We are well into the shopping season for 2016 and just closed out two of the biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With retailers like Amazon and Walmart extending the dates for deals and sales, we all should have been able to knock a few things off our shopping lists.
On social media, Black Friday was talked about a lot more than Cyber Monday; it generated 3.9 times higher conversation volume.While a majority of conversations for both days were driven by specific deals and offers, many consumers were also excited about the shopping day in general.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become synonymous with deals and offers, so it was no surprise to see these words appear as the top keywords in social media conversations for both days. However, it is interesting to note that the only retailer that appears in top keywords for social conversation on both the days is Amazon; the online retailer captured the largest share of conversations for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Let’s look at what’s driving social conversations for Amazon this sales season:
1. Convenient Shipping and Delivery–Even During the Busy Shopping Season
Consumers mentioned the retailer not just in the context of deals and sales but also as a convenient place to shop in order to escape the crowd and queues in stores. And, given free shipping and delivery with Amazon Prime, consumers preferred to shop with the online retailer rather than visit stores this holiday season.
These conversations further affirm the fact that online shopping is disrupting the retail industry. It’s now vital for marketers to strengthen their e-commerce game.
2. Prolonged Shopping
Amazon has changed how people think about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon doesn’t just focus on these two days of shopping. They begin the sales early and continue until late December. This year they have announced sales and deals through the third week of December!
Since this is obviously an integrated digital marketing campaign, these initiatives are also reflected on Amazon’s website, where consumers can see deals of the day and “watch” upcoming deals. Such strategies not only give customers more time to think about what they really want–they also help keep consumers engaged and the brand top-of-mind.
3. Initiatives for Corporate Social Responsibility
Amazon also incorporated fundraising into Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping to support various charities and non-profits through their Amazon Smile Program. Initiatives like these help build positivity among consumers and drive brand loyalty.
4. Enhance Consumer Experience by Making Shopping Convenient
Amazon has altered traditional consumer behavior towards shopping, especially with the Amazon Prime, their CRM program, that reaches nearly half of US households, providing access to better deals, free shipping, and a hassle-free checkout. These aspects won consumers over this shopping season, even though Amazon sometimes had a higher price.
Deals and offers were the main conversation drivers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. However, these discussions show us that deals and offers are not the only reason consumers choose one retailer over another. Listening to consumers to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points helps retailers differentiate themselves and forge a significant relationship with customers.
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