The heck with Black Friday. Walmart, Target, Amazon and other big US retailers want shoppers to start spending the hard-earned cash they’ve been stashing away for the last 10 months for holiday goodies now.
Walmart and Target are kicking out the pumpkins on Nov. 1st to clear the decks for a tinsel-laden year-end holiday blitz. Walmart is breaking out a big sale while Target is offering free shipping from its website. Walmart isn’t going so far as to offer free shipping, but it is sprucing up its stores and website to help make shopping easier and more inviting than ever before.
While kids are still counting their Halloween candy, Walmart will be discounting thousands of items in-store. However, it is offering even more rollbacks online, according to USA Today. Target isn’t offering a big sale on Sunday, but it is unrolling its holiday décor in-store and online.
The big retailers are working to make in-store pickups of online purchases more efficient. Walmart’s mobile app will allow consumers to let the store know that it has entered the building so that the product will be waiting for them when they get to the pickup window.
Retail Dive reports that Walmart is expecting “almost 75% of holiday traffic to its website to come from mobile.” With this in mind, the retailer is enhancing its app so “customers can scan items in store to build a wish list or search for someone else’s wish list.”
Target, meanwhile, has unveiled its holiday campaign by announcing “The Holiday Odyssey, which tells a season-long story with the spotlight on many of our top holiday toys and products. Complete with captivating new TV spots, in-store displays and digital experiences, it’s filled with holiday fun that’s sure to excite the kid in all of us.”
As its press release continues about its holiday 2015 campaign: “Picture this: Three kids join Bullseye the dog on a holiday journey to light up a giant Christmas tree. They meet up with some memorable characters—including Minions, Ninja Turtles, Barbie and more—along the way. Guests can follow along as the tale unfolds, beginning with a free digital storybook launching Nov. 4 at Target.com/adventure. It’s narrated by actor Neil Patrick Harris, and filled with moving pictures and digital interactions for families to enjoy,” as you can watch below:
This is the second year in a row that Target has dropped its shipping fees for the holidays. In addition, it has made a deal with Borderfree Inc. so that it can ship products to 200 other countries and territories as well, Reuters reports.
Best Buy is also ditching its $35 minimum for free shipping until early January. Target also has expanded its program that allows consumers to ship products from the retail locations to 460 stores.
“We believe international consumers will love shopping the great brands, great prices and exclusive products that are synonymous with Target,” stated Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com.
Target is all about expansion this holiday season, including expanding its curbside pickup from 21 stores last year to 121. It’s also upping its online grocery delivery partnership with Instacart from two stores to six during the holidays.
Amazon, of course, isn’t sitting around idle. It’s encouraging people who use the Amazon Fire TV Stick remote to make purchases directly from their TVs, reportedly part of a bigger plan to merge online shopping and product placement on TV with its own shopping channel.