From Black Friday to Giving Tuesday – Are You Prepared?

The media frenzy surrounding this, the perennial powerhouse retail weekend south of the border, has impacted our Canadian Retail landscape. As Canadian shoppers, we are exposed to all the US messaging and we want in on the deals too! Essentially, Canadian retailers have had to respond because the Canadian shopper is all too willing to shop on US websites or travel in person to get the deals. If Canadian Retailers want Canadian dollars to stay in the country, they need to be proactive.

In our updated blog post last year at this time and in our 2011 White Paper the Top 6 Priorities for eCommerce Holiday Results, Media Experts pointed out that while there may be a ‘too early’ factor in-store for holiday music or décor, Holiday shopping online begins in October and is in full swing by November.

This trend remains true today and many of our retail customers started their Holiday media campaigns a full month earlier than in years past. This not only helps to capture the earlier demand for shopping (particularly online) but also allows us to leverage the excitement over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Getting into the consideration set earlier gives consumers gift ideas and lets them know where to shop before they have time to plan that trip across the border.

Aside from kicking off the holidays sooner, our retail customers are also helping to educate their customer base on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, events that are still relatively new to Canada – letting them know upfront if the deals are available all weekend long, if they are available in store and/or online and in some cases providing a countdown in their messaging as a reminder.

Even our customers that don’t discount or are already providing low everyday pricing get on-board to show their participation in this exciting customer experience. It’s part of staying relevant and understanding what is important to their customers. Our partner Covenant House, the charity that helps Toronto’s Homeless Youth, is increasing their media presence this weekend to remind people during the frenzy that gifts can also take the form of volunteerism or donation to those less fortunate. This is ahead of Giving Tuesday (Dec 3), the latest and most welcome addition to events adopted from our Southern neighbor.

This will be a national day to “open the season of giving” and remind people, after the year’s biggest weekend of conspicuous consumption, of all those valuable charities who need our support year round but especially during the holidays.