After a leave of three weeks, I am reporting back to the digital world, just when the world seems to be taking off for the holiday season. Some distance help me put perspective into how dependent we are on technology and how it pervades across all barriers and sometimes brings us all together.
Being in the US during the Black Friday and Cyber Weekend sale period, I realised how brands are cashing in on this one holiday with massive discounts leading to an increase in the sales. E-commerce websites rode the discounts wave and saw sales increase during this period.
Buying on the web now comes as a habit to consumers. It is interesting to see how a holiday made just by brands is working in huge favour for them. This highlights the impact brands have on consumers’ mindset, as a day is made just about shopping throughout the world. Whether or not the consumer needs a particular product becomes less relevant and its value on that particular day becomes more important.
This is being seen replicated in different parts of the world, including India where the recent ‘Great Online Shopping Festival’ was recently held which boosted online traffic by 400 per cent.
Digressing from brands a little, another highlight that stood out this week has come out of Australia in the aftermath of the Sydney café siege. During the siege hashtag ‘Illridewithyou’ started trending first in the country and then worldwide, as a user named Sir Tessa volunteered to ride with Muslims fearing a backlash because of the siege.
The hashtag took off as many people started volunteering the same with information on their travel routes. In two hours #illridewithyou had 40,000 tweets; followed by 150,000 in four hours.
The hashtag stood out during the tragic siege as a symbol of unity and acceptance of diversity. It brought people in Australia together when the country was going through a tough time.
It is amazing to see how social media works during tough times as a tool to unite people and spread values such as peace and tolerance. It is during times such as these that one feels that we truly live in the Internet Age.