September 26, 2016

Thanksgiving and Christmas

In sports, promotions are frequently assigned at the start of the year. June 19th is "Bobblehead Day" ... September 9 is "Bark at the Park Day". The promotions offer something on top of the price the customer pays to attend the game. And some teams leverage "dynamic pricing", so that the games that are most popular have the most expensive prices. Want to attend the game when your team is about to win the pennant, and it's a few days before the game will be played? You're going to pay.

In e-commerce and retail, we do the exact opposite.

Think about Thanksgiving and Christmas. "Black Friday" comes to mind. It's the biggest "game" of the year in retail. Does retail charge you the most on that day, comparable to a sports team? Not even close. Retail makes darn sure that retail will make the least amount of profit possible by offering every conceivable discount and promotion under the sun. I know, I know, you'll say that the customer won't shop if you don't offer the promotion. But why does the sports fan happily spend more to go to the games that are most important, including playoff games and championship events?

E-commerce is no better. Think about Cyber Monday. Are you able to charge the customer the most for this big Thanksgiving/Christmas shopping event? No? Your favorite vendor or trade journalist demands that you offer huge discounts? Yes!

In the future, retail and e-commerce are going to have to become more like professional sports franchises. Today, during the biggest events, we ask customers to spend less (#doorbusters) ... the bigger the event, the less we ask the customer to pay. In sports, we ask "fans" to spend more ... the bigger the event, the more we ask the fan to pay.

Is it any wonder that the NFL / NBA / MLB are swimming in money, while retailers fight for their existence?

Of course, this means that retail and e-commerce must create events that cause customers to want to spend more. We're not good at this, are we?