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Dan Minor

Cyber Everyday: Are You Plugged in?

November 29, 2012

Black Friday is the name given to the day following Thanksgiving. It has traditionally been the biggest shopping day of the year, the official start to the Christmas buying season, and the day that retailers begin to turn a profit or get "in the black".

Many retailers open up very early that day, with some stores opening up either at midnight or even earlier on Thanksgiving Day itself. This practice has also spawned several new days with clever names attached. The Saturday after Black Friday is Small Business Saturday, where you are encouraged to shop at local small businesses. The Monday after Black Friday has been deemed Cyber Monday, where consumers have been directed to shop online for special deals with online retailers.

There are plenty of people that love to get into the middle of the hustle and bustle and fight for that special deal by beating their neighbor to the limited number of $199 flat screen TV's, but there is a growing majority that would rather do their shopping in the comfort of their own home, or while walking in the park using their cell phone! On this year's brick-and-mortar supported Black Friday, online sales were up 26% from last year. Wayfair reported a record day with $3.5 million dollars in sales on Black Friday. Amazon.com and Walmart.com reported record days - 25% of their business on Black Friday was done from a MOBILE DEVICE!
Cyber Monday is initially being reported as the largest retail day of the year with over $1.5 Billion being transacted through cyber space! That is up 20% from last year! It is also estimated that 122 million people shopped online this last weekend. That is 40% of the total population of this country, and the use of Mobile Devices for transactions doubled from last year.

So I brought all of that up in order to say this: The Home D├ęcor customer has changed her buying habits and she is not coming back. She is staying at home and making MAJOR decisions without ever leaving the kitchen table. She is using her phone to transact business, look up comparable items, and to shop for the BEST PRICE.

In developing your marketing strategies, have you considered the busiest shopping day of the year? What about the other nine individual days that online sales exceed one billion dollars? Manufacturers and retailers MUST both be engaged in the new holiday, which is Cyber Everyday.

You cannot depend fully on your brick-and-mortar stores for sales anymore. Online and brick-and-mortar can and should co-exist, but our industry has to come to grips with the following for both channels to prosper: Showrooming must be embraced, IMAPs have to become the norm, and price transparency should not be something that is hidden, but openly conveyed to the consumer who wants your product.