So here is comes. The largest shopping day of the year, black Friday. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year. But this weekend is actually the biggest online shopping time of the year. Have you hear? Cyber-Monday? Monday-Monday. People who avoid the stores, or don’t find what they want, or who plan on buying and shipping go online and shop to their heart’s content. For me, it’s the way to go. I can’t stand shopping and holiday season shopping I hate even more. If I can’t find it online, and what can’t you find online these days, than I am not going to buy it.
So what does all of this mean?
Retail advertisers have been preparing for Q4 since Q2. This is where they make their numbers for the whole year. Buying started several months ago and messaging and creative several weeks ago. Everyone has been getting ready. But is the technology ready? Is the tracking in place?
Site analytics is probably there. Ominiture or WebTrends is geared up, online and ready to go. Anyone ready The Motley Fool? David Gardner is all over Ominiture since its IPO last summer. He thinks it’s going to go big. They’ve yet to make a profit but the revenues are there and the projections are solid. But I am not a stock advisor so go read the articles for yourself at The Motley Fool. WebTrends has First Party cookie tracking locked up and greater market share, but they’re private so we can’t make any money off of them yet. Yet.
Advertisers who have the site analytics thing locked up will be tracking us. The smart ones will be monitoring it all real closely and will proactively make decisions to position products based on customer behavior early in the season to maximize revenue potential. The big block players have already gotten good at using these tools and will do well with them.
Behavioral targeting will be a different practice. Advertisers will use TACODA, Advertising.com, Boomerang and other event-based targeting mechanisms to increase the potential to drive prospects to their sites and promote transactions. These mechanisms will be successful but the ROI-measurement will al yield mediocre results. Let’s face it, Q4 is where retailers make their money and it is also where behavioral targeting companies make theirs.
Customer re-targeting has the opportunity to thrive during this period. The early-adopters who have been testing this capability during the early part of the year have the opportunity to turn shoppers into repeat customers very aggressively now. People who show up on Black Sunday can be targeted for the following twenty-nine days with targeted advertisements anywhere on the web that they advertise. I have been through this process before. See some of my posts, certainly the most recent ones like How Does Re-Targeting Work.
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