For as long as many of us can remember, brick and mortar stores have been mobbed by consumers on Black Friday as the holiday shopping season gets off to its official start. The shopping circulars herald deals starting the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and many newspapers arrive the following Wednesday stuffed with even more sales flyers. It’s the best time of the year for stores, and marketers keep busy showcasing deals in flashy mailers designed to lure customers in.
A few years back, as online shopping began to gain in popularity, consumers slowly began to exchange some of their often-exhausting shopping treks from store to store with online shopping at Amazon and other sites.
Now it looks like the less stressful (and easier on the feet) approach has come into its own this year.
In 2015, brick and mortar shopping on Black Friday dropped like a stone from the previous year, while online sales jumped dramatically. In addition, there was a huge jump in orders from mobile devices.
It’s clear that the usual marketing tactics for the holiday season need to be revamped. Online shopping is trending upward and this raises a lot of questions about holiday season marketing in the future.
In the coming years, how will marketers respond to the growing preference for online shopping? Will brands evolve from merely posting traditional newspaper-style circulars online to presenting better, more engaging content to showcase their products?
As more and more consumers move to mobile devices that provide instant access at any time and place, how will the relationship between brands and consumers be affected?
Will marketers find themselves struggling to maintain control over product messaging as online reviews and social media posts influence brand reputation and product selection?
This year’s surge of online shopping is not just about the numbers.
Marketers need to be thinking about the trend as a clarion call, and begin working on solutions to the challenges it will bring.