Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which One Wins for Retailers?

It seems simple for shoppers: Find the deals, and then decide whether to join the frenzied lines before dawn or “add to cart” from the comfort of one’s couch.

For retailers, their performance on Black Friday and Cyber Monday — two of the biggest shopping days of the year — can not only impact their bottom lines, but also signal what’s to come for the industry.

So it’s no surprise companies are calling for all hands on deck both online and in stores — particularly as the average consumer spends nearly $2,000 during the holiday season, according to market intelligence company Cardlytics.

“It’s important for retailers to participate in both Black Friday and Cyber Monday on multiple retail channels to cater to all kinds of consumers,” chief marketing officer Dani Cushion told FN.

In the recent report, the firm noted that today’s shoppers tend to spread out their shopping across the season, with 30 percent of all holiday spending in 2017 occurring in the four weeks leading up to Black Friday (and ramping up again right before Christmas).

However, Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to drive record sales for a number of retailers. While online-only businesses experienced a drop in Black Friday sales year over year, Cardlytics recorded that retailers with both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce operations saw the most dramatic Black Friday and Cyber Monday spike.

“As consumers take time to relax with family in the days following Thanksgiving, we’re seeing that many are opting to stay home and still take advantage of the same Black Friday door busters from their favorite retailers’ online channels,” Cushion said.

But even though their share of spend is decreasing, physical stores still commanded more than 80 percent of holiday spend in 2017. “Despite the convenience associated with holiday shopping via online and mobile platforms, many consumers still prefer the in-store shopping experience,” she added.

While Black Friday consumers might be enticed with exclusive in-store promotions, retailers can win over Cyber Monday shoppers through mobile-app deals and free shipping, such as those offered by Amazon and Target.

“In the weeks before Christmas, retailers can effectively appeal to procrastinators who typically leave shopping to the eleventh hour by highlighting extended store hours and last-minute express shipping,” Cushion said.

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