The peak holiday activity for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is finally over and Christmas is rapidly approaching. Before you head off to the most unproductive week of the year, we have a few key insights for you to get the wheels turning for next year.

Start Early

This year we again saw record numbers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but retailers are getting smarter and starting earlier. Some brands, such as Amazon, started offering deals a week prior to Thanksgiving. There is always heavy activity surrounding the holiday weekend, which results in a lot of noise you need to break through. As a shopper it was difficult to even identify many of the deals brands were offering.

In short, sell first. Inform your customers what the deals are going to be on the weekend and help make the buying sooner. There is a lot of research pointing to customers who are making purchases and doing research much earlier. We actually have an entire article we posted this fall if you would like to read more here.

Push Mobile

Across our clients, we saw a 50% increase in traffic and a 30% increase in orders for mobile phones. This isn’t a new story, as last year we began to see the scales tip in favor of mobile. Many brands are beginning to see more traffic come from mobile than desktop, and it doesn’t look like the trend is slowing down. You need to plan for mobile, especially around the holidays, most product research begins on a mobile device. If you are looking for some thought starters Google has a lot of information on it here.

Don’t make the Fatal Flaw

It seems like common sense, but I continue to see it in our industry. Please, make a marketing calendar, and never ever release deals that overlap or negate previous purchases on holiday weekend. If I see 25% off on Friday, do not make Monday 30%. To be safe try and keep deals consistent over holiday or release your best deals first and slowly dial them back as time goes on. Jacob wrote a great article on some frustrating holiday experiences you can read about here.

Friday or Monday?

Lastly, there has been a shift away from Cyber Monday towards Black Friday for online sales.  Black Friday outperformed Cyber Monday in orders and traffic for half of our clients. Across the industry, customers tend to merge brick and mortar with the online business, and experience it as one brand interaction. While we generally treat the channels as separate experiences, we need to remain consistent. Black Friday is historically the largest shopping day due to the holidays, as well as the day off for most of the working force. As customers begin to adapt towards online stores, I believe the distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday will continue to diminish, and we will begin to see a Holiday Shopping “week”.

In summary, customer behavior is constantly changing in the industry. Be sure to start early, push mobile, don’t make the fatal flaw, and strategize for holiday shopping days. We hope these insights help you in your planning and let us know in a comment below any interesting behavior you saw over the holiday.