Black Friday and Cyber Monday have ended and business owners are letting the dust settle from another busy shopping weekend before they tally up their total sales. However, many retail businesses were surprised by the lack of in-store purchases during this shopping weekend.

After Black Friday, many retail businesses began to get worried that the lack of in-store traffic would lead to them failing to meet their holiday sales predictions, but yesterday’s Cyber Monday sale’s numbers gave many businesses the financial profit they were hoping for. This year’s holiday shoppers made a strong statement to businesses as companies evaluate how their advertising strategy paid off during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If we take a look at some of the numbers from the holiday shopping weekend, we can figure out what this year’s shopping trends mean for your business.

Let’s Look at the Numbers

It’s clear after Cyber Monday, that online shopping has made the holiday purchasing chaos much easier for customers. A Forbes article recapping the shopping weekend explains that businesses relying on in-store purchases didn’t get quite the rush of shoppers they were hoping for.

“The store traffic was not great. While there were some crowds caught on television cameras charging into discount stores, most of the rush was for the limited quantity deals in electronics. Once the limited quantities were gone, it was time to go home.”

The article continues to explain that in-store purchases decreased by 12-15% compared to the previous year. The lack of shopping rush is being partly blamed to the fact that many stores opened their doors early on Thanksgiving Day. People were able to do their shopping over a longer period of time, so the need to wait in line at 4 A.M. wasn’t as great.

Don’t let these numbers lead you to believe that people simply decided not to shop this year. People may have decided to stay home and sit on the couch in their PJ’s, but they still took advantage of holiday deals. Purchases with smart phones increased by almost 38% this year. And Cyber Monday was able to brag about a $3 billion sales total from yesterday’s shopping event. This number is a 12% increase from last year’s $2.68 billion sales total.

Here’s the Translation

Let’s answer a few questions. First, what can you learn from these Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping stats and what do they mean for your business?  

The data from the holiday shopping weekend tells us that shoppers more than ever were “worn out” by the time Black Friday came around. Businesses started advertising earlier than ever for the 2015 shopping holiday, so the competition to get your advertisements seen by customers increased. As a result of this, investing in an advertising strategy that targets customers looking for your products/services will make your business more visible.

Online tactics like Programmatic Advertising can target customers based on extremely specific information. This makes sure that you only spend money on advertisements which will show to your ideal customers. Read also: The Future of Online Marketing: Programmatic Advertising to learn how you can use this technology.

Second, the numbers tell us that online shopping is gaining more and more popularity with customers, how can your business take advantage of this growing trend?

The purchasing journey for customers is changing and online shopping is making it easier than ever to put products in the faces of people which could lead to sales. Cyber Monday’s $3 billion in sales is enough evidence to say that your business needs to cater to your customer’s shopping preferences. Make your products easily accessible for your customers. Take advantage of social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram to showcase your products. Create online advertisements that speak to your ideal customers.

Social media is a great way to communicate with customers and promote your brand. Check out, Marketing Opportunities on Pinterest to learn the organic and paid benefits of this social platform.

Finally, what should you be doing to prepare for the 2016 new year?

The online experience has opened the door for you to create a relationship with your customers. Take advantage of all aspects of online advertising. Start incorporating tactics like Social Media, Programmatic Advertising, and other online features to create your own personalized advertising strategy. Define what your ideal customer looks like and build your reputation with an audience who will most likely engage with your business.

If you want to learn how to define your target audience check out Defining Your Target Audience for a list of helpful tips to pinpoint your ideal customers.

Wrapping Up the Shopping Season

The next couple of week are predicted to be a lull in the holiday shopping, but the week before Christmas will likely be another busy shopping event for your business to cash in before the holidays. Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but the opportunity to learn from this year’s shopping season can benefit your business in the shopping season yet to come. Don’t let the ghost of Cyber Monday’s past haunt you during the holiday season. Start off 2016 with an Online Advertising strategy that will boost your business.

Download our free whitepaper by clicking below and learn about what your business should be doing with your personal and business page.