It’s Cyber Monday, the online shopping cousin of Black Friday. Historically, this is a day when Internet retailers pull out all the online sale stops to engage consumers to act. But more than any year in recent memory, the day after Thanksgiving seemed to have the same goal. Online holiday shopping powered by social media check-ins and blowout price reductions seems to have fared well this Black Friday. So why the fuss over Cyber Monday? Considering the propensity for heavy shopping traffic to effectively shut down websites, the answer ironically might be a more reliable customer experience.
Let’s take in-store check-ins for instance. In order for these types of online to offline social media campaigns to be successful, employees of participating retailers must be kept in the know. The Gap recently launched a social media campaign offering free jeans to the first 10,000 people to check-in at Facebook Places. According to some shoppers, several Gap employees were completely unaware of the free jeans promotion. Though a full scale revolt was prevented, those customers that did not score swag were displeased. Needless to say, this is the not the kind of brand awareness businesses are looking to generate especially around the holidays. For online shoppers, check-ins could generate coupon codes or increase sale offerings. The incentives are optimized and tested within the website. This provides customers with cost assurance, alleviates stress and makes for a more merry and bright shopping experience. Though I doubt The Gap will be offering free pants anytime soon.