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HOLIDAY CONSUMERISM IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Traditionally after Thanksgiving dinner, one can expect to enjoy postprandial somnolence, family banter, and hours of NFL football. But at some point, gradually yet noticeably, the focus began to shift. Today, Thanksgiving activities now include holiday shopping with retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day; promising dedicated holiday shoppers a “pre” Black Friday shopping experience. The Friday following Thanksgiving has morphed into a widespread consumeristic holiday of its own. With new consumer holidays emerging, including Cyber Monday and #Giving Tuesday, holiday consumerism is an epidemic. Holiday consumerism isn’t necessarily new. However, it is evolving thanks to technology. As shoppers began to rely more heavily on their devices, it is steadily changing the consumer landscape during the holiday season.

Black Friday

This year 82% of shoppers plan to spend their Black Friday perusing the aisles of big box retailers. New shopping practices, including digital couponing, webrooming, and endless aisles, are increasing in popularity amongst Black Friday shoppers. With cell phones and tablets in-hand, shoppers can now leverage big data in the palm of their hands. Subsequently, we see retailers approaching consumers with more transparency, offering price comparisons/price matches or displaying online consumer ratings in stores. This Friday shoppers can feel a little more prepared and self-assured when making purchasing decisions, thanks to their mobile device.

Cyber Monday

Coined in 2005 by the National Retail Federation, Cyber Monday gives bargain shoppers the opportunity to enjoy doorbuster sales from virtually anywhere. Last year shoppers spent $3.37 billion on Cyber Monday, with spending only expecting to increase this year. Traditionally Cyber Monday has been a lucrative event for only big box and e-commerce retailers. However, more small businesses are establishing their own online presence. According to Amazon, last year shoppers ordered nearly 140 million units from small businesses and entrepreneurs. More players in the retailer market results in more options for Cyber Monday shoppers.

#Giving Tuesday

Profoundly different from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #Giving Tuesday focuses on giving rather than receiving. Established in 2012, #Giving Tuesday has a growing following. Last year #Giving Tuesday raised over $300 million in over 150 different countries. Social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, have helped increase impact and visibility. Also known as hashtag activism, participants are given the opportunity to give back from anywhere, anytime, and in any way they see fit by simply using hashtags. For those interested in ending their holiday spending binge on the right note, give #Giving Tuesday a try.

Happy Holidays and happy shopping, from your friends at W5.

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