It’s official. You don’t need to embrace the crowds anymore this holiday season, unless you live for a midnight deal and a competitive race for the last item in your size. Stay in and let tech take over - the online shopping evolution continues to prove the future of retail is changing. As people spend increasingly more online each year, the numbers from 2018's Black Friday and Cyber Monday are BIG. Here’s the full breakdown on the online shopping trends that will continue to dominate this season:
Thanksgiving kicked us off with a full week of shopping. Considered to be the best time to check off your holiday shopping list, many people were prepared this year to get it all done early in the season. Have you heard of the Turkey 5? Amazon’s nickname for the five-day stretch between Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday has sparked a serious trend. With retailers emphasizing the official holiday shopping kickoff, it’s no surprise that these promotional tactics improved customer engagement throughout the weekend.
The official numbers were released earlier this month and according to Bloomberg, purchases on U.S. web retailers rose 23 percent over last year’s initial holiday shopping period - Cyber Monday being the biggest with $8 billion in transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. Up more than 19 percent from last year’s totals, Cyber Monday has become the largest digital shopping day in the U.S. - of all time! Cyber Monday continues to gain popularity and promotion with the power of targeted social media advertising. Sponsored ads from user search bar activity pushed consumers to drive more traffic online. On Instagram, online discount codes drew shoppers in with the use of stories and scheduled posts - including different promotional codes to act on by swiping up, landing on the site and checking out with a few clicks. Many retailers extended the day by a few hours to catch the last-minute shoppers with abandoned carts late at night. The more opportunities to engage with customers, the better.
TOP SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES FOR CYBER SALES:
Planned and scheduled posts using trigger words (Hurry! Sales ends soon! Click for free gift! Limited-time offer! Don't miss out! TODAY only!)
Sponsored advertising with promotional codes attached. Fast, one-click shopping.
Curated content for mobile users.
Retargeting: reaching out to customers that visited the site previously with set ads.
Extended sales to meet demand for increased traffic online.
The real reason behind this shift: online shopping provides convenience. More technology, more ways to shop. More technology, more ways to engage with customers. Retailers are constantly improving their sites to make them simple and easy to use. Modeled by the key players that dominate the e-commerce space, other retailers are taking pointers. Amazon's website is arguably the easiest e-commerce platform to navigate. To compete, Walmart released a new look for their website this past spring and wanted to improve their "recommendation" feature to give customers personalized suggestions on items they should consider buying. We can anticipate that 2019 will be the year of new site launches and features for retailers looking to enhance their online presence.