Sell Me on a Monday

or, How the Christmas buy-cycle is shifting gear

November 29th 2013 marks this year's Black Friday, the first Friday after Thanksgiving when US shoppers typically begin buying Christmas gifts in earnest.

But for retailers based online, it might be worth waiting until the weekend is over before ramping up any festive offers to try and pull in the crowds.

That is because, according to US retail analyst Nielsen, Black Friday is heavily weighted in favour of high street sales, whereas Cyber Monday - as the name suggests - is when the online action really begins.

Interestingly, this is a growing trend, with Black Friday increasingly not seen as a key shopping day for either online or offline consumers.

Happy Mondays

Nielsen found that an almost overwhelming percentage of consumers do not plan to go shopping on Black Friday - from 80% in 2010, that proportion is up to 85% in 2013.

In contrast, almost half - 46% - plan to shop online on Cyber Monday, making it a key day to have product descriptions and prices up to date, and stock levels at a high.

This is up from 30% just a year ago, and highlights that while Black Friday is losing interest for shoppers, there is still heavy online retail growth to be found.

Key Points

According to Nielsen:
"A whopping 88% of consumers said they will use their computers again this year to do their Cyber Monday shopping.

"Shopping via mobile devices will also be something for retailers and advertisers to look forward to this year, as 37% of consumers plan to use tablets and 27% will use their cell phones to shop this Cyber Monday.

"Once online, 74% of consumers will rely on store websites and word of mouth to get information on Cyber Monday deals, while 51% will turn to Cyber Monday deal sites."
That makes retailers' own websites one of the primary sources of information on special offers for shoppers, while 68% will look to emails and 48% social media in order to find the best prices.