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Black Friday News & Analysis

Dear Marketers, Thanks for Ruining My Holiday Shopping Experience

2014-04-December-vintage-christmas.jpgMy earliest memories of my late father include heading out to scoop up bargains on the day after Christmas. What, I wondered at the age of four, could be better than buying plastic reindeer and strings of fat multicolored bulbs for 50 percent off — 364 days before you'd ever want to use them?

Nothing, I concluded. It was fun, even exciting, a way to effectively extend the magic of the holiday just a little longer.

And now, through a flurry of ill-conceived marketing, the fun is over. Some Master Marketer who clearly lacked access to a calendar decided that After Christmas Sales would be even better before Christmas. And that triggered a rash of related, equally annoying decisions to accelerate sales of all kinds.

Black Friday on Thursday, anyone? How about Cyber Monday on Saturday? Why don't we just have sales all month long?

But that's not all. After the sales are accelerated, many of them are extended — so all those Cyber Monday specials are still out there on Thursday.

#BlackFriday Tech Winners, #CyberMonday Deals

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As the focus shifts to digital sales on Cyber Monday, you may be wondering: What products scored wins on Black Friday?

Retailers are already seeing how shopping on mobiles and tablets is changing our buying behavior. Whatever your perspective, the results make for interesting reading as stores plan for future sales to drain us of yet more cash.

The Silliness of #CyberMonday and Insanity of #BlackFriday

Call me a media traditionalist, but there is nothing I hate more than a lazy two-or-three-word catch phrase or the like to describe something bigger than what it conveys. It must have started with TV news catchphrases dumbing down some vastly important world event.

Cyber Monday is an easy target. Not only does it steal from the already pathetic Black Friday moniker, it’s just ... stupid. 

Retailers Thankful for iPads, E-Commerce and Record Sales [Infographic]

US retailers had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend as consumers turned their attention from family dinners to good deals, driving mobile sales to record highs. According to just released statistics from Adobe, "consumers took full advantage of their mobile devices to shop on Thanksgiving Day and 'omnishop' while in stores on Black Friday," triggering back-to-back billion dollar shopping days.

Apple Boosts iPhone 5S Production

iphone5s_300.jpgApple's production partners in Asia are stepping on the gas to get iPhone 5S models on the shelves by Black Friday.

Apple expects high demand for the device and related accessories — which could soar even higher during holiday sales.

With tablets likely to win most hearts this selling season, Apple has held off releasing numbers for the newest generations of iPads. Instead, it seems to be looking to its smartphone to increase revenues to a record high.

How to Catch Customers #BlackFriday [Infographic]

Customer Experience, How to Catch Customers #BlackFriday [Infographic]You couldn't have made it through the past month without hearing one prediction after another about the importance of  mobile commerce this holiday season. And guess what? Everyone who emphasized that optimizing for mobile was an essential retail strategy was apparently right, according to early insight from IBM.

Microsoft, Apple Offer Discounts to Lure Customers #BlackFriday

Thumbnail image for holiday techBargain hunters are plotting their strategies to find the best pre-holiday deals, online and off. Two options to consider: the Apple and Microsoft stores.

Each one is offering potential savings of hundreds of dollars on the latest tablets, computers and software. The one-day Apple deals start at 12:01 a.m. PST on Black Friday in the United States, but Microsoft's sale is already up and running.

How Apps and Social Media Will Color Black Friday

Black Friday Deals + the Role of Apps, Social Media Social media and mobile applications reportedly have an outsize influence on shopping behavior -- and many companies have shaped their online experiences accordingly in the last few years. Now shoppers and retailers are both looking to the next stage in this evolution. Marrying online and offline experiences maybe the key, according to reports from Adly and Cisco.

Game Consoles, 3D Printers Top Holiday Shopping Lists

holidaypresents.jpgWith Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales looming, new super-powerful game consoles — the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — appear to be the hot tickets this year.

But from affordable 3D printers to tiny and low-cost smart-TV adaptors, there's something for every budget in this most bountiful of selling seasons. 

November Brings the Perfect Storm for Tablet Buyers

generictablet.jpgOctober saw its traditional raft of mobile device launches, but November is when the sales will really fly. It's when all those buying for the holidays enter the market.

With Black Friday looming, expect buy buttons to be clicked and registers rung at record speeds. And it is likely to be tablets all the way as second and third screens become the norm in homes and among the most requested tech gift ideas. 

With so many high-class models to choose from, the field has never been more open. So which will win in the battle for sales?

Facebook App of the Week: Social Media Campaigns with Constant Contact

During the month of February at CMSWire our theme is "Better Web Experiences with Marketing Automation" and with that in mind our Facebook App of the Week is Constant Contact, a marketing automation tool.

In 2013 I Wish ...

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In 2013 I wish that businesses would take a moment to realize the wealth of technology and capability that they already have. The technology platforms they buy have so many untapped and unused features that can help plug holes and fulfill needs that are acutely felt every day. Too many businesses get enamored with the shiny new software pitched by that year's sales rep while missing out on the ROI and efficiency and expertise that lies latent and waiting.
 
In 2013 I wish that organizations would take a moment to inventory the expertise, tools, best practices and insight that is freely available on the web. From whitepapers to freemium software to graphics to templates for everything from expense reports to business plans, the World Wide Web abounds with the answer to any question you have if only you'll invest the time to find and read and use it. The information you seek is out there, usually for free. Tap into that resource and enjoy an amazingly prosperous 2013! -- Billy Cripe, Founder and Principal BloomThinker of BloomThink

 

IBM Study: Consumers of the Future Value Self-Service + Personalization

Holiday shoppers spent 20% more on Black Friday this year compared to last year, and several real trends emerged from an IBM study based on its Benchmark digital analytics package.

Windows 8 Off To A Slow Start In Stores and Online

Thumbnail image for win8pro_box.pngWindows 8 might be on many shelves inside new PCs, Surface tablets and via cheap upgrades, but the public isn't buying it in massive numbers, at least not yet. 

As Black Friday Sets Records, Here Comes Cyber Monday

 With over $1 billion spent online by Black Friday stay-at-home shoppers, expect Cyber Monday to be just as busy as the deals keep on coming. With mobile-based purchases booming, what are the best and worst e-tailer shopping experiences you've seen?

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