By Rieva Lesonsky
When it comes to holiday shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Monday typically grab all the headlines—but the real powerhouse this year just might be Thanksgiving Day, according to data reported by Internet Retailer.
A study by email services provider Responsys found that some 80 percent of major retailers plan to send email marketing messages on Thanksgiving Day this year, up from 76 percent last year, 60 percent in 2010 and 45 percent in 2009. That will make Thanksgiving Day the third busiest day for email, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Last year, online shoppers spent $479 million on Thanksgiving Day, an increase of 18 percent over 2010, according to comScore stats reported in the article.
With Thanksgiving “[replacing] Black Friday as the unofficial kick-off the holiday shopping season,” as Responsys puts it, what kind of marketing messages should you send on the holiday?
Reponsys says there are two different tacks retailers typically take with Thanksgiving Day emails: one, promoting special Thanksgiving Day sales, the other, teasing Black Friday promotions or offering them a bit earlier than normal.
With some brick-and-mortar retailers opening stores on Thanksgiving last year, you don’t even have to be an ecommerce retailer to take advantage of the Thanksgiving Day trend.
Of course, there are some consumers who dislike the idea of shopping on a national holiday—but there’s even an appropriate marketing email for them: You can tell them that your store will be closed on Thanksgiving Day to honor tradition and family.
What’s behind the growth in Thanksgiving Day marketing and shopping? As you might expect, the rise of smartphones and tablets is a big factor. After the turkey is eaten and the family togetherness starts to chafe, consumers looking for digital distraction are likely to whip out their phones.
If you don’t like the idea of shopping or marketing on Thanksgiving Day, you’re really not going to like what Responsys says is the next up-and-coming trend: sending marketing emails on Christmas Day—another time when people are on the go, out of their homes and likely to get bored.
Image by Flickr user carolynwakefield (Creative Commons)