Retailers Exhaust 'Black Friday' Early: Bronto
By Ken Magill
Retailers made solid use of the promotional value of Black Friday in their emails this year, just not on Black Friday, according to Jim Davidson, email service provider Bronto’s manager of marketing research.
“A lot of retailers exhausted Black Friday as a promotional theme because they started using it earlier in the month,” said Davidson. “A lot of retailers dropped Black Friday from their offers, subject lines and content throughout the weekend.
“Some were using November as Black Friday Month,” he said. Moreover, at least one retailer pushed out a Black Friday email aimed at the Friday before this year’s actual Black Friday.
“To get ahead and use Black Friday effectively, it became a month-long theme,” said Davidson. “Then when Black Friday arrived, consumers had already seen Black-Friday offers and shopped Black-Friday deals. You can’t send Black Friday emails out when everybody’s already tired of it.”
According to Davidson, rather than make Black Friday offers on Black Friday, at least one major retailer sent Cyber-Monday themed email on Black Friday.
For readers outside the U.S., Black Friday is the term used for the Friday after American Thanksgiving. It is traditionally considered the unofficial start to the Christmas-shopping season.
The term “black” in this context refers to retailers recording profits in black and losses in red.
“Cyber Monday” refers to the first Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.
The term was coined in 2005 by the U.S. National Retail Federation to refer to the spike in sales online retailers saw on the Monday after Thanksgiving when people returned to work and took advantage of their employers’ broadband Internet connections to shop online.
Back then, most American Internet users didn’t have broadband access at home.
However, even though most American consumers now have broadband at home, the term has stuck.
Davidson cautioned against using Thanksgiving weekend 2013 email-marketing trends to draw any conclusions about with may happen next year.
“This is the latest Black Friday to Cyber Monday we’ve had in more than a decade,” he said. “And it’s not going to happen again for a long time. This is kind of like a leap year. I think the decline of Black Friday emails and the bump into Cyber Monday emails was due to the fact that folks started earlier.”
Davidson’s observations came from a study of thousands of emails from more than 400 retailers. As of this writing, he is still processing the data and said he isn’t comfortable sharing hard numbers yet.
He added that Bronto plans to hold a webinar on the exact findings next week. Click here to register.