Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become infamous discount-filled holidays. Many families enjoy the tradition of camping outside retail locations and being some of the first to shop at midnight. Those who feel overwhelmed by this often chaotic process can enjoy many of the same sales on Cyber Monday, which starts the Monday after Black Friday.
The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 by the National Retail Foundation (NRF). They had noticed a recurring spike in online traffic and sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving. The NRF believed the substantial increase in revenue was a result of consumers making purchases at work because of stronger internet connection and privacy from kids wanting a sneak peek at their gifts.
As online shopping continues to gain traction, many big-name retailers are now offering their Cyber Monday discounts early to try to get an upper hand against the competition. Early offers are attractive to consumers because they are able to get good deals on in-demand products. Not to mention they can avoid the chaos of shopping in stores on Black Friday!
Below are a few retailers starting Cyber Monday early:
- • Target – Hauls on Target’s e-commerce website are even more appealing to consumers with their recently added free two-day shipping offer running until December 21. Their “HoliDeals” program will feature thousands of deals on electronics, décor, toys and more throughout the holiday season. To kick off the holidays, Target is having a Black Friday preview sale on November 8 and 9 that will include 4x the number of discounts last year had. The company is hoping to make it easier for consumers to save by having their markdowns available for an extended period of time.
- • Walmart – Walmart start November off strong by unveiling a series of amazing deals on electronic devices including Apple MacBook Airs, HP 14 Laptops, Apple AirPods, Smart TVs and more. These deals are congregated on their “Deal Drop” page that is steadily expanding as the holidays approach. Walmart is offering free next-day delivery on eligible orders that are worth $35 and over. By offering more promotions than ever and hosting in-store visits from Santa, Walmart hopes to serve as a one-stop-shop for all holiday gift needs and fun.
- • Amazon – Amazon has dubbed its page of various discounts for the holidays as “Happy HoliDeals.” This section of their website is currently live and offering up to 70% off on products including Dyson vacuums, Alexa gadgets, Bose headphones, bedding essentials and more. Amazon is offering deals that last through the shopping season along with Lightning Deals and Deals of the Day. These subcategories of discounts only last for a certain amount of time in hopes of leading consumers to make a purchase and avoid missing out.
What to Expect from Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Black Friday is still the busiest shopping day for retail stores, but it should be noted that foot traffic is declining. In 2018, the number of people visiting stores decreased by 9% in comparison to the previous year. Each holiday shopper spent around $1,007.24 in 2019 on seasonal products including gifts, food, decorations and greeting cards. They also shop for non-holiday products to take advantage of seasonal deals and promotions. Consumers spent a grand total of $717.50 billion in 2018 (up 4.3% from 2017).
It’s estimated that Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and the days in between capture 20% of all holiday online shopping! Cyber Monday drew in $7.9 billion worth of online sales (up 19.7% from 2017). The NRF cited a mixture of self-spending and gifting along with high confidence among shoppers for this upward trend.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Have Ample Inventory on Hand
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday closing in, it’s important to take a step back and identify what your supply chain needs to have a successful holiday shopping season. Retailers need ample stock of their inventory that can move throughout their supply chain and between other locations based on sales volume easily. Preparing for the season can only take companies so far – a portion of their profit is dependent on the ability to adapt to consumers’ responses as promotions begin to roll out.
Know the Customer
The average holiday shopper’s knowledge of substitute products and standards has increased since the dawn of the internet. Retailers are responsible for knowing what shoppers want instead of simply telling them what they need – meaning power is given back to the consumer. Shoppers expect the same discounts offered in-store to be available online so they can shop within the comfort of their own home. Stores who don’t make this a reality or offer exclusive in-store promotions run the risk of losing their share of online holiday shoppers to competitors.
Offer a Shipping Incentive
Big-name retailers who have successfully navigated Black Friday and Cyber Monday have one thing in common: Shipping incentives. Consumer demand has been steadily increasing for some time now. Shoppers are more concrete in what they want and are looking to have the product in their hands as soon as possible. Retailers have adjusted to this by offering a shipping incentive like 24/7 free shipping, free shipping after spending a certain amount of money or free two-day shipping. Consumers are already more inclined to shop online and free shipping that transports their products is another convincing factor.
The 2019 Holiday Shopping Season
A successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday both rely on balance. Retailers must have sufficient inventory for online and in-store sales to provide holiday shoppers with the best experience possible. They need to be aware of what consumers like to see in person before buying and what they prefer to order online. Inventory has to be adjusted to meet these preferences. Shipping incentives getting products to the consumer quickly and for free are often the tipping point in the purchase decision.
Ready or not, holiday shopping is right around the corner! How are you preparing your supply chain?