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Reflecting on Lessons from a Unique Black Friday-Cyber Monday

The Black Friday-Cyber Monday (BFCM) period tends to be a bellwether for the holiday shopping season. In the past, it has provided clues about how much Canadians will spend in December and how much of that spending will occur online, which makes it a point of intense focus for digital marketing agencies. The 2020 BFCM was no exception.

As most analysts predicted, and as Google succinctly outlined in a recent Think with Google Canada article, “this year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday … was a historic weekend that reflects the way shopping’s centre of gravity has shifted online, with important implications for retailers seeking to plan for the rest of the holiday season.” Below are some of those implications:

Peak Shopping May Hit Earlier

According to Google’s research and historical data, holiday shopping tends to peak online in the second week of December and offline in the week before Christmas. This year, with COVID affecting brick-and-mortar hours, all bets are off. People who would usually seek out holiday gifts in-stores may now search online, and shoppers who have previously bought online may advance their purchases.

That means that there should be no ‘down’ period following BCFM – retailers must be ready to reach customers at every moment from now until the end of the holiday season.

Last-Minute Shoppers are Valuable Customers

BCFM is the biggest moment of the year for retailers, but last-minute holiday shoppers continue to make valuable purchases up until the final hours before Christmas. According to Google’s data, shoppers made an average of 3.5 purchases in the final week before December 25; in fact, 82 per cent of ‘shopping occasions’ become purchases during that period.

The Online Shift is Not an Anomaly

COVID-19 has pushed more shoppers than ever into online purchases, and Google – and GrowthEngine – are confident that the shift is here to stay. Brick and mortar retailers will always have a role to play in the shopping experience, but it is more important than ever to mix in-person offerings with robust online marketing and retail options.

GrowthEngine Media is a Google Premier Partner, one of a limited number of Canadian digital marketing agencies with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices. Reach out today to discuss how we can help your business improve its online presence.


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