Giving Thanks for US Shopping Traditions
Posted: December 6, 2011 | 8:21 ET by Tessa Wegert
Few stuffed turkeys were consumed in Canada during the US Thanksgiving weekend, but that doesn't mean we let the occasion slide by unnoticed. For with the holiday came the two most American cherished traditions: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In keeping with their annual ritual, our southern neighbours spent their post-Thanksgiving weekend flocking to the stores as well as the sites where brands were offering an endless array of deals from half-price specials to free shipping. By most accounts both days boasted record sales and historic spending.
The role of the Internet in the whole event provided an opportunity for Canadian brands to participate rather than sit back and watch the US dollars fly. There's Cyber Black Friday for starters – a concept born of the notion that shopping online on Black Friday is better than braving the crowded stores. For Canadian retailers it's a chance to create some national shopping buzz while keeping consumers from spending the whole of their holiday budget on the other side of the border. According to eCoupons.ca brands like Lenovo Canada, TheSource.ca, Amazon.ca, and Dell, Canada posted Cyber Black Friday sales in their online stores this year. Some discounts, the company says, were even better than their US counterparts.
If that wasn't enough to entice Canadian shoppers, there was the slew of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from Canadian brands. Canadian retailers have been doing their best to compete since 2009, and this year's challengers included heavyweights like Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Roots, all of which sent out e-mails promoting their holiday weekend deals.
It's almost enough to make a Canadian consumer expect as much from this country's brands as from those brands based in the States. In fact, this expectation may soon be justified. Already experts are saying that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are as important to Canadian retailers as Boxing Day, and that retailers should treat them as such.
We aren't about to adopt a new date for our Thanksgiving, but two major shopping days in November? We'll take them. And we're happy to see where they take us.
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Tessa Wegert is a veteran media strategist with a background in media planning and buying, content development, ad copywriting, and campaign management. As a prominent industry writer she has been covering digital marketing and technology for leading newspapers and trade publications for over a decade. Connect with her on Twitter (@tessawegert) and LinkedIn.