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More people plan to shop on Cyber Monday than Black Friday this year: report

With the holiday season quickly approaching, retailers looking to cash in should put their chips in online offerings: online shopping will dominate Black Friday, according to a new report from Perk Inc.

The report comes ahead of a landmark holiday shopping season, one in which the tenuous grasp of bricks-and-mortar shopping on shoppers will require some measure of redefinition with the quick advent and uptake of online and mobile retail platforms. The report presents a surprising number of metrics, all but confirming the necessity of omnichannel efforts for retailers.

“Our research found that 63% of Black Friday shoppers will shop online and 60% will shop in stores,” said Zach Redler, senior director of marketing at Perk. “But within those groups, nearly a quarter of shoppers will do both.

“Because the barrier to entry for online shopping is so low, taking the time to shop deals online is a no-brainer for Black Friday 2016 shoppers,” they said. “You can shop online from anywhere, including while you wait in line at a store or at home if you’re not hitting the stores.

“Black Friday shoppers are out to make the most of this shopping holiday, and online shopping helps them do just that.”

Changing landscape
The survey’s respondents propensity towards shopping on Cyber Monday barely edged out bricks-and-mortar anticipation, but the relatively short lifespan of the Cyber Monday practice makes the trajectory of the shift more indicative of the retail landscape than hard numbers.

The report also claimed that Black Friday shoppers were more likely to make planned purchases, while Cyber Monday shoppers tended more towards impulsivity.

“We hypothesize that spontaneity on Cyber Monday, versus advanced planning on Black Friday, is a result of consumer perceptions of each and the mediums they occur within,” Mr Redler said. “When many shoppers think of Black Friday, they think of packed stores with limited stock on hand.

“So to get the best deals on the items you really want, you need to go in with a plan and get your desired items before they run out, rather than spending time to browse store shelves or product pages online,” he said. “Cyber Monday’s online-only experience, however, decreases the emphasis on the rush.

“Shoppers have more time to browse and can shop at their leisure any time of the day, especially with the convenience of mobile shopping.”

Mobile retail
Perk’s report also claimed that 46 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers will shop with a mobile device, a metric which could augur the mobile device as both an alternative and augment to the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience. As such, Perk has advice brands looking to fully optimize holiday season sales.

“First and foremost, make sure your app and/or website are mobile-first,” Mr. Redler said said. “That’s not just a buzzword: over half of all web traffic is mobile, according to SimilarWeb.

“Consumers are using mobile to shop, and will go elsewhere if you don’t provide a good experience,” he said. “For Black Friday, make it easy to find the best deals by featuring them prominently.

“The same is true for Cyber Monday, but there’s an opportunity to merchandise a wider range products to grab onto shoppers’ spontaneity. And leading up to it all, use mobile and online promotions and advertising to inform shoppers of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.”

The information may not be news to some brands, which have been betting big on mobile this holiday season. JCPenney is promoting its Joy Worth Giving campaign that will span all of the holiday season by offering an exclusive peek at Black Friday deals to users of its mobile application (see story).

And Walmart and Expedia are leading the charge in getting the most of this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday on mobile (see story).

“For brands, it’s important to know that mobile’s growing importance to the industry as a whole extends to holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Mr. Redler said. “Your consumers are mobile, so tailor both your shopping experiences and your promotional messages to suit the medium and the experiences your shoppers want.”