Maybe not quite dead yet, but hear me out.
All of the stats I’ve read over the weekend indicate that Christmas Cyber Shopping began in earnest on Thanksgiving day. MarketWatch reported that the earliest numbers from the Adobe Digital Index showed that “e-commerce sales totaled $1.73 billion on Thanksgiving Day, with 57% of traffic coming from mobile devices.”
If you’re old enough to know the history of Cyber Monday, you understand why it will soon “not be a thing.” Shortly after Al Gore invented the internet and AOL told us we had mail, retailers rushed to turn the web into a sales channel. Twenty years ago (can you believe Amazon is 21 years old?) only movie theaters, gas stations and Waffle Houses were open on Thanksgiving day. Black Friday was firmly entrenched as a cultural “must do” that carried over to Saturday and Sunday as retailers kept their doors open longer and longer.
Back at home, our dial-up internet and desktop computers were simply not suited for hours upon hours of online anything. After a weekend full of bricks and mortar shopping, white collar employees would go to work on Monday and finish off their Christmas list in the new world of online shopping compliments of their employers’ hi-speed internet and at the expense of the day’s productivity.
But that was then. Now most of us carry smart phones with better internet connectivity the average home had 10 years ago.
What does all of this have to do with charities and fundraising?
Your donors and prospective donors are the same people that spent nearly 2 billion dollars online after they downed their Thanksgiving feast. They aren’t the folks that fought live and in person for vegetable steamers at Walmart Friday morning.
If you’re in the fundraising business, you need to consider and invest in your online giving experience like it’s an additional Annual Fund Officer. The time is gone when it can be an afterthought or something you know needs reworking but you keep pushing it further down your to-do list.
In the same article, MarketWatch also reported that on Thanksgiving day, “emails from retailers drove 25% more shopping than last year and contributed to a huge mobile shopping day.” Your 2016 goals need to include: 1) create more legitimate and compelling ways to collect email addresses of donors and prospects, and 2) make sure your online giving experience is mobile friendly.
We know online giving continues to grow year over year. If yours isn’t, it’s time to figure out why. If you’d like a few guidelines and want to see a great example of a mobile friendly, effective online giving form, check out my previous article The Best Online Giving Form You’ve Never Seen.