First there was Black Friday, a national shopping holiday and way to work off all the turkey and stuffing from the day before, as shoppers queued up for early morning deals at every major store on the day after Thanksgiving. Then came Cyber Monday, the ecommerce answer to what was always seen as the more brick-and-mortar Black Friday event. But, consumers have never been the best rule followers. Instead, they often strike out on their own path, forcing retailers to adapt to the changing desires of their customers. So, it’s no surprise that consumer behavior has blurred the lines between these two major shopping days in various ways.
Over the past few years, we’ve all seen mobile devices become an integral part of our daily lives. What started as a portable phone has evolved into a full-fledged multi-media device used to access the internet, watch video content and connect with a seemingly endless number of apps. For many consumers, their mobile device is now intertwined with the real-world shopping experience. Whether it’s comparing prices from other retailers on an item they are considering purchasing in a store, researching product reviews, or a variety of other ways to aid the shopping experience, shoppers are leveraging their mobile devices like never before. This trend was evident in 2014 as mobile traffic was actually higher on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday. Along with that traffic, mobile sales on Black Friday rose dramatically for many retailers.
It isn’t a stretch to forecast this trend to continue in 2015, with shoppers making even more use of mobile technology to research and purchase items on Black Friday – often when they are standing in a store and looking at a product they eventually decide to buy online through their smartphone. The question for advertisers (especially retailers) is how to take advantage of this changing consumer behavior to better engage with shoppers leading up to and at the moment of making a purchase decision while using their mobile device. Whether in-app or on the web, targeting mobile users with a series of impactful and relevant ads during the days before and on Black Friday has the potential to close the deal with consumers already thinking about buying a product or help convince them to buy a different product or from a different retailer (online or offline).
Written by Tom Wozniak, Director of Marketing