Aggressive Marketing Led to Increased Holiday Sales, But It’s Not Over
This holiday shopping season started with a bang. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers spent an average of $400 apiece. With 14 million more shoppers taking advantage of Black Friday deals than last year, retailers are ecstatic. The National Retail Federation expected Black Friday to be a hit; however they never expected the increase they saw. The reason for this rise in holiday shopping was aggressive marketing.
Black Friday Overview
Retailers targeted the shoppers of a downed economy in a way that was irresistible to bargain hunters. One of their strategies was opening their stores earlier. This appealed to those who avoided previous sales due to the early hours as well as giving more time to increase sales. With the success of these openings we may see it happening in the years to come.
However, opening earlier was not enough to get the shoppers in the door. The aggressive marketing of their “door buster” sales created swarms of people rushing to everything from waffle makers to Xbox game consoles. With many of these “door busters” priced lower than previous years, it created a spending frenzy that broke the ice and encouraged shoppers to spend more. There are mixed feelings regarding the savings of the “door busters” but as the numbers show, they were low enough for shoppers to take their chances in the crowds.
An integrated marketing strategy also played a vital role in the success of this year’s holiday shopping increase. By marketing through mobile devices, social media, and search engine marketing, retailers were able to increase traffic to both brick and mortar stores and online retailers.
According to IBM, there was a 14.3 percent increase in traffic by mobile devices as shoppers searched on their phones for bargains and sales while shopping on Black Friday. Social media also played a part.
"Shoppers referred from Social Networks generated 0.53 percent of all online sales on Black Friday. Facebook led the pack, accounting for 75 percent of all traffic from social networks," IBM said.
Overall, social media sites experienced a "110 percent increase in discussion volume compared to 2010," the IBM report noted. These discussions ranged from mobile posts regarding sales found, parking concerns, tips on beating the rush, and even a new-found appreciation for Cyber Monday.
The Best is Yet to Come
According to analysts, the best deals haven’t arrived yet. The Black Friday bargains were simply a precursor to what is coming the week before Christmas. "Shoppers may find discounts of 40 percent to 70 percent off on targeted items," Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman with the National Retail Federation, told Dawn Kawamoto of DailyFinance. "Retailers are trying to make their final push and offer discounts on popular gift items."
This is a marketing strategy to get shoppers in the habit of spending before throwing the big bargains on the floor. With previous year’s sales lower than anticipated, new strategies are proving effective to get money moving in the economy again. This is imperative to strengthening our hurting economy.
So if you missed out on the Black Friday sales, don’t be too disappointed. The best sales are still on their way. Those looking for last minute big ticket items will find more savings by waiting. This year seemed to take holiday shopping in a new direction that we may see again next year. With aggressive marketing, good timing and great deals, retailers are expecting a great holiday season.
Nate Dorcett works with businesses assisting in developing worldwide branding goals based on the belief that today's market requires a strong digital marketing strategy in order to succeed.
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