November 22, 2007

Cyber Monday: Whoopie!

Having digested my turkey dinner, it is time to focus on where commerce is headed over the next few weeks.

Grizzled direct marketing veterans spent portions of the past ten decades forecasting sales volume between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was an important job, because you had to have just the right staffing level to handle the call volume on "peak day". Every cataloger had to predict the day that would be the "peak day" between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And then the internet channel came along. Suddenly, everything needed to be "re-discovered". You didn't walk down the hall to talk to the catalog forecasting manager to identify which day would be "peak day".

Nope, there would be a new term, called "Cyber Monday". It would be the Monday after "Black Friday", with Black Friday being the day when you woke at 2:00am so that you could stand in line for the opening of the Kohls store at 4:00am so that you could enjoy the myriad of benefits associated with a vintage "doorbuster" promotion.

Some people tried to do good with the term.

But for many others, it represents an opportunity to get attention. "Cyber Monday is the First Monday in December", or "Cyber Monday is the last Monday before Christmas", or "There are actually four Cyber Mondays", or "You better have discounts or promotions or you'll be left behind on Cyber Monday", or "You'll be dead without an e-mail strategy for Cyber Monday".

Most assuredly, you still have a peak day, dependent upon consumer demand and your catalog/e-mail/paid search/organic traffic/free shipping/last day for expedited shipping strategy.

Somebody in your company knows what day this is. Go ask that person what day really matters in your company.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:50 PM

    Kevin,
    Again great comments. I'd be curious to learn what percentage of the Cyber Mondays are returning customers year after year, or if like the brick and mortar they need to offer extensive doorbuster deals(often at very low margins or even at cost) to attract customers.
    K

    ReplyDelete
  2. Easy to measure, we did that at Nordstrom back in the day.

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  3. Anonymous11:24 PM

    Kevin,
    I realize easy for retailer to measure..but I am from vendor side, I don't have access to that data. From your Nordstrom experience, if you are allowed to say it, which mode were you in for Cyber Mondays? Retention with little need for special deals or Acquisition relying on free shipping and "doorbuster" promotions?
    Curious minds wanna know! :-)
    K

    ReplyDelete
  4. I won't share that information, as it is proprietary.

    In general, Cyber Monday is just vendor-hype. That should tell you what you need to know.

    ReplyDelete