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Marketing & Sales
Dec 17, 2014

The Future Of Holiday Shopping

Sponsored Content provided by Mike Duncan - CEO and Creative Director, Sage Island

If you rely on Black Friday to knock out your holiday shopping, or at least to get a good start, you may have noticed some significant changes over the last few years. For starters, Black Friday now begins on Thanksgiving Day. And don’t forget about Cyber Monday, which becomes more popular with each passing year. As consumers, we can only expect this trend of “getting an early start” to evolve in the years to come. Because for retailers, it’s a dog-eat-dog world – and the only way to beat the competition is to amp up sales. That means starting earlier, extending sales longer and implementing digital marketing tactics to create buzz surrounding special offers.
 
The Evolution
 
Think back to the early 2000s – you waited in line during the wee hours on the Friday after Thanksgiving to rush into stores at 6 a.m., combating serious money-saving moms along the way. Fast forward a few years – the sales are starting at midnight and the crowds are getting more chaotic. You may even have read articles about people being trampled at malls around the country. Cyber Monday debuts in 2005, which is beginning to look like a much more appealing (and perhaps, safer) option for holiday shopping. In 2013, many major retailers opened their doors for Black Friday on the evening of Thanksgiving Day. And in 2014, other retailers jumped on the bandwagon –opening at 6 p.m., and establishing a new pattern for holiday shopping.
 
Technology’s Influence
 
To stay ahead of the curve, retailers now rely on technology to spread the word on their major deals. Consumers may opt in to email marketing campaigns, read social media updates or even subscribe to text alerts sent to their phones. What began as scouring the newspaper for coupons and picking up flyers to see ads for holiday deals has now morphed into the swipe of the smartphone. That’s right – simply follow steps 1 through 3: unlock phone, open app and plan your holiday shopping excursion. Or better yet, complete your holiday shopping using an electronic cart.
 
As faster, more advanced smartphones and tablets are introduced, and as retailers push electronic communications and social media updates, technology will continue to play an even larger role in years to come. Just think: exclusive, personalized apps now enable consumers to load deals for stores that scan directly from their smartphones. And online carts make shopping a breeze. With these convenient options already in place, the future possibilities are mind-blowing.
 
What to Expect
 
Although it may seem like Black Friday shopping can’t start any earlier, guess again! Despite the backlash some stores have received for opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, this trend is on the rise. In fact, it’s predicted that Black Friday sales may start to take form as early as the Monday before Thanksgiving.
 
You may have also noticed Cyber Monday deals beginning well before Black Friday – take Amazon for example. This major online retailer took a different approach when it introduced special deals each day leading up to the two major holiday shopping days. Many other retailers extended their Cyber Monday deals throughout the course of a week, and this tactic will only continue in the future.
 
With all the early starts, extended days and overlap between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we predict that the names of these days will fade out, and an overarching term encompassing the time period of the week leading up to and following Thanksgiving will present itself. It’s an exciting time for Internet marketers, and a great opportunity for retailers (both online and in-store) to plan their 2015 strategies. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, contact Sage Island today!
 
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.

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