16 Nov, 2017

Why The Day Before Cyber Monday Is Worth Paying Attention To

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We’ve all heard (and probably shopped) during the famous days in retail. These days include Cyber Monday and Black Friday, as well as other holidays that have been trademarked to be retail-focused. Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, back to school season, holiday season, Halloween and for sake of forgetting any, the list can go on.

Retailers conduct campaigns and strategies around these days, in order to satisfy the high number of customers that are drawn to shopping during these times. The hallmark calendar has created a special type of engagement among customers and retailers, a relationship that has lasted for years, and many years to come.

“Between the summer and the holidays, anything can happen — especially in retail. Aside from traditional influencers, such as weather patterns and economic forces, consumer trends and technological innovations are rapidly transforming the world of holiday shopping. To remain competitive, retailers need a game plan that addresses all aspects of the customer path to purchase.” NRF reports. 

As a retailer, understanding which holidays create the most traffic is important. Of course, the holiday season that offers days like Black Friday and Christmas tend to be the most popular. However, as the retail landscape shifts to become more of a digitally- reliant sector, these holidays are falling behind Cyber Monday and another holiday, that is relatively new among this industry.

Sofa Sunday is supposedly bypassing all other retail holidays and creating quite a buzz among retailers and customers.

A Shift In Retail

Before digital components were incorporated into the retail industry, customers had no choice but to leave their home in order to carry out shopping patterns. Leaving your house to shop!? As crazy as this sounds, it did, in fact, become a holiday trademark.

“There are things customers can’t experience when having products delivered, and there’s an enjoyment of shopping with family and friends during the holidays,” NRF reports. 

Now, in 2017, e-commerce sites have exploded in this industry. Customers now are no longer forced to leave the comfort of their home to shop during the hallmark holidays. Shopping online has created convenience for customers and has also shifted the retail landscape completely. Consumers now turn to digital mediums like television, social media and retailer apps. This is mainly true when it comes to younger generations, who rely heavily on gaining information through these types of outlets.

Sofa Sunday has been coined as a day that revolves around consumers who dedicate the day to searching for deals from the convenience of their couch and the geographic of their wifi signal. According to a recent survey,

“”While holiday retail buzz has primarily revolved around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Sofa Sunday plays an essential role shaping U.S. consumer purchase plans for the largest online shopping day of the year.”

Since there is so much focus on other holidays like Cyber Monday and Black Friday, retailers tend to look past Sofa Sunday. It can be a great opportunity to reach the evolving online customer. It is a day that is influential for shoppers, and the proper media and marketing campaigns can position retailers to engage with consumers.

The key to reaching the audience found on Sofa Sunday is to master how to release strategies in a timely matter. This comes from understanding your audience, and the timeline of their shopping habits. Knowing what time your audience is online during this time, secures successful engagements.

Truth Behind Sofa Sunday

Valassis has put together a survey revealing how consumers prepare for Sofa Sunday. Chances are if you are a Cyber Monday shopper, you are familiar with Sofa Sunday. The survey collected 500 U.S. Cyber Monday shoppers who responded that 71% of them will participate in Sofa Sunday, in order to search for deals to prepare for Cyber Monday that is following.

“Using Google Consumer Surveys, Valassis surveyed over 500 consumers who plan to shop on Cyber Monday this year to identify their Sofa Sunday researching and deal-hunting habits. All respondents were located in the United States. The survey was conducted in September 2017.” BusinessWire reports. 

BusinessWire revealed some key findings:

  • Shoppers research extensively and plan their Cyber Monday shopping on Sofa Sunday:
    • 45 percent of shoppers will spend two or more hours researching deals on Sunday;
    • Consumers who deal hunt are most likely to do so from the comfort of their homes via their desktop/laptop computers (52 percent) and mobile phones (36 percent); and
    • 58 percent will complete their Cyber Monday preparation/research by 9 p.m., providing a narrow window for retailers to make an impression before the lucrative online shopping day commences.
  • Consumers are looking to save big on Cyber Monday this year:
    • 67 percent are expecting to save more than $100;
    • 15 percent are hoping for discounts between $300 – $500; and
  • 12 percent want more than $500 off their purchases.

“These responses indicate that e-Commerce retailers should think of Sofa Sunday as the perfect day to promote Cyber Monday sales and get their brand in front of consumers.” Retail TouchPoints reports. 

