As Black Friday draws closer, retailers are gearing up for the official launch of the holiday season. But for many consumers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t generating the same excitement they once did. With Black Friday shopping down 24% since 2015, signs indicate that “door busters” might be busted. Even Cyber Monday may be losing its luster—with great deals being offered throughout the year, 42% of consumers say they might sit out the shopping holiday.
Who Cares About Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Millennials! 62% of Millennials say they plan to make purchases on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while less than half of Gen X’ers and 27% of Boomers intend to shop on those days. Researchers also found that consumers with household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 were more likely to seek deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Almost half this income group said they would be shopping compared with just over a third of those with higher incomes.
Trends Watch: Why Consumers Are Sitting Out the Year’s Biggest Shopping Weekend
Sixty-four percent of consumers say crowds and people competing to get the best bargains first is the main reason they stay at home. But it’s not the only reason. Forty four percent said they can get equally good discounts throughout the year. The fact that consumers are doing more of their holiday shopping year-round indicates that retailers should take a longer-term view of the holiday season. Rather than just striving to win through discounts, retailers should view the holidays as an opportunity to emotionally connect with consumers and build a foundation for an enduring relationship.
Cyber security is an increasing concern for consumers. As many as 30% of shoppers said they will avoid brands that have recently incurred a security breach.
Be Part of the Solution
Throughout the year, consumers are consistently researching products and brands before making any purchase. Make it easy for consumers to find the perfect gift for family and friends by developing content that offers unique gifting ideas. Researchers found that 64% of consumers want ideas for occasions and people, 54% like online wish lists, 26% discover gift ideas on social media, and 18% say in-store sales staff helps them select the perfect gift.
To Attract Young Consumers, Bring the Holiday Cheer
While shopping malls may have lost their appeal for older consumers, teens continue to be drawn to them—60% of teens will make the majority of their purchases at the mall. What would make their holiday shopping better? Fun, Snapchat and Instagram-worthy experiences including: special events, holiday displays, and exclusive in-store specials. This cohort also values speed, so anything that makes checkout faster such as mobile pay and quick check out will improve their experience.
What About Thanksgiving?
Despite stores opening on Thanksgiving to jump-start holiday sales, 58% of consumers “dislike” or “strongly dislike” that they do. While younger consumers were open to the idea of shopping on a holiday, 54% of those 30-44 and 61% of consumers 45-59 were opposed to it. Retailers are increasingly taking a stance against opening on Thanksgiving Day; the Mall of America, Costco, Nordstrom, Marshalls, and a host of other stores announced they intend to give their employees the day off to spend with their families. In addition to negative sentiment from the majority of consumers, staying open all night may not be the most economical decision for retailers as shoppers can score the same deals online without the additional staffing costs.
Brands and retailers can no longer count on the holiday season bolster their earnings. It’s now up to them to nurture year-round brand-consumer relationships both online and in-store, and offer inspiration to drive demand. Contact Women’s Marketing to learn how our insights drive marketing strategy for our clients.
Sources: eMarketer Look for A Young Crowd on Black Friday 2017, Accenture 11th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey 2017, PWC 2017 Holiday outlook In-Store and Online: This Holiday Shoppers Have it All