Drumroll, please…the next seven days will bring holiday shopping into one of its most exciting, climactic moments. It's once again time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Traditionally, these have been two specific days' worth of discounts, deals, and attractive advertising. But over the years, this has morphed into sometimes an entire week or more for retailers' and e-tailers' biggest bargains of the year.
For a little holiday shopping trivia, Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, first began in the 1950s. The boost in sales that day would push retailers from the financial "red" (losing money) into the "black" (aka, profitable), due to the big volume increase. This limited spike took care of any imbalances in sales revenue that occurred throughout the first 11 months of the year. More than 50 years later, with the popularity of the Internet and ultimately, e-commerce, Cyber Monday was born. The Monday following Black Friday was yet another push for e-tailers with their online shoppers.
Interestingly enough, while Black Friday has seniority as the much-loved shopper's tradition, Cyber Monday has taken the lead as the biggest online shopping day of the holiday season. At an increasing rate, consumers get their clicking fingers ready to hit "buy now" from their computers and mobile devices in order to be among the lucky individuals to get the hottest items at the lowest prices. In fact, in 2021, in part due the consumer behavior effects of COVID-19, Cyber Monday sales were approximately $10.7 billion, as compared to $8.9 billion in Black Friday revenue.
One of the biggest reasons, apart from convenience, that online shoppers flock to the Internet for their purchases is due to coupons and discounts. E-commerce consumers are looking for "let's make a deal" during holiday shopping. Industry experts predict this will have an even bigger influence this year with consumers due to the record-high inflation rate in 2022. Customers need to stretch their dollars far and wide, yet don't want to trim their shopping lists, according to industry sources.
None of this is surprising to top online retailers as they have certainly felt the power of Cyber Monday. Feeding this e-commerce enthusiasm, more than 80% of these popular e-tailers offer sales on Cyber Monday. The award for the biggest of these unsurprisingly goes to (another drumroll please…) Amazon.
During the regular, non-holiday shopping season, Amazon is the most visited online retailer in the world with approximately $2 billion monthly in the U.S. alone. Moreover, it's taken the place of not just retailer but also RESEARCHER given 63% of online shoppers search Amazon for products first over actual search engines. Imagine replacing one of the most uttered Google search phrases ever with, "Did you Amazon that?"
In addition to Amazon's power to easily find perhaps the largest selection of goods at your fingertips – with fast affordable shipping, to boot – it also clearly has the power to close deals. More than 89% of online shoppers are likely to buy from Amazon over other e-tailing options.
As has become tradition, Amazon is using its power to tempt and persuade shoppers this coming week. While Cyber Monday sounds like just one weekday, Amazon officially begins its Cyber Monday deals on Saturday, November 26th, through the end of Monday, November 28th (Pacific Time). Not only are they extending their cyber deals, they are digging deep with anticipated impressive discounts and additional terms, such as flexible payments and cash back rewards.
While all of this sounds like capitalism at work and convenient and cost-friendly for consumers ready to tackle their holiday shopping lists, it also means that Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) violations are going to spike. Each holiday season, as e-tailers attempt to win the "buy box" over their competitors, prices sink lower and lower. For manufacturers utilizing a MAP policy, this means it's time to get ever more diligent in cracking down on violations. Violations left untreated will be rewarded and, as such, repeated…again and again throughout the holiday season and perhaps the rest of the year!
It should be noted that some manufacturers choose to take a "holiday break" for a short window during Black Friday or Cyber Monday in an attempt to increase revenue. However, these small vacas from pricing typically result in several more weeks of violations as manufacturers attempt to get their distribution chain back into compliance.
It's critical at this time of year, especially, that you employ MAP monitoring software. It's the only way to keep on top of the spike in violations, 24/7. MAPCOP can help. We can get you up and running fast – yes, even in time for this coming weekend – so that you can protect your brand, prices, and revenue. Cyber Monday should mean big sales for many manufacturers; don't let it become Nightmare Month for your bottom line.
To start protecting your brand, begin a free trial of MAPCOP today.