October 30, 2014, 12:12 PM

The online holiday shopping season starts now

Amazon is again kicking off its holiday sales on Nov. 1, just two days away. Other top online retailers already are featuring holiday offers on their home pages, with at least one promising deals that are “better than Black Friday.”

Lead Photo

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at some online retailers.

Jewelry Television, for example, has holiday imagery splashed across its home page. The retailer, No. 195 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, was one of 12 e-retailers to send more than 50 holiday e-mails last year. The home page features promotions for a holiday artisan shop, a holiday gift guide and $2.99 shipping.

At e-retail giant Amazon.com Inc., the holiday season officially starts Nov. 1. The e-retailer will launch more than 15,000 limited-time deals. Amazon also will offer two Deals of the Day every day through Dec. 22 and promises  a Countdown to Black Friday event in the coming weeks. "Starting in November, millions of holiday shoppers come to Amazon hunting for the best deals and that one perfect gift," says Steve Shure, Amazon vice president worldwide marketing. "This year, we will have more than 15,000 hand-selected, limited time promotions on hot products, including new early access deals for Prime members on many Lightning Deals from Amazon.com and daily sales events on MyHabit." Amazon also kicked off its holiday shopping sales on Nov. 1 last year.

QVC, an online and TV retailer, has gone all-in early. Upon arriving at the home page, a large pop-up takes over the screen with “Better than Black Friday. All the deals. None of the craziness.” For consumers who enter their e-mails addresses, QVC promises to send them holiday offers and special prices. The first e-mail should go out Nov. 13, the e-retailers says. QVC’s parent company, Liberty Interactive Corp., is No. 6 in the Top 500 Guide.

BarnesandNoble.com, No. 28 in the Top 500 Guide, features on the home page scrolling images that are all holiday-related. An image of the Samsung 4 Nook pictured next to Christmas tree ornaments and a pretty prominent Holiday Gift Guide are called out at the top of the page.

The holidays have also arrived at Gap Inc, No. 19 in the Top 500 Guide. The lead image features products from Kate Spade, Jack Spade and GapKids, with a tag line “Imagine your way to holiday.” Below that is another large image that encourages shoppers to “Give them something festive,” with photos of models wearing scarves and sweaters.

About halfway down the home page of Macy’s Inc., No.8 in the Top 500, a section features a holiday gift guide. It allows consumers to shop by recipient (a new feature); to vote for their 10 favorite gifts; to sort by gifts under $25, $50 and $100; and to shop for her, him, kids, home, teens and cosmetics.

Williams-Sonoma Inc., No. 21 in the Top 500, is double dipping: Above the fold is all Thanksgiving while a Holiday Countdown is featured prominently below the fold. Wayfair LLC, too, is promoting Thanksgiving high up on the home page, but has a substantial Christmas section just below with a gift guide and a Christmas tree shop. Wayfair is No. 45 in the Top 500.


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