Cyber Monday is the most anticipated shopping day of the holiday shopping season, with 72% of consumers "consistently more excited for Cyber Monday than any other end-of-year sales day," including Black Friday and the day after Christmas, according to a study by retail analytics firm Euclid.
Despite Cyber Monday’s surging popularity, Black Friday and the day after Christmas remain relatively popular shopping events (62% and 55% respectively). Euclid found that women were more excited than men about both Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.
As far as what matters most to consumers during the holidays, the vast majority (90%) of holiday shoppers think it’s most important to get the best deal, followed by buying what they had planned (88%) and getting in and out of the store quickly (82%), according to the study.
Online shopping takes the cake in this holiday study. Not only was Cyber Monday the most popular shopping holiday, but 42% of holiday shoppers plan to spend over half of their holiday budget on online shopping (up from 38% last year) and 75% of the 18-to-34 crowd plan to visit stores only to buy the products online later (compared to 55% overall), according to Euclid.
"For physical retailers, winning this holiday season means capitalizing on the convenience that brick-and-mortar locations can offer," the study states. "It also means realizing it does not matter whether the purchase happens in the physical store or online later — as long as the purchase happens with them, not Amazon."
Focusing on differentiation is a good way to ensure that customers don’t default to online retailers like Amazon. According to one study, 88% of holiday shoppers want to receive ads from their favorite brands. And the appropriate emotional appeal could give them all the reason they need to stop by for the in-store experience.
Euclid’s study of the convenience factor also revealed some gender differences. Men are much more interested than women in gift-wrap services, buying things for themselves and curated or personalized store experiences, demonstrating how important it is to the male consumer to make holiday shopping as effortless as possible.
"Give the people what they want — and this holiday season, that's convenience," Brent Franson, CEO of Euclid, said in a press release emailed to Retail Dive. "You don't have to be Amazon to deliver the perfect gift with no hassle. Brick-and-mortar can still pull off a holiday win — but they’ll need to couple new in-store experiences with the convenience factor to get it done."
As retailers try to make it as easy as possible for holiday shoppers to check off their wish lists, online expectations should not be ignored. With online shopping becoming more popular, those shoppers have higher delivery expectations and are also interested in new features like online wishlists, which retailers will have to meet in order to satisfy those customers. Retailers should also consider how they deal with SEO over the holidays, as the holidays give rise to some search queries that aren’t used during the rest of the year.
With holiday shoppers looking to spend 47% more during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend, it’s well worth a retailer’s while to put in the extra effort and make both online and in-store experiences more engaging.
"If you're still looking at individual store performance, stop," Franson said in the release. "Want to nail it? Figure out how online and offline channels feed each other — and which marketing campaigns are reinforcing that path to purchase."