Black Friday & Cyber Monday: A Tale of Two Headlines
Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two most significant days of the year for retailers, are now behind us and the trend towards digital couldn’t be clearer. The Associated Press covered both of these unofficial retail holidays in articles that likely ran in newspapers across the country, but it was especially easy to see the big picture in The Boston Globe, where both headlines appeared side-by-side in Monday’s business section. As we alluded to a few weeks back, Black Friday has lost its luster and there are a few different reasons that this is happening. Most notably, retailers are extending promotions on both ends of the shopping seasons – they’re starting earlier and pushing right up until Christmas. On top of that, they’re offering more deals online, which is where shoppers looking for bargains will almost always do their research. In turn this will translate into many online purchases. Recent research from comScore that shows an uptick in online shopping through the first few weeks of November validates this trend. During the first 23 days of the month, the firm says that $17.5 billion was spent online, marking an 11percent increase from the same period last year. And that’s just shopping done on desktop computers; the research doesn’t even count mobile commerce, where the future of online retail is headed. Toys ‘R’ Us is just one retailer that exemplifies the trend of extending the season and pushing shopping online. The company is offering 11 days of online deals that began the day before Thanksgiving and includes free-shipping offers. With promotions like that, it’s no wonder cramming holiday bargains into one day – on the Friday directly following a major holiday, no less – is losing its appeal among shoppers. The steps retailers are taking to extend the season and move more business online are smart ones, as long as they know they can handle the demand they’ll place on their e-commerce infrastructure, all the way from the first click through fulfillment, delivery and returns.