The holiday season keeps growing more complicated for financial marketers. A swirl of new factors impacting retailing offers more ways than ever to promote credit services. Two key questions must be addressed:
- Should financial marketers spend earlier in the season to beat the crowd and actually connect with consumers before they tune out?
- Is there any advantage in targeting potential credit spenders by gender or generation?
The answers are particularly important as competition for consumer credit comes from more directions than ever. A visit to the website of online point-of-sale lender Affirm, for example, shows how many brands popular with younger generations have partnered with this nonbank, nontraditional lender. In early 2019 Affirm announced a partnership with Walmart to offer its payment plans both at its stores and through Walmart.com.
Say ‘Merry Christmas’ Before It’s Too Late
Here’s a fundamental query: When does the holiday shopping period begin? You might think the official beginning is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when many retailers start holiday sales and promotions.
The starting line, though, has moved earlier. Multiple studies indicate that consumers start their holiday shopping efforts — and likely their initial thinking about how they are going to pay for it — earlier and earlier. Some may still be wearing flip flops when making decisions regarding holidays that traditionally identified with the snowy season.
“The holiday season is beginning earlier than ever, with most consumers having started their holiday shopping efforts by September,” says OpenX in its “Consumer Holiday Shopping Report,” compiled by The Harris Poll. “Marketers traditionally plan holiday media buys over the summer, and, increasingly, consumers are now starting to plan at the same time.” ROI Revolution’s holiday marketing study indicates that about half of marketers surveyed plan to launch their holiday campaigns before Halloween.
The OpenX report indicates that, somewhat incredibly, 50% of consumers surveyed indicate that they begin things in September, or even earlier. Labor Day Weekend used to be considered the end of summer and Christmas was far away. But now, many consumers seem to be hitting the fast forward button.
Or maybe not.
Reality Check: Other studies indicate that a certain amount of that planning and intentions to get the holiday shopping done early reflect wishful thinking, and that many American shoppers actually do a lot of procrastinating. Still, Black Friday no longer serves as the only milestone.
Many community financial institution marketers have likely heard about Small Business Saturday, now called “Shop Small Saturday,” and certainly anyone with anything containing a chip knows about Cyber Monday, the online world’s Black Friday.
But Yes Marketing notes other milestone days gaining recognition. One is “Super Saturday,” coming to be the slow-poke’s Black Friday. This is the last Saturday before Christmas and includes not only in-store purchases but online pickups made near the wire. Another milestone is “Green Monday,” the second Monday in December and the last day to be able to order online with standard shipping and still be able to count on delivery before Christmas. Both of these lesser-known days entail lots of credit purchase.
Have a Merry Christmas 2019 to all our esteemed clients. Make YOUR BUSINESS DREAM COMES TRUE!