Over the last few years, technology has truly revolutionized retail. Black Friday and the holiday season exemplify that change better than any other time of year. Now, marketers must reassess their strategies as consumers spend increasing amounts online ahead of the shopping weekend in order to capture the online shopping trend.
As of late, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have experienced a change in spending patterns, with the Adobe Digital Index predicting that $2.6bn – an increase of 15 percent – will be spent on Cyber Monday alone, with Black Friday growth up by 28 percent to $2.48bn. The holiday season in the U.S. will aim to break online records for e-commerce spend at $72.41bn, a growth of 16.6 percent in the last year, according to eMarketer.
Luke Edson, senior vice president national markets at YP, recently told The Drum that businesses have had to realize the need to focus on the growth of consumers turning to their mobile devices when researching products before making a purchase. “Consumers are also connecting to businesses through mobile apps for everything from getting directions to finding a deal. Mobile has the unique ability to target customers in the moment and drive their behavior. What’s more mobile location data can provide key insights on a consumer’s behavioral patterns, including someone’s likes, lifestyle and habits," he said.
Customers spend more time online and it is becoming a place where shopping decisions can be influenced. "We know that we need to engage across multiple channels. This holiday season we have increased our focus on social and digital media, including creating an online only holiday gift guide, multiple social sweepstakes across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, creating video content specifically for YouTube, and pushing content on Pinterest for the first time,” Brandi Ply, director of marketing strategy at online retailer, Big Lots told The Drum.
Only five years ago mobile marketing and mobile sales for Black Friday did not exist- Black Friday was only about hitting the stores to get the best deals. Now, it seems that it’s more important for marketers to get their best deals on Thanksgiving Day online and through mobile marketing. Even Black Friday is now as much about online as it is about in-store sales.
“Black Friday is a double-edged sword for most digital marketers. We know consumer engagement is going to be unusually high so it’s an ideal time to try and capture their attention, but we also know that all marketers are having the exact same thought so it can be difficult to stand out in such a crowded space," said advertising technology company Spongecell chief executive, Ben Kartzman. "This year, smart digital marketers will focus on delivering a dynamic experience for shoppers that they haven’t necessarily seen before.”