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Consumers to get jump-start on holiday shopping this year

This year’s holiday shopping season will once again kick off early with consumers motivated to avoid shipping delays and out-of-stock items. But this year will lack last year’s singular early season tentpole event: Amazon punted on hosting an October Prime Day. Still, the ecommerce behemoth found other ways to prime shoppers for an early start:

  • “Holiday Beauty Haul.” This debut event for the cosmetics category kicked off October 4.
  • “Black Friday-worthy.” This cross-category promotion of early season deals also went live October 4.
  • Amazon Fire TV Omni Series. The company’s first-ever line of full-screen TVs will be available in late October.

Even without the fanfare of an official Q4 Prime Day, consumers anticipate ramping up their holiday spending early. A recent survey from Jungle Scout found that 31% of US consumers expected to start their holiday shopping in October or earlier, and 55% expected to start before Thanksgiving.

The absence of a late-year Prime Day means competing retailers won’t have an industrywide tentpole event to counterprogram against. Target was the first major retailer to announce its own early promotional event, Target Deal Days, which began October 10 and includes a price-matching guarantee if the retailer drops the price later in the season. While Target is no Amazon, it may have enough clout in the brick-and-mortar world to establish that early season tentpole for others to rally around.

But the Prime Day void will not be easily filled, and a more disjointed early promotion season ultimately raises the stakes for the Cyber Five period.

Read the full report.