Current Shopping Practices Alter Black Friday Permanently
Click on image to download high resolution version
By Laurel Hansen
What is Pre-Black Friday? Never heard of it before COVID. The actual day of Black Friday is weeks away, but it seems the big guys have stretched Black Friday sales to cover the month of November, and some (Amazon) have been offering deep discounts since October.
Gone are the days of waiting in line for hours during the wee hours of the morning to get the best deal on your “must-have” gift. Gone are the days of running, sometimes pushing, your way to the pile of Sony plasma TVs. Gone are the strategic alliances made with strangers in line to save your spot while you find a restroom.
But is that a bad thing?
Today’s retailers, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop and Ulta are all buying into the idea that short term, one day sales should be extended for a good reason. Issues like shipping delays, port backups, and general supply chain issues are making retailers nervous. It’s hard to plan a selling cycle when you can’t guarantee available stock.
Most retailers rely on holiday shopping to cover losses throughout the year, 30% of all retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. So, it makes sense to start selling seasonal product earlier, to avoid unexpected delivery hiccups. We know larger retailers are doing it, but what about the smaller retailers?
With the pandemic last year, small business learned how to pivot to offer services like buy online with curbside pickup and same-day delivery. Look for this trend to continue in the years to come. Consumers like the convenience and are expecting it to continue permanently.
Strategies like increasing the number of suppliers they buy from, spreading deliveries out to help alleviate shipping delays, and ensuring open communication channels with vendors are a few of the techniques successful small retailers have prevailed in.
Luckily due to more conscientious shoppers, Small Business Saturday (November 27 - shop small, shop local) and Pink Friday (November 19 - shop local boutiques) offer the smaller guys a chance to find new customers and increase profit margins.
Although the traditional Black Friday frenzy is a thing of the past, the new normal offers room for all retailers, both big and small. Ultimately, in the holiday shopping ecosphere, it’s a matter of focusing on creative promotions and merchandising techniques.
The key to the holiday season is offering your customers a flow of product assortments that delight at surprisingly good prices.
Laurel Hansen is the Senior Marketing Manager for OFFPRICE.