Black Friday Interest Comes Earlier. Marketers Adapt

Google Insights for Search is revealing an interesting pattern about people’s searches for “Black Friday” and related key phrases. From 2008 to 2010, the consumer interest in Black Friday deals has been moving to earlier dates every year (happening a month earlier every year).

Here’s what Google has registered between 2007 and 2010:

  • in 2007 – searches started raising the week of September 9-15
  • in 2008 – it was the week of September 7-13
  • in 2009 – they moved a month earlier to the week of August 2-8
  • in 2010 – consumers started expressing increased interest as early as the week of July 18-20

Black Friday searches 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

The market followed the consumers’ interest (at least, to some degree) and retailers started offering both deal previews and deals themselves earlier than ever as well. Three days ago the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay has pointed out:

The rules for Black Friday have changed significantly. Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving Day to announce their promotions, many retailers are getting shoppers excited about Black Friday by offering sneak peeks of deals in advance, using social media to create buzz, or teasing upcoming deals on their websites.

In late October 2010 Brandweek spoke to the same tendency writing:

Retailers usually begin launching teasers for such deals in early November. But this year, the marketing has kicked off much earlier. Before Halloween, in fact.

Lowe’s is currently accepting RSVPs for a “Black Friday Sneak Peek Party,” taking place Nov. 5- 7, on its Facebook page.

Other marketers are stretching their promos beyond the typical Black Friday.

Kmart, for instance, is reprising a strategy it used last year. Called “Better Than Black Friday,” this year’s promotion extends the Black Friday shopping window from two to three days.

…The retailer, a division of Sears Holdings Corp., is getting the word out through Facebook, Twitter and Kmart2go, its mobile app.

Lowes and Sears aren’t the only merchants actively using their social media presence to get the word out. A preliminary Black Friday shopping survey conducted by BIGresearch for the NRF revealed that “nearly four out of 10 (39.2%) will use their Facebook page to reach out to shoppers” and over one-fifth (21.6%) will use Twitter “to announce and promote Black Friday deals” this year.

Have you jumped on the “Black Friday” bandwagon yet? It’s high time already, and you better be taking advantage of the consumer interest!

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