A recent article in PYMNTS.com believes shoppers like yourself will still be hunting in the retail stores, but that Black Friday is starting to change.
While it always bears remembering that, overall, 90 percent of all retail traffic is predicted to take place in physical stores, a full 10 percent of it has moved to Web or mobile, and in certain categories, like books and electronics, the shift is even more palpable.
This Thanksgiving Day, retailers are projected to clock $1.6 billion in sales online, and on Black Friday, they are hoping to see a number that will climb to $2.7 billion — up from $2.4 billion in 2014. By Cyber Monday, online sales will top $3.2 billion — at least that’s the opinion of retail industry pundits. Total online sales for that five-day holiday period will top $7.6 billion.
So, Is This The End Of Black Friday As We Know It?
That was MPD CEO Karen Webster’s question for BlueSnap CEO Ralph Dangelmaier as she probed just what was in store for the 2015 holiday shopping season.
In a word, yes, says Dangelmaier, the retail world is moving on and past the sort of frantic madness Black Friday typically tends to carry in its wake.
“I think this is the beginning of a trend to end Black Friday,” he told Webster, “because ultimately the experience is not good most of the time. Getting to stores is a hassle, the deals aren’t always that great or, when you get to a store, the item you want isn’t available. Then, there’s a real security problem; people have gotten hurt or even killed while shopping. I think the big changes we are seeing are a good thing.”
“The new family trend will be to try to find the best online deal during cyber retail weekend,” Dangelmaier noted, “which they can do anytime and online, as opposed to dealing with crowds and discomfort while hunting for them in person.”
Because while the thrill of the hunt is exciting for some, others are just turned off by the experience. Apple’s Head of Retail Angela Ahrendts recently came out against offering Black Friday deals — something Apple has always done — mostly because she does not want to contribute to the masses. The in-store experience, she notes, should instead be both about calm and the ability to get the right help and attention from employees. Apple stores are also closed on Thanksgiving.
If Apple is going to do that and REI is going to be closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving and Walmart is even shifting, this is a shift that we can just see consumers gravitating toward.
With nearly 50 percent of consumers this year saying they have no plans to trek to the mall on Black Friday, it seems that the shift is underway. Consumers seem willing to trade their trips out for digital shopping marathons, and the trade-off seems like an easy one for them to make. What remains to be seen is how prepared merchants are for that shift. We’ll know in just about two weeks.
To read the entire article go here.