Which is better Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

3 min read

Which is better Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Are you wondering which is better, Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Let’s find out...

Black Friday Deals

Each year as Black Friday approaches the retail world flies into a frenzy with huge discounts and promotions, even resulting in crazy stories of stores being overrun by discount mad shoppers fighting over the last product left on the shelves. We’ve even heard the horror stories of people being hurt, and in the worst-case scenario, a Walmart employee was trampled by a stampede of shoppers, who tragically died as a result.

So why does Black Friday get shoppers so riled up?

In the US, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. Billions are spent by shoppers looking to get the best deals in time for Christmas.

Black Friday is the best in-store shopping event to buy new, big-ticket items. You’ll likely see shoppers walking away with a top of the range flat-screen TV for half price or less.

However, as the shopping event newcomer, Cyber Monday is making huge waves for e-commerce and even taking over Black Friday as the superior discount shopping day.

In this post, we are going to look at why we believe Cyber Monday to be the far superior day for shopping discounts, and what businesses can do to maximise sales while delivering on the best deals to their customers.

History of Black Friday

Black Friday emerged from the 1950s where stores would introduce big sales to begin the Christmas shopping season. The sales from these events were so big that often annual profits would tip into the black after being at a revenue loss throughout the year.

History of Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday on the other hand emerged loosely as a result of Black Friday. Ellen Davis, senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives for the National Retail Federation coined the term Cyber Monday after noticing year on year increased online spending the Monday following Thanksgiving. (This was estimated because of a faster internet connection at the office in the days before high-speed home internet). In 2005, the name was given to this day as ‘Cyber Monday’ which has then spread like wildfire ever since as marketing from businesses promoted the term. That first Monday in 2005, sales reached almost half a billion dollars- increasing exponentially year on year.

Expenditure growth: Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday has now outgrown both Black Friday and Amazon Prime day as the largest consumer spending day of the year. With sales last year in 2019 hitting $9.4 billion in the US. Up from $7.9 billion in 2018, in one year alone, sales increased a huge 19% according to Forbes.

At the peak hour, spending increased to $11 million on average for every minute! 

Whereas Black Friday spending for 2019 reached $7.4 billion.

With Cyber Monday being such a young event in comparison to Black Friday, we can expect to see future online sales for the Cyber Monday event increasing ever more exponentially than they already are.

How Long Does Cyber Monday last?

You will have noticed that Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals can begin up to a week in advance. In some cases even a month before the actual day!

Companies are taking advantage of this shopping event online, promoting week-long deals referred to as Cyber Week.

This is even true for Black Friday too. Many companies are even promoting their online sales as ‘Black Friday Deals’ as this is what shoppers are mainly accustomed to. But more and more shoppers are catching onto the term Cyber Monday.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020

Black Friday and Cyber Monday will commence this Friday 27th November through to Monday 30th November 2020.

With the devastation of the Coronavirus crisis and public caution still high in areas around the world, we can safely estimate that more shoppers will be turning to online shopping instead of visiting stores this year.

With online sales you don’t just have your local area to compete with- you have the entire world!

So how can you differentiate your deals and stand out from the crowd? Let's take a look at some easy marketing strategies you can implement to get more Cyber Monday sales this year.

Cyber Monday marketing strategies

With a huge drive towards eCommerce and digital shopping, what should your business do about it?

Facilitate gift-giving with selling gift cards

Most people shopping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals will be on the search for Christmas gifts for loved ones.

The best promotions are when shoppers don’t have to think too hard about purchasing something. So make your gift cards clear and concise with messaging that promotes luxury, desirable gifts that will make someone happy. And it doesn’t have to stop at monetary gift cards either.

Gift cards are the perfect Cyber Monday deal item to sell as you can apply them to both physical gifts and even experiential gifts.

If you’re in the hospitality industry, no doubt you’ve experienced a great deal of hardship this year. As the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in enforced closures, many hotels, restaurants and pubs turned to using gift cards to help bail out the imminent revenue loss.

Selling gift cards or as we like to call them here in the UK gift experiences, allows businesses to sell their services as gifts. Making them ideal to sell for Cyber Monday deals.

Hotel rooms with dinner, a spa treatment or round of golf can be packaged up into a fantastic bundle or individually into a money-saving deal for Cyber Monday.

We talk more about selling gift cards as gift experiences in our post on Black Friday Marketing strategy if you want to know more about why consumers are choosing experiences over physical goods.

Benefits of selling gift cards for Cyber Monday

  1. Gift cards are one of the top items that are bought on Cyber Monday.
  2. Quick and easy to purchase online and on mobile.
  3. Gift cards usually have an expiry date of 12 months plus to be used so there is no pressure to book something right away.
  4. Companies can create unusual and exciting experiences through their gift cards.
  5. Gift experiences can even be used during lockdowns, see our case study on The Celtic Manor Resorts ‘Celtic at Home’ gift experiences and how they survived the enforced lockdown closures by offering these unique gift experiences.

Encourage treating yourself with gift cards too!

Each year consumers are buying digital gift cards and experiences for themselves, increasing by 13% since 2014.

So be sure to use messaging that encourages self-pampering. This is especially the case in gift experiences. Restaurant gift experiences work particularly well for this. Ensure that this is extended across social media as well as your website and email campaigns.

Promote your Black Friday Cyber Monday deals on social media

Social media has a huge influence on the reach of people viewing your deals. It’s imperative you run many social media campaigns promoting Black Friday through to Cyber Monday to catch as many eyes as possible.

Whether you run competitions, include influencers or post live content you want to focus a high amount of effort on your deals to achieve high web traffic which is half the initial battle.

We have a great post on how to run social media campaigns to sell gift vouchers, take a look it will be worth your time!

Marketing design on online products

As shoppers are more familiar with the term Black Friday over Cyber Monday you need to enhance your online product design with marketing that will scream Black Friday Deals for you. This is to quickly catch the shoppers eye, and they will automatically assume they are getting a discounted deal.

A good way to achieve this is to design the main backdrop of products to be black or to include black within the image. For promoting special Black Friday gift experiences, it will be worth doing a custom photoshoot to enhance the visual of Black Friday.

Launch email campaigns to existing customers

Shoppers everywhere will be looking to bag deals as the holidays approach. You need to not only cash in on this shopping trend, but it also gives you an opportunity to reward your loyal customer base with great deals too.

A great way to entice them with your deals is to offer gift cards and gift experiences which will not only encourage them to return, but also upon return they will likely spend additional money with you during their visit.

Which is better Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

If we haven't yet convinced you that Cyber Monday is better than Black Friday, then check out these little extra benefits to consumers. (We think any Black Friday deal online technically counts as Cyber Monday!)

  1. Online shopping is more convenient.
  2. Shop from the convenience of your smartphone.  In 2019 Cyber Monday mobile sales generated 42% of total revenue.
  3. Fewer items will be out of stock on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday.
  4. You can consider shopping for gifts more carefully instead of impulse buying when shopping in-store deals.
  5. Cost comparisons are easier with online shopping.
  6. You have the availability of the entire internet to shop and aren’t restricted to one shopping Centre or the limited stores at the location.
  7. You avoid the hectic and sometimes dangerous crowds associated with the Black Friday rush.
  8. Online stores will often have free shipping as well as multiple deals to be competitive for Cyber Monday.
  9. Cyber Monday typically lasts the entire weekend, even stretching front the week prior as ‘early deals’.

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