A Month Of Black Fridays

As you probably noticed, given the incredible increase in ecommerce activity this year thanks to the pandemic, 2020 saw a “month of Black Fridays” among both brick-and-mortar and online retailers alike. All of the big ecommerce players, including Amazon, Target and Walmart, laid it on thick, offering deals on everything from electronics to clothing to health and beauty products to sporting goods starting Nov. 1.  

Target, for example pursued customers with daily emails stating, “It’s Black Friday all month with new deals each week.” Walmart started its Black Friday Deals for Days (online and in-store) promotion on Nov. 4, finishing off the month with an online sales event on Nov. 25, with further deals announced at midnight on Nov. 27 and in stores at 5 a.m. local time. Amazon, meanwhile, offered Black Friday deals every day through the 27th.

As a result of the pandemic, more people shopped online this year than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue through the holiday season. IBM’s 2020 Holiday Shopping and Travel Trends report captured everything digital marketers need to know about Black Friday and Christmas 2020: "While many things have been cancelled this year, online shopping is not one of them. As of May, online spending was up 77% year-over-year, and some experts say the pandemic has accelerated e-commerce growth by 4 to 6 years. This trend is going to continue through the holiday season, when more than 60% of consumers plan to shop online, up from 20% in 2019. Much of this growth is driven by Baby Boomers, who plan to buy online 116% more than they did last year."



If you’re wondering if this month of Black Fridays is just hype, guess again. According to the IBM report, 33% of global customers surveyed had already started their holiday shopping by the end of October!

Thanks to a real focus on content and user-friendly interfaces, everyone from big box stores like Old Navy  to boutique retailers like Ghiradelli Chocolate,   and many others, will make sure this Christmas will be cozy and sweet, even if some of the celebrating  will be over Zoom.

Yes, this year, faithful friends who are dear to us won’t be gathering so near to us, but if you’re a digital retailer, you’ve got your work cut out for you:

  • Make sure you have effective exchange and return policies in place. Your number one priority is ensuring customers won’t feel inconvenienced if they have to return or exchange a gift.
  • Dovetail your Christmas push with your post-Christmas deals. Consider your “12 days of Christmas” to run for about 75 days (Nov. 1 through Jan. 15). Remember, those “easy-to-buy” and “last-minute gift” staples -- gift cards -- are going to be burning a hole in consumers’ pockets!

This has been a tough year, but we’re almost through it. Let’s celebrate!

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