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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 29, 2011

'January sales' frenzy a thing of the past?

Smartphones are changing the face of retail and now, according to some experts, as users come to expect all-year-round deals and promotions, retailers are having to rethink their post-holiday sales strategies.

by Helen Leggatt

Consumers are 'mobile' and 'fickle' and go where the deals are, according to Local Data Company's spokesman Matthew Hopkinson, and for many shoppers that means heading online or consulting their mobile device.

And thanks to mobile and online there's always a deal to be found. This has nurtured a culture in which consumers expect discounts and promotions all year round.

So what does that mean for the traditional January sales on the High Street and their accompanying crowds of bargain-hunters? It means, according to Hopkinson, that they may not be in January for much longer as stores have to start their sales earlier to ensure they don't miss out on revenues normally generated by the post-Christmas retail frenzy.

"The rush of the January sales seem to have gone as retailers now do promotions through the year," David Hughes-Lewis, spokesman for Cardiff Retail Partnership (in the UK), told Wales Online. "It has now become the norm to have a sales-drive before Christmas."

Mobile has been a big driver of this time-shift aided, no doubt, by financial pressures that lead shoppers to seek out the smartest deal. Smartphone users have been found to start their holiday shopping earlier in the year, even before Thanksgiving,

According to Gigaom's Stacey Higginbotham, "In the last few years, as Cyber Monday traffic has bled back into Black Friday and even the two days of the weekend, the smartphone has changed the holiday landscape even more."

Data just released by mobile platform company Usablenet shows that mobile traffic was heavier on Thanksgiving than Black Friday this year.

Tags: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, ecommerce, High Street, mcommerce, mobile marketing, smartphone

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