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Christmas Shopping, Multi-Channel Sales and the impact of the frenzy on Product Packaging


Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, a marketing construct to promote online shopping the following Monday, represents the days when Christmas sales attain critical mass. Compelling offers across product categories makes it an ideal time not just for buying gifts but for shopping in general for clothing, electronics and appliances, jewelry, health and personal care, consumer packaged goods to sporting goods.

In 2016, 101.7 million people thronged the shopping districts across the US on Black Friday and Thanksgiving as opposed to 74 million the previous year. In 2017 that number declined by 4% but sample this, online sales rose 17.9% from an year ago period and that’s $7.9 billion in sales.

According to National Retail Federation, in the US “holiday sales for 2018 are expected to increase by 4.3-4.8% over 2017.”

The above numbers, trend and projections should get the product companies excited. It sure does and everybody from Category Killers to Amazon prepare themselves to garner maximum wallet share from a customer.

Limited edition launches, customized packaging, discounts, offer packs and free shipping are a few areas that companies focus on to delight customers.

Take Sephora. “$15 and under” is their top promotional activity this season across online and physical stores. New exclusive products under $15 till supplies last. This is in addition to a host of exclusives and limited editions launched specifically for this season – beauty offers, makeup must-haves, gifts under $25, holiday classes and parties, Sephora is sparing no effort.

Did you know that, according to Nielsen, “Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the biggest holidays for wine sales in the U.S., accounting for 69% more dollar sales than the average two-week period in 2016”?

Not just vino, but the following infographic from National Retail Federation (NRF) neatly tabularizes data on holiday sales (Nov/Dec) period.

Inference: Regardless of categories, retailers, both online and offline, are going to be busy selling more products.

So, you are a product company! How do you beat the competition this holiday season?

As per NRF, the answer could be a mix of the following:

  • Offers – nothing beats a discount
  • If online, then free shipping seals the deal
  • Phygital – provide the best of both worlds, physical and digital, using technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Predictive Analytics and Internet of Things
  • Packaging design – functionally innovative packs with design that celebrate the mood of the holiday

Product companies need a digital strategy to mitigate risks from competitors and also to aggressively expand product mix as well as venture into new markets without missing a beat. Workflows should be moved from legacy, email-based setup to seamless, web-based processes. For instance, leaders in CPG have started adopting customizable artwork management system that can help them reduce their time to market by producing first time right artworks. To know more, visit www.manageartworks.com

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