It seems Holiday shopping has become a season unto itself.
There’s preseason hype featuring marketing and PR to create a buzz just like in sports. Black Friday is Opening Day and kicks things off in a big way. Cyber Monday is a bit like March Madness with workplace productivity hampered by so many people being online while at work. As we move closer to the big day, the coverage becomes almost unbearable, just like with the Super Bowl.
And now we even have experts, sort of like John Madden and Dick Vitale, providing analysis on how we shop.
According to Core Metrics’ Benchmark Report, Black Friday sales, which totaled $10.69 billion, were basically flat (up 0.3 percent) when compared with last year. However, online sales saw a double-digit increase of 15.9%. On Cyber Monday online sales soared even higher with a 31% increase and savvy American workers used their lunch breaks wisely as shopping peaked at Noon.
Google’s Portable PC Study looked at how we shop for netbooks, laptops, tablets, and eReaders and found consumers spend about a month researching the type of device to buy and 85% of them do so online. The study also showed that retailer sites are the most frequented (65%) followed closely by search engines (61%). And, many shoppers, ranging from 64% (eReader) to 31% (tablet), did both their research and purchase online.
What does this mean to business leaders, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and marketers?
The shopping process continues to evolve with the internet driving the change. Your potential customers are doing more homework online and are more willing to make the buy there too. Whether marketing to businesses or consumers, your marketing has to be focused online and on them.
Instead of thinking about your selling process, think about how the customer buys. Rather than doing what you think worked in the past, be willing to adapt to a changing consumer. Give them what they want, where they want it at a price they’re willing to pay. Then tell them about it again and again via both old and new media.
Otherwise, you are going to have a long, losing season.