Despite Thanksgiving being a day for enjoying a wonderfully cooked feast and watching competitive football matches (Sanchez and the Jets’ circus act aside), consumers were quite active on ‘Turkey day’ this year. Research indicates that consumers spent upwards of $630 million, representing a hefty 33% increase compared to 2011. Consumers took advantage of the extra time off from work and the promotional pre-Black Friday deals that permeated the online environment. Overall, this past weekend proved to be a giant money maker for retailers, allowing them to leverage the commercial nature of the holiday season.
Social referrals prove their worth during the holiday season
Social referrals may have decreased by 35% percent according to a report from IBM, but users took advantage of the channels available to scope out potential deals. For example, Facebook posts involving photos and/or links were efficacious in creating community engagement. Interestingly enough, the highest point of interaction between users and brands on Facebook was between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Thursday, whereas the hot-spot for Twitter was around 5 a.m on Friday. A key finding in the research pointed out that the most popular retweets were those mentioning promotions such as free shipping and discounts, perfectly illustrating the viral power of social media in this day and age.
The results are not surprising considering these online retailers have made significant efforts to promote their respective brands online and have established their real estate in the E-Commerce stratosphere. Amazon in particular is renown as a major marketplace to find excellent deals for a wide array of consumer products.
The holiday shopping season has begun
Now that the Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone, retailers need to go back to the drawing board and get prepared for the upcoming December festivities. This is the perfect time for online retailers to begin planning and implementing promotional activities to exploit (for lack of a better term) the commercialization of the holiday season. Drip email campaigns, social media marketing, and paid advertising can help brands generate a significant amount of awareness over the next couple of weeks and translate the traffic into sales as the major holidays approach.