Tag Archive for: Black Friday Sales

7 Ways Black Friday Is Different From Cyber Monday

It’s easy to lump Cyber Monday into the Black Friday fold, but this $3 billion shopping holiday has some unique traits of its own.

When discussing late-November sales, we frequently refer to the “Black Friday season.” This is because the big day itself has morphed into something bigger, even absorbing Thanksgiving. We often rope Cyber Monday into this term, too, as retailers tend to roll one day of sales into another at this time of year.

But Cyber Monday exhibits its own unique traits outside of Black Friday, starting with the fact that it’s outpacing the “main” shopping holiday in savings. Cyber Monday saw more Editors’ Choice deals than Black Friday in both 2014 and 2013.

So what makes Cyber Monday so special? Read on to learn a little more about everyone’s second-favorite shopping holiday.

Cyber Monday Has Happier Origins

Pinning down the origin of the term “Black Friday” is not easy, but the current prevailing theory goes like this: Philadelphia police negatively coined the term in the 1950s. Apparently, hordes of people would descend upon the town on the Friday after Turkey Day, ahead of the annual Army/Navy football game on Saturday. Stores would take advantage of all the extra business by promoting big sales, and cops were stuck with long, busy shifts that left them dreading the date.

Black Friday didn’t come into its more widespread, awesome reputation until the 1980s. But Cyber Monday’s origins are much more recent; the term was coined by the National Retail Federation in 2005 to describe the Monday after Thanksgiving, when people continued to shop online after returning to work. And nothing makes anyone happier than goofing off at work!

And There Are Fewer Ads

Before you’ve even thought about where to find the best deal on a turkey, you’re no doubt aware of the upcoming Black Friday sales. This is because retailers (and intrepid deal sites) have been posting Black Friday ads far in advance, sometimes as early as the beginning of October. However, we see comparatively fewer Cyber Monday ads — possibly because retailers know that shoppers will check out those sales anyway.

According to a recent DealNews survey, 85% of consumers said they’ll be shopping on Cyber Monday, up from 76% in 2014. Compare that to the 53% of people who said they’ll shop on Thanksgiving. Too many Cyber Monday ads might discourage even more Thanksgiving shoppers.

In-Store Doorbusters Go Bye-Bye

Along with fewer ads comes a dearth of doorbusters. Cyber Monday is an online shopping holiday, after all, so there’s no reason to go knocking down the doors of your local Sears to score a $5 toaster. Of course, “doorbusters” in general are dying out. In-store shoppers have long been frustrated by the concept of low-stock items that sell out in seconds, and retailers are listening. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find so-called doorbusters listed online on Black Friday.

Cyber Monday Has the Most Online Sales

We’re not talking about coupons here; by “sales,” we actually mean goods sold. Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year, and Adobe has estimated that it’ll reach $3 billion in sales for the first time this year, a 12% increase over 2014. Compare that to Black Friday, which is expected to generate $2.7 billion in online sales, and Thanksgiving, which will do $1.6 billion.

Why are shoppers still eager to spend funds on Cyber Monday, even after Black Friday? According to Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst for forecast tech consultancy Forrester Research, it’s because “customers had fewer negative associations with Cyber Monday than with Black Friday.” See? Everyone loves shopping at work.

But Fewer Mobile Shoppers

That same Adobe report we mentioned above revealed that Thanksgiving is projected to become the king of mobile sales in 2015. For the first time ever, mobile devices will overtake more traditional computers on Thanksgiving to drive the majority — 51% — of online visits, representing 29% of online purchases that day. This mobile mania won’t last, though; both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to see more traditional online traffic.

Some People Are Totally Shopping at Work

And you thought we were joking! While not a federal holiday, the Friday after Thanksgiving is a public holiday in 24 states. By Monday, everyone is back at work and almost certainly browsing sales at their desks. To be fair, a wonderfully industrious 56% of shoppers claimed they didn’t shop at work last year in our survey.

Sadly, these hardworking shoppers may miss out on the best bargains. Last year 67% of the deals we found on Cyber Monday were posted before 5 pm ET. That means bargain hunters will have to log on during business hours to snag the best sales.

Fashionistas Love Cyber Monday

The Black Friday season is like the Olympics, with different shopping events on each shopping holiday. Where Thanksgiving and Black Friday are better for electronics, Cyber Monday shines in soft goods. Clothes and shoes are especially awesome buys, with retailers busting out Black Friday-beating coupons in several cases. Beauty products are another oft-overlooked, but awesome, Cyber Monday category.

Should you not be the sartorial sort, you can always stock up on toys, or shop for a new major appliance. Better yet, book a killer hotel deal on Cyber Monday; you’ve probably had enough of those visiting relatives at this point.

In the end, if you’ve been ignoring Cyber Monday, it’s time to give this hardworking holiday another shot. With billions of dollars under its belt, this shopping extravaganza is here to stay!

H/T: DealNews.



Tips For A Successful Email Marketing Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us with Black Friday right around the corner, it’s time to super-charge your email marketing strategy.

The holiday season represents a huge opportunity for marketers to connect with their audiences and drive sales. Holiday sales in 2015 are expected to represent approximately 19 percent of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. Additionally, the National Retail Federation is forecasting online sales to increase between 6 and 8 percent to as much as $105 billion.

