Posts Tagged ‘Black Friday’

What did Black Friday teach us this year ?

November 30, 2012

Punch line: A record number of shoppers spent Black Friday weekend shopping for deals, revealing new consumer trends present this holiday shopping season.

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Excerpted from’s, “Four Things Holiday-Shopping Kickoff Tell Us About the Economy, Consumer Habits”


A record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year. The average shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year, helping total spending reach an estimated $59.1 billion.

Here arefour things we’ve learned from the holiday-shopping kickoff:

Social media drove Cyber Monday, right?

November 29, 2012

Wrong !

Cyber Monday sales nearly doubled from last year, with mobile shopping playing a large role in those numbers.

Despite high mobile numbers, social media drove very few sales during Cyber Monday.

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Excerpted from’s, “Cyber Monday Mobile Purchases Nearly Double From 2011”

Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day ever and mobile shopping played a significant role in its growth.

Spending increased 30.3% from the previous year, with mobile devices accounting for accounted for 12.9% of all sales. That’s a 96% increase from 2011.

Mobile sales were lower on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday, however, a change that IBM attributes to more customers returning to work and shopping from their PCs.

Both mobile traffic and mobile sales fell by 20% from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.

Despite the overall spending increases, the average order size dipped 6.6% to $185.12, the report said.

Social sales also decreased, as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated just 0.41% of all online sales, a 26% drop from 2011.

Below is a neat summary infographic

Ken says: “get to the pocketbook first”

November 29, 2011

Last week I posted my talking points to a Wash Post reporter asking about retailers moving to Thanksgiving evening openings in advance of Black Friday.

I served up some ivory tower stuff about budget effects, shopping days’ effects, etc.

Here’s what made the cut …


Black Friday 2011: Holiday shoppers hit stores, with a Thanksgiving head start

Last year, Toys R Us became one of the first big-box chains to launch its Black Friday specials at 10 p.m. Thursday. This year, Wal-Mart matched the move.

So Toys R Us opened its doors even earlier, at 9 p.m.

“This is just the beginning,” said Ken Homa, professor of marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “Next year, we’re likely to see everybody doing this. . . . The guys with the first opportunity to get to somebody’s pocketbook are likely to take share away from their competitors.”

Accurately quoted and, if I must say so myself, captures the essence of my message … and my style.

Probably a bit nostalgic for my former students …

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Black Friday … it’s all psychological.

November 25, 2011

Punch line: According to the Washington Post, “far from being mass synchronized temporary insanity, the Black Friday ritual has distinct psychological underpinnings.”

1) The crowds (and scarcity) make us happy

When crowds create a sense of competition — such as when hundreds of shoppers are rushing to collect marked-down goods — they generate a different feeling … called hedonic shopping value, or a sense of enjoyment from the mere process of buying goods.

Consumers enjoy something that’s harder to get, and it makes them feel playful and excited.”

create a promotional strategy that has a high value for a limited time.”

2) We love the hunt

Black Friday is “hunting for women” … it hinge on long-standing traditions and involve pursuing a goal as a group. Whether the group actually hits its target is secondary to the fun of the chase.

The process is akin to a marathon, in that a long-distance runner is energized by the grueling trek in much the same way a Black Friday shopper thrives on long lines and frenzied grabs at cashmere sweaters.

Shoppers love to swap stories and show off their prizes at the end of the day.

“It’s ‘mission accomplished … You brag about your great deal, or about how you got the last one.”

3) It’s about togetherness

Black Friday shopping combines elements of both traditional shopping and holiday rituals.

Shoppers planned extensively for Black Friday — as they would for a holiday meal — and relish the day in part because it allows them to spend time with close friends and family.

“Sharing the shopping ritual with family members and indoctrinating children helps to ensure that the ritual is continued in the next generation.”

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Target re-gifts … the ‘Christmas Champ’ is baaack!

November 21, 2011

TakeAway: Retailer optimism is lower this year. Yet, Target hopes to spur sales with a two-day Black Friday sales event and the return of Christmas Champ ad campaign.

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Excerpted from, “Target Re-Gifts Its Black Friday ‘Christmas Champ’ Campaign

Enter video caption here

With Black Friday just a week away, a new survey shows that retailer optimism about sales growth is lower this year than in 2010. Heavy discounts are expected to rule the day as many retailers move their Black Friday operations to Thursday in a dismal zero sum game sales spiral …

To pitch its 2011 two-day Black Friday sales event, Target has rolled out a collection of “tips” from its effervescent, slightly off-kilter shopping maven.

Promoted as their @ChristmasChamp on Twitter, the manic Black Friday sales lover (brilliantly portrayed by comedian Maria Bamford) was Target’s secret weapon that drove the store’s 2009 Black Friday sales to its biggest ever levels despite a grim holiday shopping environment. Bamford was so popular that Target brought her back in 2010.

And so here we are again in 2011 and Target is again turning to Bamford. But the ads the retailer is running are the same as last year …

We kid, but Target’s regifting of its popular, two-year-old campaign is nothing to laugh at if it’s working. Indeed, if a brand runs a holiday ad enough years in a row, it can become iconic.

Edit by KJM

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Midnight madness … works for college hoops, so why not for retailers?

November 17, 2011

TakeAway: With projected holiday spending down, big retailers hope to boost sales on Black Friday by opening up even earlier.

New plan for T-Day: schedule dinner for 4 p.m., eat way too much, take a really long nap … then at midnight, head for the stores to buy some plus-sized clothes  (for me) and heavily discounted gifts (for loved ones).

Might work …

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Excerpt from WSJ: “Holiday Shopping’s New Hour: Midnight”

More retailers are concluding that 4 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving just isn’t early enough. Macy’s  said most of it will open at midnight. That’s four hours earlier than in recent years.

Last week, Target said it will break with its usual around-dawn opening practices and begin business at midnight on Thanksgiving night.

“In dollars and cents, it probably gives the retailers that are opening extra early another fraction of a day’s sales … and,  it does engender publicity, which, in this environment, is very valuable.”

This year is expected to be especially competitive because spending is projected to be a bit lackluster.

The National Retail Federation expects total retail spending during the holiday period to rise 2.8%, down from a 5.2% increase last year.

Shoppers are expected to spend 4.6% less this year on gifts, or about $516.

Edit by ARK

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