TopTen Report: Be Ready for Black Friday… and Cyber Monday!

It’s a brave new world we live in, and there has never been such a curiously amazing set of variables in the history of retail and wholesale shopping before. Let’s take a look at the old phenomenon of Black Friday, and put it up against the newer, Internet-driven market activity known as Cyber Monday. The two of these are basically about the same thing; they are used as indicators to ascertain the health of the economy… they provide direct insight about the general health of consumer spending… and they serve as a forecasting tool for the following year’s sales figures. However, this is where the two days of activity take divergent paths, and it’s crucial that the savvy wholesaler and retailer understands what drives these two markets independently… and what parts are best played in unison.

A little bit of planning goes a long way. Looking at the large retailers and big-box stores, we can see that there are a lot of nice strategies to drive spending, most of which are created at the point of purchase… and sometimes even combined with online activity to form a potent custom-made coupon, for example. I’ve seen some retailers that are offering Internet-only rebate codes and e-coupons that don’t serve any purpose unless the consumer has already gone to the physical store, and made a purchase there to get a URL that grants access. Pretty good for the customer… and twice as nice for the seller who gets a double-dose of revenue from what could otherwise be wasted time, as the consumer gets back home after shopping… and logs back online to check emails and play around with Twitter anyway!

It’s all about choice… and you might be in a

great position to offer this to your customers!

Is there really any reason why you can’t put this information to work for you? Maybe you don’t have the physical storefront, but there are a few things a wholesaler can offer online that will give customers something to smile about. After all, as an online seller, you are able to make changes rather quickly, as opposed to the shops with huge inventories, employees, and overhead to worry about. Since there’s so much to talk about, let’s take a look at the TopTen ways you can be ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  • The power of choice is on your side… and you should be thinking about how you can offer the best and hottest assortment of goods for your customers, in order to be first on their minds. Internet sellers will be in the best shape to quickly rearrange and categorize everything to promote variety on their sites.

  • Time is of the essence… because time is on your side, for now. Major players like Best Buy were known to hold sales events that started at specified times, ending that day as the store closed. This kind of strategy works well if you have a retail location, and can boost your holiday revenue nicely if you already have the staff and environment for it. If you don’t have the space, why not do something like this online? Experiment a little, and see what people’s responses are to a limited-time offer on the Internet… maybe even post a real-time countdown clock on your site, to drive traffic to your discount category.

  • Laziness can be a virtue… since nobody likes to get up early, and not everybody gets a thrill out of waiting in line for a shop to open so you can elbow and claw your way to sale-priced items that could be drop shipped just as easily. In a recent COMSCORE survey, early morning between 04:00 and 08:00 accounted for just 11% of the day’s total online retail sales, while the period after 08:00 accounted for 84% of online sales.

  • Get to know the bargain-hunters… the guys have it, this time around. In a recent CIB survey, men were found to be the largest demographic group to spend time on the internet looking for a special price. They were also found to be the biggest group of self-proclaimed bargain hunters, at 48% compared to 41% for women.

  • Dare to be different… it looks like the biggest reason for online shopping is simply the desire to find deals that are not available in stores. If you come up with a new way to bring a special discount or bargain price, don’t print coupons and mailers… bring it to light online, and let your customers follow your links to a rewarding shopping experience!

  • Educate your customers… because those who put the information out there will be regarded as the source for everything else, too. Are you utilizing video (or at least audio) on your site? You should be. In a world of overbearing advertisements and ad copy that eclipses the product profiles on some of the less-skillfully crafted sites, your message could be coming through loud and clear.

  • Appeal to the young buyers… but do it carefully. Young holiday shoppers aged 18-24 plan to spend less than $50 this year. Of course this means if you have a product that is perfect for this demographic, you should pull out all the stops and hit it hard this year.

  • Think outside the box… especially the gift-wrapped ones, as customers will be making purchases this year for their friends, family, and other loved ones… and for themselves. Let’s face it, with so many great deals floating around during the peak of competition this holiday season, there will be a lot of side-buys that are made by people who decide to indulge a little for themselves while the price is right.

  • Don’t wait around… because all signs are pointing to consumers doing their holiday shopping pretty early this year. With a big expected surge in seasonal spending kicking off right after Halloween, it’s going to be more important than ever to get your message out there before the competition does.

  • Break it down… and remember that in a world of Internet-driven sales, categorizing products effectively has a major impact on how quickly your customers will find the goods they are looking for. If you want to be the one to offer it to them, try using a site like the site for the best way to put your product category directly in front of the people who are looking. While you’re at it, check out the facebook site for some ideas and strategic content that will give you the edge this holiday season!

Author:  Rueben Marley

Based out of China since 2006, Rueben Marley has a unique and first-hand perspective on what's shaping the industry today. Learn more about Rueben's career by visiting his Linkedin profile at

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