To help you make the most of it, here are 10 tips that will make your email marketing results merrier:

1. Mark Your Calendar

Email marketing is a highly effective method to reach people this holiday season. With 57% of email subscribers spending 10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week, you’re likely to reach people no matter where they are. Here are this season’s most notable holidays to plan your email campaigns around:

Veterans Day – Wednesday, November 11

Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 26

Black Friday – Friday, November 27

Small Business Saturday – Saturday, November 28

Cyber Monday – Monday, November 30

Hanukkah – Begins Sunday, December 6

Green Monday – Monday, December 14

Free Shipping Day – Friday, December 18

Winter Solstice – Tuesday, December 22

Christmas Eve – Thursday, December 24

Christmas Day- Friday, December 25

Boxing Day – Saturday, December 26

Kwanzaa – Begins Saturday, December 26

New Year’s Eve – Thursday, December 31

New Year’s Day – Friday, January 1

2. Use Progressive Profiling To Send Segmented Offers

Predictive intelligence and individualized recommendations are great, but during the holiday season, your subscribers’ historical data (even very recent data) may not be very helpful because they’re shopping for others more than themselves. Rather than using data to make guesses, it can be more effective to just ask your subscribers what kinds of products they’re interested in.

For instance, on Nov. 13, 2013, Zulily sent a progressive profiling email that resulted in a brand alert email being triggered on Thanksgiving Day. And on Nov. 5, 2014, Sony sent a progressive profiling email where respondents received a targeted triggered email on Black Friday.

In both cases, that’s great timing for an email that the recipient is already primed to act on.

3. Add Seasonal Content To Your Triggered Emails

Triggered emails are not “set it and forget it,” they are “review and renew.” That’s especially true going into the holiday season.

Make your triggered emails more relevant to holiday shoppers by adding seasonal imagery to the headers and gift services footers to the bottom of those emails, and adjust the logic and timing of your cart and browse abandonment emails. For instance, time to purchase is compressed during big shopping days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday, so you’ll likely want to fire off your abandonment emails more quickly than usual.

4. Use Preview Text To Support Your Subject Lines

This is a quick win for the holiday season. Preview or snippet text is displayed under or to the right of the subject line in the inbox view of many major email clients, including the native iPhone email app, Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

Last November, only 47 percent of B2C marketers were optimizing their preview text so that it supported their subject lines. Anecdotally, it’s only slightly higher today.

Think of preview text as a second subject line — and you wouldn’t dream of having long URLs, administrative text and other nonsense filling up your subject line. Whether you use visible or hidden preheader text to create your preview text, don’t leave it to chance.

5. Use Social Media For Aspirational Discovery, And Site Search And Purchase Data For More Practical Discovery

Social media sites like Pinterest can tell you what people aspire to buy from you, and that information can be super-useful in getting your subscribers excited about the holiday season and thinking about the possibilities. That’s especially true early in the holiday season.

But what’s actually happening on your site and in your stores, regarding the products that your customers are buying or actively considering, can be much more telling and worthy of focus.

Consider using this information in your email campaigns more as we get further into the season, when the wisdom of the crowd can be a powerful tool to direct shoppers to your most popular products.

6. Resist The Urge To Email Chronically Inactive Subscribers

It can be oh-so-tempting to want to get a little holiday boost by emailing a bunch of your subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails in a long time, but resist the urge. The vast, vast majority of subscribers who haven’t engaged in more than two years are likely long gone, with a good chunk of those having abandoned or changed their email address.

Email a bunch of those folks during the holiday season, and you risk getting junked or blocked — which means that you risked your ability to reach your loyal, engaged subscribers for a shot at re-engaging a tiny percentage of inactive subscribers. Not a good bet.

For a smarter, less risky bet, try to identify the seasonal shoppers among your subscribers, those who were engaged and purchased during the holiday season but then quickly became silent afterward and haven’t engaged since. Those subscribers are much better candidates for re-engagement efforts going into Thanksgiving week.

7. Merry Mobile-Friendly Emails

Lastly, and perhaps most important, is ensuring your emails are mobile-friendly. It’s no surprise that prior to (and during) holiday shopping trips, consumers are looking to their mobile devices for the top email offers in their inboxes. Data points in this direction, with internal analytics showing that 50-70% of merchants’ marketing emails are being read on a mobile or tablet device. Coupled with Goldman Sachs’ forecast that mobile commerce will jump to $626 billion in 2018, proves the importance of meshing mobile and email.

Note that 65 percent of all email in the US is now opened first on a mobile device. Take advantage of this device segmenting by sending email offers with key words such as “[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][INSERT HOLIDAY] SALE!” or “[INSERT HOLIDAY] – 30% Off Online Only!” Phrases such as “Early-Bird Special” or “24 Hour Sale” work well too.

Keeping mobile top of mind will improve your lead generation and customer acquisition numbers.

8. Have A Plan For Last Sleigh Day

Because Christmas falls on a Friday this time around, express shipping is likely to play a bigger role in the final days of the holiday season. Last Sleigh Day, which is Dec. 22 this year, marks the last chance for guaranteed Christmas delivery with express shipping for most retailers.

After you wrap up your Cyber Week promotions, be sure to include your order-by deadlines for standard shipping and express shipping in a module at the bottom of your emails. And if your brand is going to offer discounted or free express shipping going into Last Sleigh Day, be sure to communicate that to your subscribers.

For more expert advice on how to captivate your customers this holiday season, contact an Onimod Global Digital Marketing expert today.