Retail

Before Black Friday, Will Ebay’s ‘Mobile Wednesday’ Make It?

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and now, eBay has plans for “Mobile Wednesday.”

In an attempt to bring it back to the front of shoppers’ minds, eBay is hoping to launch this new invented “day” to compete with Amazon and other online retailers. The hook is to gain those shoppers by catching them the day before they sit down to their Thanksgiving dinner — on Wednesday — and meet them while they’re traveling to grandma’s, which is where the “mobile” part comes in.

Beyond the newly dubbed day name, eBay is ready with a slew of discounts on Wednesday (Nov. 23) from Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab A 8.0 Wi-Fi tablet and Klipsch’s X11 noise isolation headphones, both under $100.

Question is: Can eBay make this day “a day?” Amazon has tried and succeeded with Prime Day. Alibaba has done the same with Singles’ Day. But as big-box retailers promote deals earlier in the month, Black Friday has lost some appeal in recent years and so has Cyber Monday, despite experts anticipating that it’ll be the biggest shopping day all year.

That said, the company said, historically, some of its best shopping growth has happened the day before Thanksgiving, and so, it wants to embrace the day and further the buzz.

Experts say eBay and its contemporaries need some of shoppers’ attention after the election, which steered that away from making purchases. In fact, analysts say this November has been the most sluggish in terms of online sales since 2012, when Adobe started culling sales data. Adobe has not only revisited but bumped down its holiday online retail sales growth projection made before the election.

No doubt, shoppers are on their phones, making mobile purchases more than in previous years (and throughout the year), and they’re on the road this Wednesday. Mobile websites for retailers have evolved and allowed the navigation to lead to a more seamless purchasing experience. AAA says that 49 million Americans — a number that hasn’t been seen in nine years — will be driving to “grandma’s” for Thanksgiving this year. And ask any traveler at any American airport, it’s the most hectic day to travel.

Analysts say that eBay will have to show its muscle with this Mobile Wednesday concept, but chances of success may wane if shoppers haven’t already heard about it before they’ve loaded up the car for the trip to grandma’s.

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