Why Not a Catalogers’ Black Friday? (Or, How I Developed a Major Inferiority Complex on Your Behalf)
And Alison Roigard, director of online marketing at Web design and SEO consulting firm Netconcepts, offers the following suggestions for catalogers looking to get a piece of these or other special shopping days.
* Stray from your usual e-mail templates. Try something visually different. Disseminate information quickly.
* When plugging e-mail specials, you don’t necessarily have to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Offer specials that start on Thanksgiving Day when all the stores are closed. Let customers know ahead of time so they can plan their shopping.
* Try not to confine your offer to just free shipping since “people expect that now.”
* Provide on-site messaging that matches the offers made on these days, and support messages through other channels.
There was certainly plenty of money spent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Numbers coming out of retail shopping research firm ShopperTrak showed retail sales on Black Friday and the day after combined rose 7.2 percent for a total of $16.4 billion in sales.
Another piece of research from comScore indicated that sales on Cyber Monday alone were $700 million, a 15 percent increase over the same day last year.
The downside of all the heavy free-shipping and price-slashing promotions, however, was that average spending per consumer dropped by 3.5 percent to $347.44 compared to last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
And according to a ForeSee Results survey just in, Cyber Monday shoppers were more satisfied this year than they were on the same day in previous years. ForeSee’s Cyber Monday customer satisfaction index was up 1.3 percent, or one point better than satisfaction levels in 2006 (a score of 76.6 vs. 75.6 on a 100-point scale).
ForeSee’s research shows online shoppers were more likely than ever before to buy both online and offline on Cyber Monday, as well as in the weeks leading up to it. “In past years, we’ve seen a much less integrated multichannel strategy; shoppers were likely to either buy online or offline, but not both,” said President/CEO Larry Freed in his announcement of the findings. “This year, we see that retailers have figured out a way to use the online visit to drive sales both online and offline, which really maximizes the value of the Web site for a multichannel retailer.”