VOL. MMXIII..No. 208

Bertrand on Brand

Consumers Jumpstart Black Friday — While Occupy Protesters Target Retailers


Black Friday may be blacker than most this year — and that’s not a good thing.

That’s because so many retailers are getting a jumpstart and offering discounts and well before the landmark shopping day with special offers that could threaten to kill the rest of the Holiday shopping season.

The soft push for retail sales was visible as early as late October. H&M’s decision to launch its Versace collection last Saturday was more than likely to build momentum for Black Friday and the rest of the holiday shopping season.

However, it’s social media sites that are driving the bulk of discount sales before shoppers even have a chance to step through the door of a store.

In a recent Nielsen survey, consumers are actually “liking” a brand simply for giving them a discount, with North American leading the way in the trend, with 45% of those surveyed saying they’ll shop and like ‘em — if they get a discount.

Courtesy Nielsen

Across a sample of ten major markets*, nearly 40 percent of active Internet users visited Coupons/Rewards sites such as Groupon, Coupons.com and Living Social from home and work computers during September 2011.

In the U.S., NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, reports that almost 60 percent of social media users visit social networks to receive coupons or promotions, with 23 percent saying they do this on a weekly basis.

During September 2011, 43 percent of visitors to Social Networks and Blogs also visited a Coupons/Rewards site, while 44 percent of Facebook’s audience and nearly two-thirds (63%) of Twitter’s audience visited these sites.

Facebook was a key source of traffic for Groupon and Living Social during that month – meaning Groupon’s and Living Social’s visitors came directly from Facebook.

Meanwhile, Black Friday is going head-to-head with Cyber Monday (one of the lamest names I’ve ever heard) with deals starting as early as 9 P.M. on Thanksgiving Day. So much for foreplay.

And just in case you were feeling less than cheered about shopping this year, Occupy activists are planning to demonstrate in order to protest the ultimate symbol of greed and consumerism with an “Occupy Black Friday.”

Bah, Humbug? No it’s just Christmas in America — 2011.



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