What Australians can expect for Cyber Tuesday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are words synonymous with holiday shopping in America. I remember waking up at 2AM or 3AM to go from store to store with my mother, fighting crowds and searching for the best deals.
US consumers are trained to head to the stores the day after Thanksgiving to officially kick-off the holiday shopping season. When the Thanksgiving holiday has passed, we turn to our computers Monday morning for a second dose of shopping – online.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to grow in importance over the years for many retailers in the States and beyond, and similar events, such as ‘Cyber Tuesday’ in Australia, are taking place. There is a shift happening between online and offline purchasing behaviour but we are still witnessing a growing trend for the two days.
What’s being seen in the US?
Increased spending: In August, comScore reported that 2011 Black Friday online spending was up 26% over the 2010 level, compared with a 22% jump in spending on Cyber Monday. Despite slower growth, Cyber Monday remained the biggest single online shopping day of the year, with U.S. internet users spending more than $1.25 billion.
Increased hiring: The National Retail Federation predicts retailers will hire an additional 585,000 to 626,000 seasonal workers.
Increased web traffic: Nearly 123 million people in 2011 said they planned to shop online the Monday after Thanksgiving (National Retail Federation).
How can marketers prepare for big shopping events?
Engaging consumers who are already interacting with your brand is the ultimate win-win. Your physical store provides you a competitive advantage over your ecommerce competitors. Take advantage of the time a consumer spends in your store and promote opportunities to interact with your brand after they walk out the door. Things to do include:
- Promote your website URL, email opt-in, SMS messaging programs, social channels, and more within your store, specifically at places where consumers are waiting (e.g. near the check-out),
- evaluate if collecting data at check-out is right for your business (via sales clerk, SMS capture, etc). Whether you collect personal data or geographic data, it should lead to more personalised communications – if it doesn’t, you’re just inconveniencing your customer with a lengthier transaction process, and
- offer to send in-store receipts to consumers via email. This is a great way to provide value and added convenience to your customers’ shopping experience, plus it gives you an opportunity to gain feedback, promote special offers, and drive web traffic. Not quite ready for digital receipts? Then focus on including a digital call-to-action on your in-store receipts to encourage further brand interaction.
Be respectful of consumers’ time by following these tips:
- Make your email opt-in form easy to find on your website,
- request only the data that you plan to use – and actually use it! If you request a name and post code, use personalisation and geographic segmentation to make your messages more relevant and engaging, and
- communicate the value of what you’re offering up front – make sure your customers know why they should provide you their information.
Consumers want different things from different channels especially during the holiday shopping season, so make goals and priorities for each while utilising the strengths of one channel to promote another. Tips:
- Take advantage of your consumer’s down-time and promote your mobile and social programs across all of your commonly-used mediums – in-store, print, TV, display advertising, etc, and
- include an email opt-in form on a Facebook timeline tab and follow the same principles as you do for your website opt-in form.
According to the National Retail Federation in the US, nearly one-fifth of the industry’s annual sales there come directly from sales made in the months of November and December, making it the top consumer spending event of the year. There’s no question on the potential impact of the holiday shopping season and big shopping events like Cyber Tuesday in Australia – it’s a great opportunity for both marketers and consumers, if done well.