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What Black Friday and Cyber Monday Have Morphed Into

Updated: Jan 3

Written by: Evan Goodfellow


The History of Black Friday

In a recent article on Digiday.com entitled 5 Charts Showing Why Cyber Monday is Doomed the author Shareen Pathak looks at the changing trends both with the relatively new consumer holiday Cyber Monday and it’s distinction from Black Friday. For many shoppers, Cyber Monday is a new edition of Black Friday. Black Friday has been around since the 50’s and the term was first coined in Philadelphia by the police. In the 50’s massive amounts of people would descend into town on the day after Thanksgiving. Stores would take advantage of this throng of people and would promote big sales specifically for this day. The phrase “Black Friday” represented the calendar day for the police who were stuck working a long and busy shift creating a dread for the date.


Cyber Monday named after its close relative Black Friday is slowly fading according to Pathak. Cyber Monday was first created by the National Retail Federation back in 2005. The idea behind its creation was that it would mark the start of the holiday shopping season. After Thanksgiving, people return to their offices and go online and begin to shop preparing for Christmas. Companies have begun to realize that there has been an increase in online spending in preparation for the holiday season and so companies have been pushing for online shopping even before Cyber Monday. This means that while the article suggests that it is fading, it seems it has just begun due to brick and mortar retailers like Walmart pushing for these online sales. Large retailers could really use online market research communities to gather shoppers in one place to find out the why to their shopping trends and use the reporting tools for online communities to keep track of trends and patterns. 


Creating Distinct Shopping Holidays

Pathak writes how Clavis Insights, a company that analyses e-commerce, found that U.S. retailers are now providing less bargains online between Black Friday and Monday. This refocus of offers is meant to encourage spending on two different occasions rather than a merging of the two. Retailers want to cash in on two distinct holidays, Black Friday being for Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday marking the beginning of Christmas season shopping.


With this emphasis on retailers pushing for online sales with events like Cyber Monday they have found that mobile spending is growing. This Thanksgiving “saw $771 million come in from mobile devices. Adobe also found that for the first time in retail history, mobile shopping hit the $1 billion mark on Friday, up 33 percent.” Adobe also found that online spending on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday has increased 18 percent from last year.


What retailers hoped for was that individuals would come into the brick and mortars on Black Friday and then go online on Cyber Monday to purchase from their online store. This has not been the case as stores have been reporting a surge in online shopping taking place on Black Friday even more than on Cyber Monday. “We’ve seen record performance in online shopping over the last few days. Black Friday may overtake Cyber Monday for the first time, in regards to online sales, with Black Friday’s higher than expected revenue of $3.34 billion,” said Becky Tasker, an analyst at Adobe.”


As technology shapes purchases and spending habits more and more, it is important that retailers stay on top of these trends, and learn what their customers are looking for. Through data collection, and information gathered through weekly insight surveys, companies with MROC software can better prepare for events, even before they happen.


If you would like to find out how an online research community could help your company please feel free to contact us.


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