Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy has Retailers Planning Online Sales

It's never too much, too late or too soon for retailers to take advantage of a situation and turn it into a revenue generating marketing tool.  Well, Hurricane Sandy or Frankenstorm as it has been called as well, has some retailers either catching flak for poor marketing taste, or other retailers making money off Hurricane Sandy.

Retailers were hoping shoppers who were hunkering down inside their homes would be online shopping, if not shopping, at least looking.  But, how do you shop when now your home has been destroyed, or you're homeless.  Now Christmas gift shopping isn't high on your agenda.  Having a place to stay for you and your family is now first priority.

American Apparel was on the hot seat the other day because of a Tweet they published: "American Apparel's Hurricane Sandy promotion, which read, "In case you're bored during the storm, 20% off everything for the next 36 hours - offer available: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virgina, Maryland, Rhode Island - Just Enter SANDYSALE at Checkout."   Of course, this is one of those marketing messages that will go into the hall of shame of advertising as bad timing, poor taste, and quite frankly should have been better thought out.

But, are we living in a world where successful online marketing belongs to the most outrageous, shocking, viral messages in order to make sales?  Have we become desensitized so that it doesn't matter what advertisers promote or how they promote it?

Let's hope not.  Hurricane Sandy is a terrible natural disaster that has left many dead, homeless and lives uprooted.  At this time, it is not known if online merchants will be impacted this holiday season due to the after effects of Hurricane Sandy.  I guess retailers will have to wait to see if consumers will forgo online holiday purchases in lieu of getting their lives back together.

What are your thoughts, do you feel that online retailers like American Apparel lacked class by posting that Tweet?  Let us know how you feel below.