Hopefully all of us have survived another year of Thanksgiving turkey comas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales… While I do not partake in the Black Friday madness (personally no sale is worth crowded stores and mile-long lines), million of American’s shopped for the best deals and set a record $1 Billion in e-commerce spending according to market search firm comScore.
From a BGR article recapping Black Friday sales, sales increased 26% on Black Friday and increased by 32% on Thanksgiving Day. Not surprising considering numerous stores began their Friday sales prices on Thursday.
Many stores, like J.C. Penney, are also extending their Black Friday mega-deals through Christmas Eve.
JCP is a unique example of a department store changing its marketing tactics to increase sales (which has yet to prove success). Its 2012 pricing overhaul strategy has struggled to make an impact with its customers, so now it is handing out more than 80 million small, holiday-theme circular buttons to customers. Each has a code on the back that, when entered on JCP website, reveals whether a customer has won prizes such as a trip to Disneyland, tickets to Ellen Degeneres’ show or J.C. Penney merchandise or gift cards. Sounds great, but will it work?
ShopperTrak reported that retail foot traffic rose 3.5 percent over 2011, to more than 307.67 million store visits. However, retail sales decreased 1.8 percent, with shoppers spending an estimated total of $11.2 billion yesterday (source: equities).
In addition to increases in online sales and store foot traffic, almost 80% of major retailers pushed promotions via email. Major online retailers sent each of their subscribers an all-time high of 5.9 promotional emails on average during the 7-day period ending on Black Friday, up from 5.7 promotional emails during the same time frame in 2011… I know my inbox has been flooded with holiday email announcements which are still coming.
Smartphones and mobile advertising was also up over the doorbuster deals weekend encouraging customers to shop online while they are in the store.
So what was the end result?
A National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGinsight, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year. The average holiday shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $59.1 billion.
What it comes down to is Americans love the savings they get on Black Friday, planning which stores to visit and in what order. And while consumers continue to change their purchase behaviors, retailers will just have to continue to give the best deals and use multiple channels to reach them with their holiday offers.