When it comes to the numerous shopping days that arise at the end of November — Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and their more-forced ilk like Mobile Monday — word of mouth is a powerful promotional tool to get shoppers excited to spend. And, in theory, save. But which of these shopping events gets people chattering the most? The answer makes sense, but might seem contradictory to what we know about these events.
To investigate, we turned to eBay Deals, which gave DealNews an exclusive first look at the tool it built that tracks the usage of various different shopping holiday terms. (We embedded the tool below, but you can also check it out here.) Through this tool, we were able to see trends in how people are talking about these events. And as it turns out, how people speak about these days on Twitter perfectly illustrates one of the biggest differences between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
People Talk About Black Friday All Month Long
Black Friday is propelled forward by the hype created by ad releases that begin in October, which escalates and reaches a fever pitch about the second week of November. This means that people (and sites like us) have good reason to chatter about the upcoming sales long before the event itself. In fact, looking at the screen shot below, taken from the past month of mentions on Twitter, you can see a rise in Black Friday mentions around the time that Target, Walmart, and Best Buy all unveiled their ads. Or more accurately, a rise that occurred shortly after these releases, once the media and consumers had time to absorb and react.
But as we've noted before, Cyber Monday rarely has this same promotional strategy. Stores don't give advance looks at their Cyber Monday deals in the same way as Black Friday, which gives people little reason to discuss Cyber Monday with their peers. According to eBay's tool, there was a sharp uptick in mentions of Cyber Monday on November 10, but that appears to be due to news stories that were circulating in regards to "Singles Day," a shopping holiday in China that claims to conduct twice as many sales as Cyber Monday; thus, even that spike wasn't an indication of genuine organic conversation about the upcoming Cyber Monday sales.
And Yet, Cyber Monday Still Tops Black Friday for Transactions
Given the way that Black Friday is hyped, it shouldn't be surprising to see these trends. It might however make one wonder how Cyber Monday has become vastly more successful at overall transactions than Black Friday, despite the latter getting a full month of word-of-mouth marketing.
The answer probably lies in the fact that many people still believe that Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals are mostly in-store, whereas Cyber Monday seems like the natural opportunity to shop online, which is easier for a greater number of people. That's a shame though since we've regularly tried to bust that myth by pointing out the fact that most Black Friday deals end up online; moreover, these shoppers are missing out on the best discounts that occur before Cyber Monday as well.
Will Cyber Monday Mentions Increase Soon?
We are curious to see if this trend changes once Cyber Monday does indeed roll around. The nature of shopping online on this day, with many people back at work and doing some retail therapy while on the clock, is less demonstrative than Black Friday is. And thus, we might not even see that many mentions from shoppers on Twitter once the sales are out in full force. But only time will tell.
Readers, what do you think? Do you talk about shopping at all on Twitter? Do you love to rub your amazing finds in the faces of all your friends who pay full-price? Check out the real-time tool below, and sound off in the comments section.
Meanwhile, if you're excited for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to get a daily recap of all our deals. You can also download the DealNews apps, check out the latest Black Friday ads, or read more buying advice.