Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Local Search

Let the shopping begin! As I mentionedin my last post, I made my big purchase /holiday shopping last week and am still enjoying it!  This is a big time of the year for businesses and yours need to be ready. Now, I am not one who loves to brave the huge crowds and traffic the day after Thanksgiving but many do.

Many folks will be doing what I did and will continue to do–research on-line, possibly purchase on-line, and then finally drive over to the store and get what they need once the crowds die down. As I have said before, on-line research by the consumer is growing tremendously and your business needs to tap into this resource.

Everyone has heard of Black Friday but I bet many small businesses have not heard of Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday, which will be Nov 26 this year. Past years has shown that consumer on-line searches spike and on-line retail web sites’ traffic and associated sales can reach their highest point of the year on this Monday.

“..the term [Cyber Monday] does describe a very real seasonal trend caused by internet users who are purchasing gifts online or who are looking for offline shops where they’ll buy presents and holiday supplies. For many sites, Mondays have the highest internet usage every week, and this normal trend line becomes even more exaggerated and increased as shoppers flock to find product information, locate stores, or buy online.” says Chris Silver Smith in his lastest post Forget Black Friday! Are You Ready For Holiday Season’s Cyber Mondays?

Chris does a great job explaining this critical shopping time for businesses and has some great statistics to show. Chris also provides some great “online optimization tips for local store sites and etailers”

Another article to bring to your attention, is by Greg Sterling, Black Friday, Inventory Data And Local Shopping. In this article, Greg talks about businesses having their current inventory on-line.

“Depending on the particular survey and product category in question, anywhere from 70 percent to 90+ percent of consumers now consult the Internet before buying in stores. However, the still-missing link in this process is the widespread availability of product inventory data to connect online shoppers with places to buy things in their markets.”

Businesses can definitely help themselves by providing real time or current inventories on-line. I definitely check item availability on-line when shopping.

“It’s too soon to say whether inventory data will become a “commodity.” However very soon consumers will be able to do online product research and then learn, fairly quickly, where they can buy the desired product offline. This is the future of online shopping and any shopping engine or online shopping portal that doesn’t incorporate this local data will be doing so at its own peril”

Both articles should be an encouragement to small business to get work on getting themselves and their product information on-line in order to tap into the growing trend of on-line shopping.

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