On August 24th, 2016, Magento hosted a webinar entitled "Goodbye Black Friday, Hello Gray November: Key Insights For The Holidays." The guest speaker was Greg Zakowicz, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst at Bronto, the email marketing platform for commerce.
Greg discussed today's consumers, the definition of "Gray November," and holiday trends and the impact on planning for merchants. Consumer behaviour has shifted dramatically in the last few years thanks to smart phones; while shoppers used to utilise independent channels to communicate with retailers, they now want one fluid channel that encompasses all means of communication. Greg used the example of shoppers viewing all points of contact with a retailer as "customer service" - whether it's via email, Facebook messaging, etc.
"Gray November" means that there are no longer specific days or even weekends like Black Friday or Cyber Monday; but rather the sales season now stretches across the whole month of November, and comes around earlier every year as retailers compete for shoppers. Greg discussed this phenomenon, and the drawbacks involved for businesses.
The webinar also covered ways to interact with holiday shoppers, considering the special needs and behaviour of consumers in November. Greg went through holiday lifecycle messaging, and emphasised specific ways to tailor targeted messages for the holiday consumer.
Watch a recording of the full webinar below, and make sure to tune in at the end for a Q-and-A session.