Last year, we questioned whether Thanksgiving is the new Cyber Monday. This year comes word from benchmarking service Coremetrics that Thanksgiving Day online shopping rose by 39 percent over last year, with estimated U.S. sales of $400 million. And according to Internet Retailer, this is the first time Thanksgiving Day sales have beaten Saturday’s sales. Initial sales numbers from WebLinc B2C clients mirror the pre-Cyber Monday uptick in sales.
That being said, the Thanksgiving Day sales number is still a considerably lower number than Cyber Monday, which early results have as being up 20 percent from last year, and expected to exceed $1.5 billion.
How can eCommerce marketers benefit from these analytics next year? For starters, consider the timing of your sales and the marketing that goes with them. I know my inbox overflowed with offers from online retailers on Cyber Monday, but Thanksgiving was relatively quiet. Internet Retailer also suggests that traffic picked up markedly between the hours of 6pm and midnight. Think about enticing shoppers with limited, timed sales that occur after dinner. Don’t forget that many people are not shopping for themselves at this time of the year. Free shipping for purchasing from someone else’s wish list could drum up sales, especially since this is a time when many people are spending time with friends and family, and tablets and smart phones are making it easy to bring the online shopping conversation into the living room. Take a good look at your site’s analytics. Is there a spike in a spike in gift wrapped items? A spike in the type of items being gift wrapped, or the times those items are being purchased? Prioritize incentives using that knowledge to create meaningful promotions.