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Radio’s Q4 Opportunity: Helping Local Merchants Maximize Cyber Week Sales.

With a heat wave raging on the West Coast, Cyber Week may seem like light years away. But the banner shopping week will be even more crucial this year, thanks to a consumer base made more comfortable shopping from the safety of their home. But not every retailer is prepared to shift business from the showroom to the cloud. As trusted advisors, radio sellers could play a pivotal role in this transformation.

Cyber Week, which rolls up Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday into a week of online shopping, accounted for 34% of holiday revenue for many retailers in 2019. And while retail sales may return to normal levels in fourth quarter, the 2020 holiday shopping season will almost certainly look and feel very different this year. With health concerns from the ongoing pandemic, will throngs of shoppers still flock to brick and mortar retailers on Black Friday? Many stores have already said they won’t be open on Thanksgiving Day.

That puts more emphasis on Cyber Monday, which has morphed into Cyber Week, which this year runs from Sunday, Nov. 29 - Saturday, Dec. 5.

“What can you do to help your local businesses to be more successful during Cyber Week?”, asked C. Lee Smith, President and CEO of SalesFuel during a Tuesday webinar, “Accelerating 4th Quarter Revenue: Planning For 2021,” presented by BIA Advisory Services and SalesFuel.

Those retail clients and prospects that struggle with their digital presence are especially in need of marketing consultants that can provide digital services, such as those offered by Hubbard Radio, Townsquare Media, Entercom and others with robust digital marketing divisions.

Cyber Monday shoppers in 2019 spent a record $9.4 billion online, up 19.7% from a year ago, according to data from Adobe Analytics. Some of the top gifts that are purchased online during this week are gift cards, clothing, wine/food, toys/hobbies, electronics, home/kitchen equipment and subscription services.

During the webinar, Lee urged attendees to help these businesses take full advantage of the Cyber Week opportunity. “Your sales people need to help them make sense of all the digital options that are available, because it can be mind-numbing and even overwhelming,” he said. “We have to help our local businesses be able to sell everywhere.” That goes beyond in-store and website sales to include using Facebook, Instagram and other online options to facilitate sales. Cyber Week will produce even larger sales than in the past, Smith predicted. “It’s been on the uptick every single year leading up to 2020, but even more so this year.”

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