When the Weather Outside is Frightful … E-Commerce for the Holidays

by Sharp | December 14, 2012

The news is in and online spending stayed strong through early December, with consumers spending $5.9 billion online last week (up 15% from the same period last year), according to comScore.

Holiday E-Commerce

Could this mark a shift from the Black Friday frenzy? If marketers have anything to do with it, probably not. But between Cyber Monday and Green Monday and the rise of flash sale sites and e-warehouse sales, the perception that the only deals are to be found on Black Friday is probably out the window.

The start-up space is full of new and interesting destinations for all types of online shoppers.  Relatively established players, like Etsy, place an emphasis on gifts for the season, and have a history of innovating when it comes to social shoppers.  Similarly, Amazon recently launched a price comparison tool to help shoppers find the best deals on the web.

They are being challenged by a new crop of start-ups, ranging from the flash-sale sites, like Fab.com (from which several people on my list will be receiving gifts this year), to group gifting services like newly-launched GiftSimple and monthly subscription models made popular by Birchbox (and all of their copycat spin-offs).

Even established corporations, like American Express, are tapping into the power of these start-ups through unique partnerships for the holidays.  Just in the past few days, I’ve noticed the $10 refund offer on my Foursquare account – a reward for frequenting small businesses in my neighborhood (see details of that deal from Foursquare).

With so many e-commerce options offering simple ways to find, choose, purchase and save, I think we’ll see that initial Black Friday shopping pike level out over time, as people shop more efficiently and at their convenience.

Who knows, maybe we’ll even start to spend Thanksgiving midnight with our families… here’s to hope for the holidays!

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