Is waking up at 4 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving really becoming a thing of the past? As one of the biggest shopping days of the year approaches, stories are once again
making headlines on whether Black Friday, the uniquely American phenomenon of fabulous deals and frenzied buying, is dead. With Black Friday-level prices showing up earlier and earlier (my inbox
agrees), Thanksgiving Day store hours pulling shoppers in the doors and online shopping taking its share, the impact of this one-day event is definitely changing.
Bankrate.com and others survey the general population, I look to moms for a better prognosis on the health of Black Friday. In our recent survey, moms were asked about their holiday shopping habits
and the motivations behind their shopping choices, including braving the stores on Black Friday.
- Of the 93% of moms in the survey who say they are the primary gift
buyers, almost half (49%) have already started their holiday shopping mainly to “get the shopping done well in advance,” but only 17% say they will shop Black Friday or Thanksgiving
- Black Friday means deals, door busters and tradition for moms. Almost 44% say they shop on Black Friday for door-buster deals, while 30% believe that the
day’s special prices are the best of the season. Moms say the tradition (28%) and excitement (27%) draw them out on Black Friday.
- The trend of Thanksgiving Day
hours gets mixed reviews. While 32% say they would shop on the holiday to take advantage of special door-buster deals, almost half (49%) won’t shop and feel that the day should be about spending
time with family.
- Moms use their phones and tablets as shopping tools, with 57% using their mobile device to compare prices while in a store and 41% using a coupon
app while shopping.
- Online shopping appeals to moms for many reasons: free shipping is an expectation for Holiday 2014, with 82% agreeing that this is a major
incentive, along with discounted items compared to store prices for 72% of moms. For the 72% who might seriously consider childbirth less painful than taking a child to the mall, online shopping lets
them avoid the crowds.
- Retailers take note: in addition to free shipping, moms are planning to take advantage of competitor price matching (68%) and the
timesaving solution of online purchases with in-store pickup (63%). Make sure these programs are available for busy moms.
- A gift with purchase and gift cards
or coupons for future purchases appeal to an average 70% of moms.
For the record, I am a Black Friday shopper. Armed with my list, coupons and phone, I leave my house before
dark and return a few hours later before my family is even out of bed. It’s a tradition for me, motivated by deals, but more by the need to take advantage of the day off to get my shopping done.
Many moms I know also use the day to shop with their own moms, sisters and friends.
Is Black Friday dead? The best response I’ve read is that it is evolving. Just as
social media and mobile technology have changed the way moms shop on the other 364 days of the year, Black Friday is no different. The holidays will continue to account for the majority of annual
retail sales, but the focus will be spread out over a season rather than one day.