Loyalty Tops Retailers’ Wish Lists as Holiday Sales at Walmart, Amazon, Target, and More Kick Off

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

October holiday sales at Amazon, Target, and Walmart have arrived, ushering in the holiday shopping season and rewarding loyalty members with early deals. 

    • Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days runs Tuesday, October 10 at 3 a.m. through October 11.
    • The Walmart Deals – Holiday Kickoff savings event runs Monday, October 9 at noon EDT through October 12.  
    • Target ran its Target Circle Week event October 1-7, exclusively for members of Target Circle, its free-to-join loyalty program.
One of the Target Circle Week deals offered was half off a new annual same-day delivery membership for Shipt (down to $49, reg. $99), so buyers could avoid the store and have orders of $35 or more delivered in as soon as an hour.

Target Circle Week, which ended Saturday, was the first storied sale to hit the public. The full week of savings is only for loyalty members, but Target Circle is a free-to-join loyalty program. Target’s Deal of the Day sales are now exclusively for Circle members as well, running October 1 through December 24.

Best Buy loyalty members are also seeing exclusive savings. Every day in October, Best Buy Plus and Total members will get exclusive access to thousands of deals and discounts. Members who spend $500 in October will receive a $50 reward certificate to use on Best Buy purchases in December and Best Buy will give members early access to some Black Friday deals October 27-29 to end the month.

[Read Also: Holiday Retail Forecasts and Predictions 2023]

Of course consumers have to be Prime members to shop Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days. Starting Tuesday, Amazon said new deals will drop as often as every five minutes during select periods throughout the event and Amazon will offer members personalized recommendations based on past purchases, browsing history, and items saved to their Lists. Prime members can also sign up for Invite-only deals on select products expected to sell out and subscribe to receive deal-alert notifications related to recent Amazon searches and recently viewed items. 

As the sales kick off, Numerator predicts that Prime Big Deal Days will likely be smaller than July’s Prime Day — last year, the Prime Early Access Sale saw a 6-point drop in household participation compared to Prime Day 2022; however, the event will likely bring a significant boost to overall e-commerce sales.

E-commerce Sales

The Walmart Deals – Holiday Kickoff savings event diverts from loyalty grabbing, by being open to all shoppers, but the deals are online only.

Deloitte forecasts e-commerce sales will grow between 10.3% to 12.8%, year-over-year, during the 2023-2024 holiday season (November to January). This will likely result in e-commerce holiday sales reaching between $278 billion and $284 billion this season.

“This season e-commerce sales should continue to be strong as consumers search for the best deals online to maximize their wallets,” said Nick Handrinos, vice chair, Deloitte LLP, and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution and consumer products leader. “Retailers who remain flexible to shifting consumer demand and behaviors will likely be poised for growth this holiday season.”

U.S. retail sales excluding automotive are expected to increase 3.7% year-over-year (YOY) this holiday season (November 1 through December 24), according to Mastercard SpendingPulse Consumers are anticipated to shop across channels, with e-commerce expected to increase +6.7%, and in-store sales to increase +2.9% YOY. 

“While the consumer of holidays past may have been a consumer trying to find footing in a rapidly shifting economy, the consumer of holidays present has taken their power back,” said Michelle Meyer, U.S. Chief Economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “We expect these individuals to impressively navigate the holiday season, making choices and trade-offs that best suit their lifestyles.”  

“This holiday season, retailers will be vying for consumer dollars. With numerous choices and tightening budgets, you can anticipate shoppers to be increasingly selective and value-focused,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated.

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