In Retail
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The Rise of Early Holiday Shopping


he holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes the excitement of festive decorations, delicious treats, and gift-giving. Black Friday used to mark the start of the holiday shopping season, but in recent years the number of Americans who start holiday shopping before Thanksgiving has increased.

Consumers are increasingly getting a head start on their holiday shopping. Early shoppers have the luxury of exploring various options, comparing prices, and ensuring online purchases arrive on time and don’t get stuck in the last-minute delivery rush. Fifty percent of consumers expect to start their holiday shopping before November, per a new Optimove consumer survey. When asked what will motivate them to buy, 65% pointed to discounted prices. 

More and more people are choosing to start their holiday shopping early, and here’s a deeper look at the reasons behind this trend.

Avoiding the Last-Minute Rush

Holiday shopping can be stressful, particularly for those who wait until the last minute. One of the most significant motivations for early holiday shopping is the desire to avoid the last-minute rush. Shoppers who begin their gift-buying well in advance can browse leisurely, make thoughtful choices, and avoid the stress and chaos of crowded stores and long checkout lines. 

Waiting until the last minute also limits your ability to find the gifts you want. Many retailers release limited-quantity or exclusive holiday products. By starting early, shoppers can significantly reduce stress and anxiety associated with tight deadlines and the fear of not finding the right gifts in time. Savvy shoppers start early to ensure they get their hands on these coveted items before they sell out. Whether it’s a special edition toy or a highly sought-after electronic gadget, early birds have the advantage of options. 

holiday present
By starting early, shoppers can significantly reduce stress and anxiety associated with tight deadlines and the fear of not finding the right gifts in time.

Taking Advantage of Early Deals

Most consumers (79%) say their spending has been impacted by inflation in recent months, with 56% saying inflation is impacting holiday shopping plans, according to Jungle Scout’s latest consumer trends report. As consumers grapple with high inflation and interest rates, they are increasingly cutting back on spending and taking advantage of early holiday deals.

Retailers often introduce early holiday sales and promotions to entice early shoppers, increase customer engagement, and lengthen the amount of time for consumer spending. Discounts, special offers, and bundled deals can be significant incentives for those who start their holiday shopping ahead of the crowd. This allows shoppers to take advantage of bargains before they disappear and save money on their holiday spending.

Ensuring On-Time Delivery

For those relying on delivery services, the longer you wait to buy gifts, the greater the chance that your delivery will be delayed. With a surge in last-minute online shopping, delivery operations often get overwhelmed during the peak holiday season. Additionally, winter storms and inclement winter weather put a strain on delivery operations, often leading to delivery delays. 

Early shopping ensures that consumers receive their packages on time, and delivery providers can spread out deliveries more manageably. Consumers can take care of all of their gift-buying while the weather is still relatively warm and delivery providers are not overwhelmed by last-minute consumer demand, ensuring an enjoyable shopping experience.

The trend of starting holiday shopping early has been gaining momentum over the past few years. From avoiding stress to saving money and securing the best deals, getting a head start on holiday shopping this year can lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season.

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