When Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1843, he was driven as much by financial desperation as inspiration. Dickens wrote and published the classic tale to pay off crippling debt, says a WIFE.org article. But, thanks to a few ghosts from his past, even Scrooge changed his miserly behavior and experienced the joy of Christmas gift giving.
A new holiday trends shopping report from Yesmail Interactive says that, due to the sluggish economy, many shoppers may act similarly Scrooge-like. According to an eBay/Edgell Network report, retailers are looking at a 5% decline in Thanksgiving sales due to showrooming; the use of stores as showrooms to research, view, touch or try, but then buy elsewhere wherever the best value can be found.
In addition, according to the Yesmail research, there will be a lot of procrastinators (51 percent) making their holiday purchases during November and the first two weeks of December. However, a full 24 percent will wait until December to start their shopping.
The bright side to this Scrooge-like Christmas – 7 out of 10 surveyed consumers plan to spend the same or more than they did in 2011, thus continuing the trend from last year when overall holiday sales increased by 4.1 percent. Read more
Black Friday: the day when the holiday season is full-on in-your-face, and you’re about to be as busy as a one-armed paper-hanger. Many online sellers have been in holiday mode for weeks already. But when it comes to that critical date, the day after Thanksgiving, what are some of the things online sellers should do, and just as importantly, what should they not be doing during this frenzied time?
We spoke to a few experts in the fields of marketing, website management and online selling to gather up their best tips. Read on for all kinds of ideas for what to do to make your Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) smooth sailing this year. (Note that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday is the following Monday.)
Web Site Prep
For those online sellers who have their own website, after Black Friday is not the time to make major changes or updates to your website.
Minimize, or completely eliminate, site updates over the six weeks following Cyber Monday, advises Fred Lizza, CEO of Dydacomp. If critical updates are required, they should be done during off-peak hours, between 3 and 8 am, he says.
Test and re-test holiday promotions.
While design changes should also be kept to a minimum and avoided if the site can go without them, Lizza says, many online retailers will want to highlight special holiday promotions online.
“If updates are made, test those changes thoroughly before they go into production – then test them again. Add software that enables testing in multiple browsers, as there are a number of popular options available and you can’t predict what browser any one customer may be using. Create and use a test page, never a live page, and keep a backup of the original page in the event there are issues with the new page when it goes live,” he says. Read more