Winners in Cyber Monday, Black Friday Scramble
As Black Friday's importance erodes, so will some of the weekend's profits. Named events, such as Cyber Monday, mean less and less to consumers, so marketers have to scramble in all channels to compile the profit.
Marketers kept brick-and-mortar stores open on Thanksgiving even as e-commerce sites stayed available 24 hours a day.
"For today's shopper, every day is 'Cyber Monday,' and consumers want and expect great deals, especially online, throughout the entire holiday season," says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a National Retail Federation statement on Sunday.
NRF reports from Thanksgiving Day to Sunday, holiday shopping—in-store and online—dropped 5.2 percent from 2013 and will reach $50.9 billion. RetailNext says in-store shopping decreased by double digits from Thanksgiving Day to Saturday, but spending per person was generally up. NRF says this may be because shoppers spent nearly half of their holiday budgets online.
As of 3 p.m. on Monday, IBM says Web sales increased 8.7 percent vs. Cyber Monday 2013. NRF predicts 126.9 million, or 52.3 percent, of shoppers will visit e-commerce websites on Monday.
comScore says to count the first 28 days of Holiday 2014, as it has, and notice consumers spent $22.7 billion so far online, "marking a 15 percent increase vs. the corresponding days last year."
Cyber Monday's greatest hits are:
- 126.9 million consumers will shop online, says NRF.
- Web sales increased 8.7 percent over the same period on Cyber Monday 2013, IBM says as of 3 p.m. on Monday.
- While IBM says the number of mobile shoppers was high on Cyber Monday—38.6 percent of all Web traffic—the figure pales in comparison to the 49.6 percent of mobile users browsing on Black Friday and 52.1 percent on Thanksgiving Day. However, it was still a 28.8 increase over 2013. "Mobile sales accounted for 21.3 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, an increase of 29.3 percent," according to IBM. [Editor's note: Many consumers may have returned to work on Monday, where desktop computers may be more likely shopping vehicles.]
- Desktop computers saw "61.2 percent of all online traffic, and 78.7 percent of all online sales," says IBM at noon on Monday. Order values are higher here, too, at $138.17 per PC buyer vs. $119.16 on mobile, a difference IBM calculates at 16 percent.
- Marketers had to adjust content strategies on Sunday night, according to Salesforce. On Monday, the marketing vendor released findings that marketers pushed many of the 27,000 mentions of "Last Chance" deals while half as many consumers were listening as had been on Saturday. "The most pervasive keywords were 'sale' and 'deal,' and the top hashtag was still #BlackFriday," according to Salesforce. Among marketers who deftly adjusted—says Jeff Rohrs, VP of marketing insights for Salesforce Marketing Cloud—they "used other content tactics, discussing the implications of the Black Friday sales decline and sharing tips for consumers getting ready for Cyber Monday."
Black Friday's highlights are:
- 86.9 million consumers shopped in stores and on the Web on Black Friday, NRF says on Sunday.
- Thanksgiving Day deals eroded Black Friday's share of the digital sales, IBM reports on Saturday. "Black Friday online sales were 63.5 percent higher than Thanksgiving Day," but they were 70 percent higher in 2013, says IBM.
- Half of Web shoppers were on mobile devices—49.6 percent on Black Friday and 52.1 percent on Thanksgiving Day. But IBM adds only 27.9 percent of online sales were via mobile.
- Buyers on desktop computers spent 16.6 percent more than purchasers using mobile devices, IBM says.
- Facebook and Pinterest were top social influencers of sales, according to IBM.
- 5.3 emails per online shopper for Black Friday 2014 meant marketers were sending fewer messages—11 percent lower than 2013, resulting in lower open and clickthrough rates.
"Mobile has become the new Thanksgiving tradition as consumers find the best deals with their fingers as well as their feet," says Jay Henderson, director of IBM Smarter Commerce, in the Saturday announcement. "We saw retailers harness the power of data to engage shoppers in new ways, identifying the unique preferences of their customers while quickly capitalizing on new online, mobile or in-store trends as they emerged."
Is the erosion of Black Friday's influence a good or bad occurrence for marketers?
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