3 marketing predictions for the 2017 holiday season

McKenzie Gregory


Here’s what we know for sure: The holidays can make or break a retailer's entire year. 
According to the National Retail Federation, the months of November and December alone often represent as much as 30 percent of annual sales for retailers, and Deloitte said it expects retailers to see holiday sales growth of as much as 4.5 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, e-commerce sales are expected to increase 18 to 21 percent.
But while we know the holidays will be huge for retailers, there still are some unknowns about this year's season and what retail marketers will have up their sleeves. Here are three of our top predictions for what you can expect in 2017. 

1. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will lose their luster.

Echoing the trend observed in 2016, RetailMeNot expects Black Friday deals to start well in advance of Thanksgiving Day, and last beyond Cyber Monday. The holiday shopping weekend of Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday will expand into two full weeks of deals, if not more. Some brands will adopt the entire month of "Black November" to run their biggest holiday sales. 

In response to the longer sales period and a lack of urgency around promotions, Black Friday and Cyber Monday as day-long, standalone holidays will see fewer shoppers and fewer promotions. 


2. We’ll see video, video, and more video. 

Everyone's obsessed with video right now, and for good reason: At this point in time, video is one of the most shareable, engaging content mediums out there. According to Social Media Today, 50% of marketers who use video in email see increased click rates, sharing, and forwarding.
Plus, according to Cisco, video traffic will drive over 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2019. 
As the medium of the moment, brands will lean even harder into video this holiday season. Expect festive, seasonal promo videos across platforms and plenty of social video content that capitalizes on influencer relationships.
In 2016, Kate Spade put influencers Anna Kendrick and Zosia Mamet in the spotlight in their holiday video series. 

3. Self-gifting will be bigger than ever. 

About 70 percent of shoppers admit that they bought a gift or two for themselves during the holiday season last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Retailers will capitalize on the growing trend by running dedicated "Treat Yourself" promotions for the 2017 holidays. To accompany this sentiment, bonus offers will be huge, like gift cards or exclusive items with your purchase. 
Garmin encouraged 2016 shoppers to treat themselves. Expect more of this messaging in 2017!


Have any predictions for what we'll see in holiday retail marketing this year? Sound off in the comments! 

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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