Come Next Monday, All You’ll Hear are Consumer Mouse Clicks

“Cyber Monday” is the marketing term for the Monday following “Black Friday” that, since its debut in 2005, has been a pinnacle online shopping day of the year. For years online retailers have seen an increase in web traffic beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving break. Once more and more companies began to catch on, many began offering appealing sales and promotions to capitalize on this trend. Deals range from free shipping to small gifts with a purchase to percentages off.

Everyone is a winner on Cyber Monday – consumers shop during their own comfortable hours and browse items hassle-free without the long lines and noise. Jewelry, luxury, electronics, gourmet, home décor and clothing retailers alike get the traffic they aggressively entice all year long. Although online deals come sporadically and retailers won’t necessarily hold off on a promotion until Cyber Monday or bring forward deals that were planned for later days, it is without doubt that there is no better time than the post-Thanksgiving frenzy to keep the shopping momentum going, particularly as consumers begin to glance at their holiday gift lists.

This day is observed by the U.S., the U.K., Canada and even all the way over in Portugal, Germany and Chile.

It’s been found that about half of all online shopping happens from an office internet connection. Hopefully, this year employers won’t have to start walking around worker cubicles inconspicuously, because a recent PriceGrabber survey shows that 83% of Cyber Monday shoppers intend to shop from home, with 30% saying they’ll do their shopping in the early hours before work specifically and 26% say in the evening, after work.

Despite the sluggish economy, 66% of retailers expect this year’s Cyber Monday sales to be even higher than 2011.  Last year, Consumer Reports tallied $1.25 billion being spent on Cyber Monday, up 22% from the year before. Companies are lined up, ready to deploy new marketing strategies for the holiday shopping season, including social sharing, mobile coupons, Facebook purchasing, shareable emails and electronic receipts. Thirty percent of retail marketers adopted Pinterest (the virtual pinboard that lets you organize interesting images and share your collections) in the 2011 holiday season. According to Experian’s Holiday Checklist report, marketers have up’d their game this year in the mobile space. Last year 57.4% used mobile-optimized Websites, 50% used mobile advertising and 49.1% used mobile/tablet apps to promote their products. This year, they expect to get to adoption rates of 83.7%, 80% and 79.6%, respectively.

Speaking of mobile, the number of shoppers that visit sites on their mobile phones and proceed to make a purchase has doubled since 2010, particularly as app downloads have gone up significantly and shoppers have the convenience of finding deals and price matching. With the onset of tablet and iPad popularity happening over those past couple years, that number will only keep rising. Interestingly, and possibly contrary to popular assumption, male shoppers spend more, on average, than female shoppers via their mobile devices and shoppers over age 25 are almost twice more likely to use their devices for purchases than those aged 18-24.

ORC’s Social Buzz data shows that well over half of conversation surrounding “Black Friday” and ”Cyber Monday” (often spoken about in the same breath) has taken place across a variety of microblogging sites – the likes of Facebook, Twitter, etc, with major players like Amazon, Best Buy, Kmart, Sears, Target, ToysRUs, Walmart and Macy’s appearing in query results. And as the trend line depicts, consumer online chatter about these two terms has been on steady increase year over year.

Back when the “Cyber Monday” term was coined in 2005, Facebook claimed 5.5 million users and Twitter didn’t exist yet and that year, the day hit the #12 spot of the biggest shopping days of the year. By 2009, Cyber Monday was the second biggest e-commerce day of the year. Fast forward just a bit to 2010; Cyber Monday took the #1 slot as the biggest shopping day of the year. Simple word of mouth and peer sharing of deals and coupon codes made a tremendous impact on the overall hype of Cyber Monday. Retailers began racking up thousands of followers almost effortlessly. No one wants to miss a great sale, but even more so when your Facebook friends and Twitter followers are letting their networks know about them with exclamation points and smiley faces. If there was ever a question of if social media was as powerful as marketers and communicators claim, Cyber Monday debunks all doubt.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Consumer, Retail, Social Listening, Technology

Author:Tameka Vasquez

Tameka is the Marketing Communications Coordinator at ORC International. ORC International is a leading global market research firm. We specialize in research related to Customer Equity, Employee Engagement, Business & Market Expansion and Product Development & Innovation. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!

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