As Black Friday gives way to Cyber Monday as the most popular shopping day of the year, some experts are suggesting we could see a rise in a new trend: Mobile Tuesday.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and reportedly the busiest shopping day of the year, saw sales down by 5 percent this year, while the following Saturday’s numbers dropped by about 18 percent. But Internet retail sites were up on Cyber Monday, the day e-commerce sites offer sales to people returning to work after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Over the past few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become highly successful marketing events that enable brands and retailers to target holiday shoppers effectively. The next logical trend may be Mobile Tuesday, which expands these successful marketing programs to reach consumers on the go. Shoppers who may not have found what they wanted over the weekend or found prices too high can do their shopping from their handhelds.
This year, retailers such as Sears, Gap, and J.C. Penney launched sites designed specifically for mobile browsing. J.C. Penny used its site to promote gift ideas by sending out text-message alerts, while Sears launched its first mobile-designed Web destination in November. Best Buy’s mobile portal includes a search box and drop-down store locator so you can not only compare prices at a rival retailer but you can find out if a Best Buy location is near you. Best Buy Mobile provides images of items, ratings, and in many cases reviews.
One Mobile Tuesday marketing campaign included a promotion by McDonald’s, Finish Line, and RedTag that encouraged shopping via mobile phone. It included radio, outdoor media, and online ads and targeted stores in 10 cities to promote the program. While it seems like a small step, it is a first step. After all, just 10 years ago Cyber Monday wasn’t much either.
There are other options for shoppers beyond the mobile sites from major retailers and big box stores. Yahoo! has launched its own mobile shopping site, which could allow for easy comparison of online retailers. Slifter allows you to find local products at brick and mortar businesses by using your mobile phone. As with the Best Buy Mobile site, it might not let you know if an item is on hand, but it can help you narrow your search. Why drive around when Slifter can help you compare gas prices before you start up the engine?