Black Friday and Cyber Monday – the two most important 24-hour shopping periods of the year – are now mere days away. It's not too late, however, for marketers to make that last ditch effort to beat the competition and generate sales from their email marketing lists.
If you find yourself staying up late the night before Thanksgiving or waking up early on the holiday to put the finishing touches on the email campaign you hope will seal the deal with your customers and maximize revenue this weekend, it's key that you know the market predictions for this year's holiday shopping season so that you can effectively target your promotions.
Cyber Monday will be crucial this year
The Monday after Thanksgiving is the traditional date on which retailers offer a range of great deals on purchases made through digital storefronts, and this year in particular, ignoring Cyber Monday can spell disaster.
Adobe's Digital Index revealed that Cyber Monday is expected to generate considerably more revenue than Black Friday this year – $2.27 billion, compared to the day after Thanksgiving's $1.628 billion. What's more, online sales on Thanksgiving Day itself will rise by 21 percent this year over 2012.
As such, marketers should consider sending promotions that customers can take advantage of instantly on Thanksgiving weekend by going to the company's website to make a purchase.
Brick-and-mortar retail remains relevant
That doesn't mean, however, that firms should bank on in-store shopping becoming a thing of the past. A recent study by WD Partners found that consumers still go to brick-and-mortar retailers for experiences that online stores like Amazon simply can't provide.
The researchers found that 79 percent of consumers value physical stores for the instant gratification of making a purchase and having the item immediately in their possession, as opposed to waiting for it to ship. Furthermore, 75 percent said they liked in-store shopping for the richer sensory experience it provides.
As such, retail stores need to meet certain customer expectations.
"The store should be a place of inspiration and ideas that leaves shoppers with a high or sense of euphoria. The in-store shopping experience must offer more than a warehouse does," noted Lee Paterson, WD Partners' executive vice president of creative services.
For companies that have an online presence but still want to bring consumers into their stores this holiday season, email marketing plays an important role. Your emails should position your brand in a way that highlights its unique character, and you might also consider making some – but certainly not all – promotions available exclusively in-store.