The Holiday Shopping Season is Booming

But Is Black Friday Still Relevant?

The origin of retail’s busiest shopping day of the year, is traced back to Philadelphia in the 1950’s.

Since then the Black Friday retail concept has spread across the globe with many retailers building their business off the holiday shopping season anchored off Black Friday. However, a lot has changed in society and with technology in the last 60 years, and given the ease in which a consumer can purchase a product or service from their phone it is a fair question to ask, “Is Black Friday still relevant”?

What is driving the Change?

E-Commerce & digital shopping has changed the retail industry forever. In fact, so much so, that in 2005 the term “Cyber Monday” was coined for all of the shoppers that missed the in store Black Friday deals, but flooded to .com sites to order holiday purchases from their desk at work the following Monday. However, even Cyber Monday may already be outdated. The typical consumer in 2017 does not need to wait to get to work the Monday after Black Friday to make online purchases. The typical consumer can purchase any time they want from their phone. Three interesting data points bring this home:

  1. E-Commerce Sales are driving Holiday Shopping. According to figures reported by Adobe, Black Friday 2017 set a new record with $5.03 Billion in e-commerce revenue.
  2. Holiday Shopping is less dependent on one or two days. “From Nov 1-24 each day has generated in excess of $1 billion in web sales according to Adobe. Total online revenue for the period was $38.31 billion.
  3. Mobile Devices are a big part of online revenue. Adobe indicated 61.1 % of shoppers’ visits to a retailer’s web site sourced from a smart phone or tablet.

Who Wins?

Consumers have almost perfect information for finding deals and promotions with many avenues to purchase, receive deliveries, and make returns. However, an outgrowth of the extended holiday season is retailers do not live and die, by one or two shopping days anymore. The net benefit for retailers is a reduction in margin risk, because a retailer is not driven to massively discounting merchandise which require a run off of merchandise if Black Friday is not as strong as they would like. Retailers can spread discounts across the holiday season, with a shot at evening out revenue if they miss revenue expectations for the Thanksgiving weekend. While slight, you will notice Black Friday 2017 discounts were 1% less than on Black Friday 2016, and I would expect this trend to continue.

How Does a Retailer Capitalize?

A retailer can capitalize by offering discounts and promotions throughout the holiday season, and unveiling discounts at their discretion. In order to do this a retailer must closely monitor the pulse of their business and the preferences of their consumer. This information lives in browsing patterns and transaction data a retailer collects both inside and outside of the company. A great way to take advantage of this type of information is the Qlik Digital Consumer Analytics Solution Demo which monitors web site traffic, sales conversions, abandon shopping carts, and digital campaign performance to based upon visitors interactions with a retailers digital sites. Or you may just be interested in Black Friday Deals with the Qlik Black Friday App. Happy Shopping!

What is the deal with Black Friday deals? Scott Jennings breaks down who wins on Black Friday:


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