Avoiding the Rush: Modern Consumers Lose Interest in Black Friday

Meagan Douglas
Fri, Dec 4, 2015
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While stores were ready for Black Friday 2015, the shoppers were missing.

Many retailers that participated in Black Friday 2015 will find themselves in the red. While the complete numbers may take some time to go through, Logistics Management collected industry findings that projected Black Friday brick-and-mortar sales dropped by more than a billion dollars between 2014 and 2015.

The hype surrounding this November sales event slowly dwindles as consumers start to favor the convenience offered by e-commerce stores. There are other factors souring customers on Black Friday events and businesses need to respond to preferences through better inventory management solutions.

Why Black Friday Loses Steam
It's too soon to tell exactly what caused this year's dwindling Black Friday sales. There are numerous factors that can contribute to any business practice. For example, The Chicago Tribune reported protests the day after Thanksgiving down the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district cost some Chicago businesses 25 to 50 percent in sales on Black Friday.

However, it seems disinterest was a strong factor in store losses. The Economist shared Conlumino research reports that found 18 percent of shoppers said they planned to spend more in 2015 than the previous year's Black Friday, while 45 percent said they expected to spend less. Even taking other aspects into consideration, shoppers said they don't have the same enthusiasm they once held for the national sales event.

The Internet is a prime suspect for killing interest in brick-and-mortar unique promotions. E-commerce customers are used to convenience. Shoppers no longer tolerate jumping through hoops, they don't want to have to go to particular locations at certain times to receive the best deals.

Additionally, Black Friday is famous for images of frantic consumers wrestling for limited merchandise. The sales event starts earlier each year to try and get the jump on competitors. Shoppers in major cities may also fear protests and other political events getting in the way of their plans. With so many other options available, customers choose to spend the holidays with family and avoid Black Friday stress.

The Advantage of Online Stores
Logistics Management shared early reports that online sales between Thanksgiving and the following Sunday increased by 17 percent in 2015 from the previous year. Not only were online sales better on Black Friday, but the new Cyber Monday sales event shows a 12 percent annual increase.

E-commerce shoppers can easily compare and contrast multiple online stores. They can find options that offer the delivery services and prices that fit a budget. Now that Internet stores play the Black Friday game, customers can get the specialized discounts they want in the convenience of their own home. Plus, modern shoppers usually research sales online before they visit a physical location. If consumers see better deals or easier discount redemptions first, they won't feel the need to get up early and fight the crowds.

Online stores keep their convenience theme by not limiting their sales events to a single day. Tech Crunch reported Amazon dominated e-commerce Black Friday sales. One suggested reason for why Amazon stands out during sales events is their deals last over longer periods of times and they offer promotions days before and after big events. By consistently giving customers a reason to visit the site, customers may not feel manipulated to participate in sales events, it's just another feature offered by their favorite online store.

Future solutions
If these trends continue, small businesses will need to double down on their e-commerce options and rethink their warehouse management strategies. Modern companies need to segment their warehouse for different sales channels. If an organization can offer sales promotions online and in-store, it can have the best of both worlds.

Stores may want to turn Black Friday sales into longer events and they need flexible inventory management solutions to help adapt warehouse and stocking procedures. An automated data collection solution allows companies to track inventory activities and provide employees with the tools they need to respond to new practices. It's important a company has information capturing technology that integrates with all of its sales channels.

An automated data collections solution can also help a store track the success of its individual special deals. While national sales event may slowly fall, a business can still promote increased shopping through unique discounts or ideas. Mobile automated data collection solutions can capture results to see which events are worth the business's time.

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