Monday, December 3, 2012

Black Friday About to Steal Cyber Monday’s Thunder Thanks to Mobile

By: Vanessa Horwell, Chief Visibility Officer

I’m about to date myself, but remember the “Happy Days” theme song? You know, “Sunday, Monday, Happy Days. Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days. Thursday, Friday”… you get the point.

Aside from the jingle’s addictive tune, it also had a point: every day was a happy day. There were no distinctions.

And despite all the marketing, retailing and consumer hoopla over the recently passed Black Friday and Cyber Monday – once billed as distinctly different days, one largely an in-store affair and the other mobile – the truth is mobile commerce has become an essential component to all types of shopping on any day of the week.

Happy now?

A recent infographic posted by Mashable along with an article on the holiday weekend underscores that point. Over half of in-store Black Friday shoppers, 58%, used their mobile phones to augment their brick-and-mortar buying. In addition, tablets of all sizes were getting in on the buying act too with iPads being the distinct frontrunner. Fully 88% of traffic to the mobile web came through iPads, garnering 10% of total online shopping.

But wasn’t online buying supposed to be on Cyber Monday or Mobile Monday as some pundits began calling it not too long ago?

Yes. But from a PR perspective, it’s entirely possible the names we’ve ascribed to these retailer do-or-die days are failing to keep pace with technological reality. Think about it. Even the term “Cyber” sounds so nineties and may need upgrading. Cyber, it turns out, (thanks to cyberspace) comes from the word cybernetics, first coined in 1948 by author William Gibson and his novel, Neuromancer, and was a prefix common during the early Internet. Today we have words like: cyber security, cyberbullying, and yes, cybersex.

The same type of misnomer applies to Black Friday too, which has morphed into nearly a two-month-long holiday in and of itself. Which, of course, is augmented by mobile. So whether we call them Black Friday, Smartphone Saturday, Cell phone Sunday, Cyber Monday, Tablet Tuesday, Web Wednesday, or Tech Thursday, mobile shopping and mobile price comparisons have woven themselves through each and every day of the week.

In other words, “Goodbye gray sky, hello blue [mobile’s here and you know it’s true”]

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