I love me some Black Friday. And as you know from my blog last week, I think there’s a lot that every show out there and our industry as a whole can do to reap bigger rewards on these mammoth marketing blitzes. (I do wonder how we did this Black Fri and Cyber Mon compared to all the other Fris and Mons of the year – my bet is that it’s not that much different, but would certainly love to be wrong.)
But over the past several years, Black Friday has been rolling back to Thursday. And Cyber Monday was born. And then Small Business Saturday entered the fray. And some stores, like Kmart, introduced Black Friday sales all month long (no doubt to try and steal some shoppers from the other ‘mart that is preceded by a Wal).
And sure, it’s working.
US shoppers spent a super-size $59.1 billion buckowskis this Thanksgiving weekend (each shopper spent an average of $423), which is up more than 13% over last year’s tally. And Cyber Monday was up over 30% from last year.
Yep. It’s definitely working.
Which may be a problem.
The trouble with the expansion of these types of sales is that they often do work. They infuse balance sheets and p/l statements with cash for the short term (and for retailers, it comes at the end of a lot of fiscal years, which is exactly when they need it).
But what happens is that marketers get addicted to the immediate results and say, “Let’s just do more of it! Add another day! Extend the sales period! Just do more of the same! How about Tag Sale Tuesday? Or Whatever-You-Want-To-Pay Wednesday! ”
And thus we end up discounting all year long. And if we don’t? Well, our customers just get peeved because we’ve trained them to expect it, want it . . . and feel entitled to it.
Sales are like steroid shots. Sometimes you need them. And in today’s current consumer climate, we often need them a lot. I’m not disputing that.
But when they work, don’t think about how you can do more of the same. Think about how you can increase full price sales or premium sales to balance out the discounting that you have to do.
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