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Holiday Shopping Heats Up Early for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Holiday Shopping Heats Up Early for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

As retailers prepare themselves for what is expected to be a record-breaking holiday season, consumers are being tempted to purchase early with a variety of clever promotions. To save shoppers the hassle from leaving the comfort of their homes, online retailers are using sneak peak previews, countdown specials, free shipping, and social media campaigns to get a jump on the buying season.

Across the board, free shipping is the top incentive to buy. Retailers such as Nike, eBags, Macy’s, Land’s End and many more are offering free shipping on orders over $1 to $99.

Certona client Meijer.com predicts online holiday sales will double in 2010. “We’ve implemented a number of steps that translate directly into more deals for customers, including eliminating shipping costs for thousands of items, introducing fun promotions, and overhauling the design of the site to make it easier to find products and get answers to any questions you might have,” said Dawn Bronkema, director e-commerce marketing at Meijer.

Another Top IR 500 retailer Certona client, eBags.com, began their Thanksgiving holiday special starting Monday. “Meeting shoppers’ wishes for deep discounts on handbags and luggage meant getting some product manufacturers on board with discounting earlier than usual, says Peter Cobb, co-founder and senior vice president at eBags.com.

On Monday, consumers on Facebook could view all of Macy’s special deals the retailer will offer on Black Friday if they clicked the Like tab on the retailer’s social network page. Macy’s is not alone in turning to social media to promote its Black Friday specials. According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, 39.2% of retailers say they will use their Facebook page to announce and promote their day after Thanksgiving deals.

“The rules for Black Friday have changed significantly,” says Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving Day to announce their promotions, many retailers are getting shoppers excited about Black Friday by offering sneak peeks of deals in advance, using social media to create buzz, or teasing upcoming deals on their web sites.”