customers as we head into the season. It’s a good idea to start early, but how early is up to you and what you think your business can sustain.
Follow this schedule well, and we promise your holiday season will be a profitable one!