"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Lizzie Komar, Associate Analyst, AdExchanger Research.
Though analysts predicted strong growth for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, sales both in stores and online were estimated to have dropped 11 percent to $50.9 billion from $57.4 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation. As marketers, the typical response is to question where the marketing went wrong. Was it poor customer targeting? Perhaps misfired pricing decisions? Or messaging overload? All of the above? None of the above?
But there is an intriguing story embedded in this year’s ultimate shopping weekend that few people are talking about. Despite lack of overall sales growth, online sales were higher than in-store sales over the holiday weekend and, according to IBM, are up 17% from last year. The implications of this are noteworthy – online is a significantly less expensive sales channel than brick-and-mortar, so despite diminished sales overall, with smart planning this year marketers could have achieved a positive ROI by focusing resources on the online sales channel rather than brick and mortar efforts.
If this trend continues – and it should – it’s good news for marketers interested in doing more with less for next year’s Black Friday.