Promoting Colorful Holiday Shopping

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Here’s the new retail riddle: What is Black, Green, Brown and Cyber all over?Color coded holiday shopping days.Everyone knows Black Friday, the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season. Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately following Black Friday and was created in 2005 by the National Retail Federation to increase online sales. Supposedly we would eat our turkey on Thursday, go shopping Friday and then shop online Monday while at work or relaxing at home.Green and Brown Monday are probably less familiar. Green Monday refers to the first Monday in December, typically the busiest online shopping day of the year. Brown Monday is the following week and refers to when retailers start dramatic markdowns to push holiday merchandise out the doors.The titles are colorful but how accurate are they?Black Friday has become an event in itself and its start time keeps getting earlier and earlier. But surprisingly it usually is not the busiest shopping day in terms of customer traffic and retail sales. The Saturday before Christmas, known as The Saturday before Christmas, typically ranks first while Black Friday is usually the fifth to tenth busiest day.Online sales do increase on Cyber Monday but the biggest online shopping day is actually December 14th-the shipping deadline to receive gifts by the 25th-which also happens to be Brown Monday this year.Now that you are either frustrated or confused, here’s the relevance from a marketing standpoint:The National Retail Federation identified a creative selling opportunity via online sales the Monday after Thanksgiving. They wisely defined their target market as potential shoppers who could shop online from work or at home that day. They developed a simple, yet memorable message (Shop Online on Cyber Monday!) and utilized a coordinated mix of PR, advertising, promotional discounts, online marketing and word of mouth to effectively communicate that message again and again.Now Cyber Monday is part of our vernacular and online sales have continued to grow that day each year. While it might not be the biggest online shopping day just yet, Cyber Monday could very well reach that goal in the future.Then what?