As we move through the first week of December the first of what will undoubtedly be many reports are coming out about the shopping that took place on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While all the data is still not in, it seems that the results will be a mixed bag of positive and negative for just about everyone.
First, let’s look at some important bits of information that have come out so far:
- ShopperTrak estimates that US shoppers spent a little under $9 Billion in retail stores on Black Friday, a 7% drop from 2013.
- National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that over the full weekend (Thanksgiving Thursday – Cyber Monday) 55.1% of shoppers completed at least some of their holiday shopping. This is down from 58.7% last year.
- NRF also reported that the average transaction was down 6.4%, $380.95 down from $407.02.
- Adobe reported that for online sales, both Thanksgiving day and Black Friday set records for total sales. Thanksgiving day bringing in $1.33 Billion and Black Friday $2.4 Billion.
- IBM and Adobe both confirmed that the biggest winner over the weekend was mobile traffic. They report that on Thanksgiving day, mobile traffic was responsible for 52.1% of all traffic online, marking the first time mobile devices outpaced PCs for total browsing.
Cyber Monday numbers are still being calculated, but it seems the trends will be similar to those that took place on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Overall numbers are likely to be slightly down, but still not bad.
When you take a step back and look at everything combined, it seems clear that consumers today aren’t following the path that brands and marketers are laying down. Despite the fact that Black Friday is supposed to be all about ‘door buster’ sales and the best retail deals of the year, millions of people intentionally avoided shopping.
They took advantage of early deals on Thanksgiving or completed their shopping online, capitalizing on some similar deals from online options. In addition, there were quite a few great Cyber Monday deals to be had in retail stores.
Judging by the behavior of actual consumers (who will be the ones to drive future marketing) it seems that having each day focused on one type of sale is going to be a thing of the past. Instead, brands will need to start looking at Thanksgiving weekend as one large shopping event. Starting on Thanksgiving and continuing through Monday, people will be looking to get the best deals possible, no matter where they are located.
Many people will be browsing online, and going to stores to complete a purchase, or even browsing in stores and moving online to get the best deal. The point is, marketers need to break out of the ‘one day shopping’ mentality and start targeting all their customers throughout the busiest five days of shopping each year. Without this change, it could mean missing out on significant profits for all brands, whether online or off.