Santa Rolls The Dice: Cyber Weekend Is Here

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are upon us. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are preparing to shop on their desktops, and Millennials on their mobile devices, according to a study by Rakuten Marketing.

Of 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed, 66% say online is the best place to research gifts, and 58% say it's the top place to buy them. Rakuten projects that online spending will grow by 12% during the festive season.

In another finding, Rakuten reports that 47% of consumers shopped on Amazon Prime Day. And 14% shopped on Singles Day, a holiday that originated in China.

When it comes to devices, women are 69% more likely than men to shop and purchase via mobile. And they are most likely young, given that 53% of millennial plan to shop on mobile, and only 29% on desktops.

In contrast, 55% of baby boomers and 51% of Gen Xers will use desktop as their primary platform.

Search and social marketing strategies initiate 84% more new shopping journey than other digital strategies, with search at 95% more and social at 64%. 



What about email? The report doesn't mention it, although ecommerce markets will surely use the medium to offer promotions and conduct transactions.

“During this peak shopping season, when consumers are already primed to buy and proactively visit brands’ sites, it’s important that brands diversify their strategies to take advantage of every opportunity to engage new and existing consumers," says Rakuten CEO Tony Zito. "Email marketing is an effective strategy for keeping loyal customers engaged, and it should be part of a strategic cross-channel campaign that is designed to reach consumers at the right time, with the right message, through the right channel and with the right creative to influence them to take action. Taking advantage of every touchpoint with a consumer this season is paramount, so it’s critical that brands are leveraging email and all their marketing channels as strategically as possible.”

Let’s say you are one of those email marketers. Here are eight tips from SendGrid CMO Scott Heimes, as published in an article on MarketingProfs:

  1. Look to the prior year — Take into account what has worked before, and when customers clicked.
  2. Don’t flood consumers with your emails — Moderation is key during this season of marketing saturation.  
  3. Don’t worry over personalization (too much) — It works most of the year, but should take a backseat during the holiday season.
  4. Avoid emotions and symbols in the subject line — Emotions work in email body copy, but not in subject lines. In fact, they drop engagement by 5%, studies show. And symbols like these-- "%," "#," and "!"—are bound to end you up in a spam folder.
  5. Less is more  —Stick to short copy in terms of subject line length.
  6. Separate your streams — Use separate IP addresses for your transactional and marketing emails.
  7. Drop the dead weight — Discard email addresses that have not engaged in 12 months.
  8. Black Friday’ gets the black mark — Stop deluging consumers with the terms “Black Friday,” “Super Saturday” or “Cyber Monday.”
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