Monday, December 1, 2014

Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday . . .

The week of and after Thanksgiving is filled with "holidays" designed to shape attitudes and behavior with the holidays in mind.
  • Black Friday. In the UK, Amazon introduced Black Friday in 2010. This year Amazon UK had its busiest day ever on Black Friday, far surpassing expectations. In the US, however, the number of store shoppers was either modestly higher or modestly lower (depending on the source you cite), partly because people clicked to buy. Barnes & Noble fought back against the online buying trend by having big-selling authors sign books for sale in its bricks-and-mortar stores.
  • Small Business Saturday. This was a big day for small and local businesses, by all accounts. Local bookstores took part, and many small business promoted local products and artisans.
  • Cyber Monday is today, a day for shopping online with an eye toward big bargains. Electronics may have been the hot products on Black Friday--it's not just electronics today. So many e-tailers have been promoting "Black Friday week" and "Cyber Monday week" that the deals are stretching over days, or just lasting for an hour or two.
  • Giving Tuesday (logo above right) is a two-year-old "holiday" that's devoted to charitable donations (money, time, goods). National and local charities are hooking their promotions to this day and asking donors to use social media to encourage participation. Last year, giving spiked on Giving Tuesday. Hopefully that pattern will repeat this year.
Consumer behavior is definitely changing as a result of these "holidays:" Consumers are buzzing about them, acting on them, and voting with their wallets. Look at the buzz about Thanksgiving-day store closings, for instance: Many shoppers cheered when stores promoted NO shopping hours on Thanksgiving.

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