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'Tis the Season to Spend Money

It’s almost Christmastime, which means Starbucks Peppermint Mochas are out and Crabtree Valley Mall has already had their decorations up for almost a month. Forget the 12 days of Christmas - it’s the two months of Christmas!

It seems so early, but stores begin their holiday marketing in November for a couple of reasons - one, it targets the customers who prefer to spread their spending out instead of all at once; two, the earlier they start shopping the more likely they are to spend more over time; and three, who doesn’t love the cheery pick-me-up of Christmas music during exam time? There needs to be a study done on the effects of Christmas music on successful exam studying…it has to lower grades.

Christmas music, so inescapable as it is, serves a real purpose for retail businesses. A study found that making shoppers feel festive as they shop - through music, decorations, and even Christmasy smells - entices shoppers to buy more and be more generous in the amount of money they spend on their presents. Stores regularly try and affect the mood of the shopper to affect their shopping habits, but the cheery nature of Christmas makes it far too easy. Parents especially want to give their kids a good Christmas and are enticed by the music and sales to spend more than they know they should.

Black Friday was very recently an extremely important day for holiday spending. Over the past couple of years, revenue has been decreasing as shoppers instead turn to spending money on experiences instead of things and finding their presents online. Can’t beat online; with the price comparisons and the ability to read reviews, shopping online promotes education of the product, while shopping in store preys on impulse and ignorance.

Still, if you are one of those pre-dawn shoppers lined up outside of the mall on Black Friday, beware. While Doorbuster sales draw you in to the discount, you are more likely to spend excess money anyway. For all the effort it took to wait in line and run through the store, as well as the sacrifice you made of your sleep, you feel you need to get your shoppings-worth. So, you end up buying more items to feel that all the efforts and sacrifices to get there were worth it. Advice: just stay in bed! Online shopping is the way to go.

So the next time you pass by Santa in the mall and wonder why parents let their children sit on a strange old man’s lap or surf the radio for anything other than Christmas music, you can thank your fellow marketer and smile softly knowing that one day, you’ll be the one employing holiday marketing.

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