Thanksgiving, at one point, kicked off the official holiday season. Then it started pushing into early November. Today, retail stores start rolling out holiday decorations and Christmas music as early as October.
Thanksgiving is the first official holiday of the holiday season, followed by Christmas and New Year’s. After Thanksgiving, though, a series of unofficial holidays have become mainstream – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.
For businesses and nonprofit organizations, capitalizing on these unofficial holidays is critically important. Consumers have money and they want to spend it. Those same people also are looking for causes to support.
Below is a brief look about the upcoming unofficial holidays and videos to help businesses and nonprofits reach their year-end goals.
A common belief is that Black Friday got its name because that was when businesses went from the red to the black. Although the Friday after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, that story isn’t accurate. Reader’s Digest notes two possible origins: a gold market crash in the 1860s and jam-packed Philadelphia streets and stores during the mid-1900s.
Today, Black Friday is strictly a shopping event. The National Retail Federation notes 66% of respondents in its 2021 survey planned to shop over Thanksgiving weekend.
“We’re expecting another record-breaking holiday season this year and Thanksgiving weekend will play a major role as it always has,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Nonetheless, consumers are starting earlier than ever to be sure they can get what they want, when they want it, at a price they want to pay. Black Friday stopped being a one-day event years ago, and this year some consumers started shopping for Christmas as early as Halloween.”
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Small Business Saturday
American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage people to “shop small.” This was at a point when big-box retailers were going head-to-head to win Black Friday. The goal of Small Business Saturday was to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. American Express’ Consumer Insights Survey estimated Small Business Saturday spending at $19.8 billion in 2020. That represents a slight increase from 2019 despite the pandemic.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers 10 tips for Small Business Saturday success:
- Give yourself a digital makeover
- Show what sets you apart
- Get social on social media
- Plan an event
- Partner up
- Leverage local events
- Promote gift cards
- Stay open longer
- Chat with staff
- Track success
In 2020, Priority Marketing President and Senior Creative Director Teri Hansen, APR, drafted an article titled “Support for small businesses, small nonprofits critical this year.” Although a year has passed, the need for support is still strong.
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The National Retail Federation coined the term Cyber Monday in 2005 after noticing an uptick in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. That trend has exploded as nearly all major retailers now offer online, one-day exclusive sales. Digital Commerce 360 predicts Americans will spend $11.38 billion through e-commerce purchases on Cyber Monday.
The U.S. Small Business Administration lists three strategies to capitalize on Cyber Monday and online shopping trends:
- Leverage emails to grow sales
- Engage with customers on social media
- Add a personal touch to communications
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The fifth and final “holiday” over a six-day period, Giving Tuesday is not about spending or buying. It’s about supporting local causes. Giving Tuesday is an international movement created in 2012 with a simple purpose – encouraging people to do good.
Priority Marketing’s philanthropic-minded creative professionals drafted a “How to Help” guide for Giving Tuesday that contains four steps:
- Choose a cause: Pick an issue, cause or movement that is near and dear to your heart.
- Find a local nonprofit: Identify a nearby organization that addresses the cause you want to support.
- Decide how to help: Organizations need monetary donations, in-kind support and volunteers.
- Get started: Make that first telephone call, send that first email or show up at that first event.
Businesses and nonprofits that think strategically during the holiday are well-positioned for success. These holidays are one-time events, so preparation and planning are keys to reaching your ultimate goal.
Want to learn more about driving sales or donations? Please give us a call today at 239-267-2638 or send an email to info@PriorityMarketing.com.