New Research Shows Cyber Monday Overtakes Black Friday
Every year, retailers gear up for what's essentially their Super Bowl, Oscars, Emmys and Grammys rolled into one: the holiday season.
Pundits make predictions. Analysts run forecasts. And, of course, every industry player has been plotting strategy for months, looking to beat last year’s numbers and earn kudos for standing out in an extremely crowded holiday shopping market.
However, recent research from my company, Euclid Analytics, revealed some surprising takeaways. Chief among them: Black Friday no longer reigns supreme. Seventy-two percent of consumers decisively pinpointed Cyber Monday as the most exciting holiday shopping day. While coupling great deals with the convenience of staying home is a powerful driver, physical retailers still have reason to rejoice. Shoppers absolutely value certain, specific elements that only brick-and-mortar can deliver.
To win, physical retailers must keep the following in mind:
Stores Still Matter … So Let Go of Old Metrics
There’s a reason omnichannel is the industry’s favorite buzzword. The buying journey has become fluid, with online and offline influencing each other and ultimately leading customers to purchase. In fact, stores remain an integral component of the buying journey. According to our research, 75 percent of consumers aged 18 to 34 regularly visit a store to see a product and then buy it online later. (It's 55 percent of all age groups, incidentally.)
Remember, we’ve seen that store closures are typically followed by a dip in online sales and, conversely, web traffic increases on average 52 percent when stores open. That web traffic remains robust, reinforcing the notion that online and offline channels are influencing each other. In this world, evaluating same-store sales, for example, is a losing game. Instead, focus on pinpointing how your offline and online channels work together, and retarget marketing resources to reflect what you find.
Customers Clearly Know When They Want to Visit a Store
Target ad spend designed to drive in-store visits accordingly. Our research showed that most consumers (63 percent) intend to shop in stores or malls the day after Christmas, with Black Friday neck-in-neck at 62 percent and Super Saturday closing it out with 56 percent. Consider how you can advertise deals, promotions, or even demonstrations or entertainment options that will push shoppers into store locations.
… And it Better Be Easy
We already know consumers love the convenience of e-commerce. No crowds. No parking problems. No waiting in line. Those are some powerful incentives to stay home. Therefore, when consumers do make it into an actual store, 82 percent say they want to get in and get out. Your job is to facilitate that, whether it’s nonaggressive salespeople who can quickly guide shoppers where they need to go or even store apps that show up-to-date inventory and where shoppers can find it.
Men Are Looking for That Little Something Extra
If your target customer is male, consider simplifying gift giving. Forty-six percent of men (and just 27 percent of women) indicated interest in curated and personalized gift selections made available in stores. Likewise, pay attention to how you advertise — 60 percent of men are more inclined to visit a store if they see a great deal promoted in window displays. Similarly, 61 percent of men (vs. 54 percent of women) report being more likely to visit a particular retailer after seeing online ads.
But Most Consumers Prize Price (and Some Want Killer In-Store Experiences)
Eighty-six percent of respondents said price is the deciding factor in choosing between two different in-store retailers during the holidays. That said, 85 percent also value quality as a major driver for inspiring purchases. And while in-store experiences took third place behind price and quality, our research showed that it matters more to millennials and Generation Z. Forty-four percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 flagged in-store experiences as the biggest factor in making a purchase. In contrast, just 39 percent of people ages 35 to 54 said the same.
What will you do to stand out this holiday season?
Brent Franson is the CEO of Euclid, a provider of insights and attribution for the physical retail world.
Related story: From Amazon to Zulilly: Preparing for Cyber Monday