Black Friday Sales and Cyber Monday Deals: Consumer Trends in Online Shopping

Consumer Online Shopping with Mobile Device: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Smartphone ShoppingWhile less than 20 percent of people say they shop on Black Friday, for the second year some retailers will start ‘Black Friday’ sales on Thanksgiving night. Not to be outdone, Cyber Monday is expected to once again be the largest online shopping day of the year, according to ComScore. Overall, retailers with ecommerce expect more than half of their holiday sales to come from online and mobile – and Forrester estimates a 15 percent online sales increase over last year’s holiday shopping season.

More than ever, consumers will integrate variety of devices into their holiday shopping – so much so that Google is calling this the first “nonline” shopping season, as more shoppers do not see a divide between online and offline shopping.  As displayed in the results below, Google found “shoppers turn to different platforms at different stages in the buying cycle”:

  • 51 percent research online and visit store to purchase
  • 44 percent research online and buy products online
  • 32 percent research online, visit store to view product, then return
  • 17 percent visit a store first, and then purchase online (a.k.a. “showrooming”)

Yes, consumers are using computers at home to search for deals, but more are also using smartphones and tablets to locate stores, look up coupons, read reviews and complete purchases. One of the most common practices of mobile users is comparing prices.

To help with holiday shopping, Google launched enhanced Google Maps for Android mobile devices, which include floor plans of stores and maps of malls with route suggestions on how to navigate from one store to another. Enhancing the online shopping experience, Google has integrated Social Reviews, as well as Shortlists, Promotions and a 360-degree view of many toys.

Many retailers are doing what they can to keep up with changing consumer trends. Companies should not only be improving their overall online strategies and offerings, but also enhancing mobile sites and mobile efforts, especially during the holiday season. Crafty loyalty programs, mobile apps, mobile-friendly coupons and even offers on deal-of-the-day websites can help consumers on the go. To combat “showrooming” (visiting the store, then purchasing online), some retailers have implemented online price-matching programs, which can be critical in keeping a sale.

In short, retailers need to be prepared for “nonline” shopping and offer consumers a maximized shopping experience across multiple touchpoints.

All of us at DVL wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and stress-free holiday shopping!

RELATED ARTICLE: Cyber Monday Boosted By Social – and Mobile – Media

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Cyber Monday Boosted By Social – and Mobile – Media

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So far this month, online sales have increased by 15 percent over November 2010, and no doubt retailers are hoping the trend continues on Cyber Monday. Last year, for the first time Cyber Monday was the busiest online shopping day of the year. More and more people are turning to the Web to find holiday gifts, and turning to technology to help them find the best deals.

Former Executive Director of Shop.org, Scott Silverman, shared on TechCrunch he sees a correlation between the growth of social media, particularly Facebook, and the importance of Cyber Monday. Not only do social networks allow for consumers to share great finds, but for retailers to reach their customers where they are. The 25 U.S. retailers with the most Facebook fans, have a combined 259 million fans. According to Shop.org, “29 percent of consumers will check out a retailer’s Facebook page as part of their online holiday shopping this year.”

In addition to Facebook, the growing blogging community is a huge resource for consumers. Many blogs sharing deals, not just for Cyber Monday but year-round, are run – and read – by arguably a top targeted demographic for retailers – moms. Many Mom and Savings blogs have a dedicated following that checks the sites frequently to help save their families money. Plentiful by the hundreds, if not thousands, popular savings blogs like the following use Facebook, Twitter and e-newsletters to spread the word: Common Sense with Money, Coupon Cravings, Deal Seeking Mom, Hip2Save, Money Saving Mom Southern Savers and The Thrifty Mama (just to name a few). Some have even developed smartphone apps to help their readers locate deals, including Saving Cents with Sense.

There are numerous other mobile and tablet apps to help people find Cyber Monday deals, as Mint.com shares in its Life blog. Among others, there’s RedLaser, owned by eBay, which “has seen scans go up 50 percent over the past year,” according to SeekingAlpha. Another, ShopKick, rewards consumers just for visiting a store, trying on clothes and scanning barcodes. Apps like DealNews and CheapDeals101 bring sales to the consumer by aggregating them for one-tap shopping.

Whether surfing the Web for the best deals Cyber Monday, or shopping online any other time, make sure to keep it safe by following taking necessary precautions to keep your purchases protected.