First there is Black Friday with the stories of fistfights as people vie for the best deals on gifts in stores. After that there is Cyber Monday and millions of dollars of merchandise being sold in mere minutes. For most people, these are tales to talk about over morning coffee, but for the smart businessperson Black Friday and Cyber Monday are reminders to update marketing plans and change advertising strategies in an attempt to pull in a share of the revenue.
What Cyber Monday Tells Us
Business people and economists use these two shopping days as indicators of future shopping patterns. Black Friday is traditionally the largest brick-and-mortar shopping day while Cyber Monday is the greatest online ordering day. This year, Cyber Monday yielded a whopping $2.29 billion spent via Internet transactions with Walmart leading the way in sales volume. These are record-breaking numbers and bode well for the retail industry. They also give us insight into the purchasing patterns of consumers. For the last several years, Cyber Monday has handily outsold Black Friday. Online and mobile technologies are the key to a robust sales plan. The Cyber Monday stats tell us that businesses with physical locations need to offer an online shopping experience too.
Another interesting item about Cyber Monday’s shopping trends is that people who were referred through Pinterest spent 77 percent more per order than those referred through Facebook. It is time to adjust your social media marketing strategy. If you are like most businesses, your business has a social media presence because this form of marketing is cheap. People rely on Facebook since they are using it personally and understand the system. Add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook page and you will be able to post pictures on Pinterest automatically, which will increase your social media penetration and, if the statistics hold true, increase your per-order amount via the Pinterest referral.
Make It a Long Day
A recent study published in the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing found that price was not the only factor in making Cyber Monday significant. In some cases, limiting quantity made the difference and in others it was an opportunity to gain coupon savings that lasted more than 24 hours. Using Macy’s as a case study, if you visit its site you will find that there is no set time for the retailer's Cyber Monday sales. Just because Cyber Monday has already passed does not mean you cannot capitalize on deals—many sales last all of the way to Christmas.
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday analysis is an example of big data. There is a lot of consumer behavior information that is revealed from these two days. You have 365 days to analyze information, create web platforms and put long-term marketing into place. Start now. Cloud platforms are an excellent way to give your customers service in real-time. Use the next year to get prepared. Look at what happened with Motorola. Under the weight of Cyber Monday traffic, its site crashed and the company needed to change the ship date for some of its products. Having a good marketing plan and infrastructure to handle the sales takes time and effort. Make this your 2014 project.