Why This Weekend Will Be The Biggest Online Shopping Day Of The Year
Each year, I play a fun guessing game on which day(s) will be the biggest online selling days of the year. My “bet” for this year is going to be mid-day Dec. 12th -13. Why that particular day and a half? Allow me to explain:
In bad economies, we are less likely to have cash sitting around. This particular recession is no exception, and because this recession is partially caused by the credit crunch, we are certainly less likely to have cash. Therefore, we are more likely to spend based on our paycheck date. We are especially more likely to purchase something expensive near the time we are getting a paycheck (thursday evening) in anticipation of having the money, or when we have an actual paycheck in hand (friday).
Need an example of paycheck syndrome?
When you get a promotion or a raise, what’s the first thing you do? You take your buddies or family out to celebrate (that is, spend money), but you have not yet actually gotten anything in your hand. It’s akin to “counting your chickens before they are hatched.”
Guilty as charged
Sales at high luxury have plummeted recently. It’s not so much that the rich can’t afford to buy it, but rather they “feel guilty,” or don’t think it’s “politically correct” (as GM’s executives found out the hard way). Furthermore, in studies, researchers have found that offering a “do good” incentive, such as putting up a sign that a charitable donation will be made from the proceeds of a sale, allows people to make luxury purchases guilt-free, so they are more likely to buy.
What is this “guilt”?
We feel “guilty” spending money when we see others suffering and when we have or expect to have a lack of it, so we need some sort of a “cushion” to help us feel that it is OK to spend. Whether that comes in the form of a do good incentive, or a promise of better times around the corner, doesn’t matter much.
We’ve all heard the phrase “shop till you drop” many times. But to shop until the point of exhaustion requires quite a bit of time to elapse (except for those men who hate malls). Saturday the 13th is likely to be a big day because people aren’t working (or going out at night the same way they do on Friday night), and it’s the last weekend to order at most places and still be sure to get in time for Christmas.
If you were to make a graph of the value of holiday gifts, the highest point would be near the time you are giving it to the recipient, and the graph would drop off a cliff shortly thereafter. The reason for this is that a late gift creates a social situation many prefer not to be in. (Why else would people go crazy shopping the last week or two before Christmas each year?)
Now, there’s nothing more frustrating than buying something for a particular event, and then only getting it after the event.
People get worried about shopping and getting delivery on time. This is why during these days a full guide to shipping with last days to get certain shipping options is one of the greatest influences on a purchasing decision.
Here is an example of HisRoom.com’s shipping table, where they even separate the chart based on the particular holiday you are trying to get the shipment before:
Indeed, if you run an e-commerce store, and don’t offer that information, you’ll watch your sales nearly flat-line as it gets close to Christmas, since shoppers won’t feel safe ordering and getting their products on-time without some assurance by you.
‘Tis The Season For Deals
This year is bringing some very big changes to shopper behavior. There is a huge move by shoppers to try and buy online. This has to do with the “branding” of online buying. People associate buying online with some positive things, like:
Ease of shopping, the prevalence of “deals,” and no threat of huge lines at checkout in retail stores (which has become a growing concern among many shoppers, especially males).
The main motivations for buying this season, according to the NRF are:
- 40% of total shoppers give preference to or select those stores which offer good discounts & promotions.
- 12.6% consumers say that they would be interested in daily bargains or lowest prices tagged on daily basis.
- 21.5% consumers are looking for wider selection of merchandise/products.
- 13.4% consumers give preference to the quality of the merchandise.
- 5.6% of consumers choose the store on basis of after sales/customer support & location wise respectively.
I’m sure you noticed the top motivation is caused by great discounts and promotions, for which the internet is king. Everybody knows you can go online and find a great deal. This is perhaps the best branding in this economy, and likely to mark a huge shift of buyers from stores to the internet this season.
For all these reasons, my bet is on mid Dec. 12-13 being the biggest online shopping day this year. Well, I’ve got my popcorn ready, and I’m ready for the show – are you?