Last Minute Tips from Google: Preparing for the “Big 5-Day Black Friday/Cyber Monday Super-Shopping Weekend”

11/20/2012 12:00:00 PM

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Can you believe Thanksgiving is once again upon us? While it is a great weekend to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for and to catch up with friends and family, Thanksgiving weekend has also has become the official kickoff for the holiday shopping season.

Although previously just a single-day shopping extravaganza, Thanksgiving weekend has exploded into a packed 5-day shopping bonanza filled with special discounts and deals. With online sales up over by over 25% in 2011 (comScore), 2012 promises to bring an even better weekend for Retailers. So, before you head out to shop yourself this weekend, here are some must-know tips & tricks to ensure you’re set-up for success:

Thanksgiving-Day Shopping is bigger than ever before:
Thanksgiving Day shopping trends have dramatically shifted the past couple of years. Previously, a ‘turkey-coma’ was spent resting, or napping, in anticipation of store openings at midnight on Friday morning. However, more recently, with the surging popularity of tablets and mobile phones, ‘turkey-come’ behavior has shifted from resting to ‘couch commerce.’

2011 saw a surge in online sales on Thanksgiving Day. Although spending the day with friends and family, consumers shopped online before, during, and after their big Thanksgiving meal, as online sales increased by 39% over 2010. Of those Turkey Day shoppers, 15% of consumers used mobile devices to browse in-store merchandise or to shop that evening, up 136% from 2010 (IBM & TechCrunch). This Thanksgiving Day, to take advantage of ‘couch commerce,’ be sure to create, and promote, specific Thanksgiving Day deals or to call-out your best in-store deals for the weekend. People are shopping on Thanksgiving Day and, as a Retailer, it deserves your attention.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Whether sitting on their couch on Thanksgiving Day, or price comparison shopping in stores on Black Friday, mobile ecommerce is becoming a more integral component of Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Last holiday season 1 in 4 consumers used more than one device to shop, with shopping from Mobile devices peaking at 20% in the last two hours of Cyber Monday. (Akamai). No matter your business, Black Friday weekend lends an excellent opportunity to bring mobile users to you. With users on the go and on their mobile devices, create ads that drive customers to your store’s address or that call-out your special Black Friday promotions and sales.

Promote your deals:
Last year almost 123 Million Americans shopped online on Cyber Monday (BIGinsight/ NRF). With so many consumers shopping over the long weekend, it’s no surprise that ‘Black Friday Deals’ queries are already nearly up by 24% over 2011. Consumers have come to expect Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts, and have already begun to search for them. As a Retailer its imperative that you highlight your Black Friday & Cyber Monday promotions in your messaging. Before the weekend, make sure your ad copy incorporates your specific Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions and deals. With a crowded marketplace, this is an opportunity for you to connect with the user and differentiate from the competition.

Reconnect with your established visitors:
Over the past year, you may have gathered Remarketing lists of users who previously visited your site or purchased online. This 5-day shopping weekend is a great time to use those lists to re-engage with those consumers. Take this opportunity to show them your newly released product, specific in-store promotion, or special Cyber Monday deal. Research has shown that 70% of Holiday shoppers are not tied to a specific brand and that 61% do not have a specific brand in-mind to purchase. Use Thanksgiving weekend as an opportunity to buck that trend by leveraging your existing user base. Sometimes previous visitors just need a little nudge to remember you.

Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and shopping-filled Thanksgiving weekend!

Posted by Stephen Woldenberg, The Google Retail Team