What People Are Browsing For

Since we have already discussed the importance that Sofa Sunday has in the retail industry, it is also useful to enclose just what customers are browsing for while lounging on their sofa. Once you know this, you can position your brand to deliver targeted ads and other strategies to reach your consumer.

According to the report, when customers start to online shop, they first hit Amazon first before any other site. In fact, 60% of participants try Amazon first. They do all of the Sofa Sunday research from Amazon, in order to make a successful purchase on Cyber Monday. This means that Amazon has aligned itself to be a target for customers, especially during the holiday season.

When it comes down to the specifics, customers are searching for a variety of different items during Cyber Monday, which means these items are surfacing on Sofa Sunday’s radar. The report revealed the following:

  • Electronics, clothing/accessories and toys appear to be at the top of shoppers’ Cyber Monday wish lists:
    • On Sofa Sunday, shoppers plan to spend the most time hunting for consumer electronics (52 percent), followed by clothing/accessories (45 percent) and toys (27 percent); and
    • Home décor was next (23 percent), followed by health & beauty products (16 percent) and pet supplies (12 percent).
  • Mobile optimization is key for retailers this holiday season:
    • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of shoppers are planning to use their mobile devices to search for deals on Sofa Sunday while at home, at work or on-the-go.

Speaking of mobile optimization, multiple studies that surround the holiday season are guiding business professionals to pay close attention to mobile capabilities. Since Sofa Sunday is prevalent among consumers, it is clear that mobile shopping will, in fact, play a huge role in this year’s shopping patterns.

Because online shopping is so prevalent, marketing professionals and brands can work together to fully optimize this time in order to reach an audience effectively. RetailMeNot exposes this truth in a quote taken from a recent study that revealed just how important mobile is during retail.

“Marketers should not underestimate the influence mobile marketing has on purchases made in all channels—in-store, online and on mobile devices,” said Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer, RetailMeNot, Inc. “Equally as important is the ability to attribute sales back to mobile marketing efforts.” RetailMeNot reports. 

Understanding how to completely optimize mobile capabilities to deliver customers an enhanced shopping experience puts retailers in a position to succeed.

The Takeaway

All in all, Sofa Sunday may come as a surprise to people. Most consumers don’t even realize they are partaking in a retail calendar day because they are simply just carrying out a task that was formed around Cyber Monday. Once retailers understand the relevance and importance of Sofa Sunday, they can truly look at every angle of the holiday season.

Think about it, if you are a retail professional, and you are only focusing on the main hallmark holidays, instead of looking around the days that are most popular, they can miss out on an extraordinary opportunity to reach their consumers. Since consumers are doing shopping online so much, learning how to work around this fact will be key for success in the upcoming season.

Sofa Sunday is quite the day in retail, as consumers simply want to sit back, relax (on their sofas) and search the web for some deals. Retailers, be careful because most of Sofa Sunday browsing is complete before 9 p.m., which leaves a very large window of opportunity for retailers to really get creative while targeting their audience. Last but not least, I will leave you with a quote from the CMO of Valassis, Curtis Tingle, describing just what Sofa Sunday is all about.

“With so much attention focused on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many retailers may overlook Sofa Sunday – an influential shopping day,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer, Valassis. “Brands and retailers that develop their holiday media strategies with the full consumer decision journey in mind are more likely to reach shoppers with relevant, timely messages and will ultimately secure a bigger piece of the retail pie during this critical shopping season.”  Chain Storage reports. 

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Retailers are uniquely positioned to leverage new digital technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and more to deliver enhanced, personalized customer experiences.

It is no surprise that the holiday season is a huge deal for retailers, as they gear up with campaigns to target their audiences. Understanding the importance of the holiday season, and what type of holidays make up the season, positions retailers in a place to succeed. It is clear that mobile platforms are taking off in this sector, and retail professionals must learn how to optimize these capabilities and completely adapt techniques to meet the needs of this demanding time.

Sofa Sunday is one example of how retailers should be focusing on not just the big named day, like Cyber Monday, but the other days around it, in order to fully enhance the shopping experience for the customer.

Through a cutting-edge program designed by the industry, for the industry, we will provide a fresh and up-to-date insight to help move your organization to the next level of digital leadership. A series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.

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