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Why ecommerce & mcommerce are important in holiday season (Part 1)

I hope all of you are having a great Thanksgiving!

I know it has been a while since I last wrote; this has been due to multiple circumstances and situations, both regarding family and business. My sincere apologies for this: I hope to write much more regularly for this blog in the near future, including this upcoming holiday weekend.

The theme for this weekend’s blog posts will be why ecommerce and mcommerce are important in this hoilday season.  I will expand on this further in a blog post tonight.

For now, I will say that an ecommerce site that is mobile-friendly (making it a mcommerce site as well) is essential for every retailer and industry doing business today.  Why?  The key reason is because, there is a dilemma over whether retailers should be open on Thanksgiving.

While there are notable retailers still open on Thanksgiving this year, including

Best Buy

Target

Walmart

etc.

 

There are other notable retailers that are not open on Thanksgiving this year, including

Jo-Ann Fabrics

Lowe’s

TJ-Maxx/Marshall’s/Home Goods (all owned by TJX Brands)

Even the retailers that are open this year didn’t open earlier as they have over the past few holiday seasons.  The earliest any of them are opening is JC Penney at 3 PM ET, with retailers like Best Buy and Toys R Us opening at 5 PM ET, then ones like Target and Walmart opening at 6 PM ET (and staying open throughout the night into Black Friday).

Thus, the trend where retailers were determined to be open on Thanksgiving has died down to the point where only the most prominent retailers are opening on Thanksgiving, whereas others have decided to remain closed, give their employees the holiday off, and reopen on Black Friday (often as early as 12 AM ET, and certainly no later than 5-6 AM ET, much earlier than usual opening hours).

But, what must be realized nowadays is that if you have an ecommerce site (and especially an mcommerce site) in today’s digital age, you are NEVER really closed, even if your brick-and-mortar stores are closed.

In fact, on my Twitter feed @jchengery about four years ago, I advocated that retailers would be better off staying closed on Thanskgiving and allowing their websites to operate as normal and get the sales that can be had just as easily (if not easier) than people going to the store and picking up items.

Yes, there are about 29 million people estimated to shop at the stores on Thanksgiving, and while that certainly sounds like a lot, that is still a very small percentage of the overall American population.  And, while some will say that retailers who choose to remain closed while competitors are open on Thanksgiving are under pressure to choose to be open as well, if they have a capable ecommerce site and the infrastructure to handle orders, then the advantage those competitors get from being open is mitigated to a large degree.

Sure, some competitors may benefit from those consumers who want their purchase right now, but if retailers who have capable sites offer special pricing, special add-ins, and/or special discounts/perks, it’s likely that many of those consumers will be willing to wait for their packages for a bit, being especially that we are still a month away from Christmas Eve.

Before the advent of the Internet age and the rise of ecommerce and mcommerce, yes, retailers who went outside the norm of what their competitors were doing would often be at a disadvantage, but that is no longer the case with a capable ecommerce site that can handle mobile ordering as well, something that is clearly on the rise in 2016.

I will have more to say on this topic in the coming posts, along with some observations I’ve seen in regards to retailers and their sales this Thanksgiving holiday- stay tuned!

Again, I wish you and yours a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous Thanksgiving!