Black Friday came and went with a 7% decline and research suggests this trend is not going anywhere. According to the National Research Foundation (NRF), shoppers are opting now more than ever to take their shopping online, preferring to sit in front of a screen and press refresh instead of camping out in the cold all night. In response retailers are upping their online and social presence in order to entice shoppers and trying to extend the reach of Black Friday weekend with Cyber Monday.
As of midnight on December 1st, retail giants including H&M, Toys R US, Target, and Wal-Mart are offering Black Friday caliber deals online and linking them to their social media accounts. The shift to online shopping from traditional retail showcases the ever-increasing importance of online presence and social media marketing. Wal-Mart’s Cyber Monday post not only notified its customers of the deals on the site, but prompted customers to share the photo one hundred times of their own accord.
Retailers such as Amazon sell as much as 64 items per second on Cyber Monday and it’s no wonder. According to CBC news over one million Canadian shoppers have made the switch to online shopping and with good reason. Marketing through social media effortlessly streamlines into online purchases. Customers are more likely to buy products seen on social media than on billboards advertisements or on television.
This is a unique opportunity for small businesses. Setting up businesses online has never been more accessible, and, without costly overhead for retail space, it is now feasible to have a best-selling product without ever having a retail store. With the right social media marketing it is now possible to have a best selling product without even engaging in traditional marketing avenues.
While the majority of shopping is still done in retail stores, studies have shown that even if your business does not sell online or have a dominant media presence, participating in Cyber Monday could mean a bump in traffic to your store. Wanderful Media recently released the results of a shopping survey, stating that 91% of respondents were prompted to go into a retail store as a result of an online experience. 56% of those shoppers did so because of an online ad, while 22% were a result of Facebook promotion.
It is possible that stores will eventually migrate their entire Black Friday weekend to online stores. The staff necessary on Black Friday as well as the risk for injury and theft from so many shoppers crowded into one place could quite possibly fade in lieu of convenient online purchases. For consumers one thing is for certain, the best deals are to be had online, and all without pitching a tent outside of Target.
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