Are Moms Saying No To Black Friday?

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.

As 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 Day.
  • 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.

2 comments about "Are Moms Saying No To Black Friday?".
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  1. Anne-marie Kovacs from Boombox Network, November 21, 2014 at 11:38 a.m.

    I can only hope that this commercial event is on its way out. I'm all about getting clever marketing and getting your share of the retail pie but Black Friday is an obnoxious way of doing it. It is the poster child for mercantilism gone bad. It's encroaching on and taking over a family-centric holiday so that we can buy more stuff... as gifts for our family? Absurd when you get down to it.

  2. Samantha Fein from Threxy, Inc., November 21, 2014 at 1:42 p.m.

    Nice post, Maria.

    As a mom of two and the only shopper in my household, I have experienced the massive sway of the marketing vacuum of Black Friday. I've done it: I've stood in line at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving in the freezing cold and been jammed into Toys 'r' Us at 1 a.m., madly grabbing for whatever sought-after toys I needed. I've put alerts on my phone and subscribed to pre-Black Friday deals. I've put on my running shoes and workout clothes to go into deep battle in the mall. I have to admit, it was fun the first time. I scored deals. It was an experience. And I never did it again.

    As a marketer, I feel compelled to be empathetic toward moms who experience the deluge of Black Friday emails, spam, messaging, blogger outreach, the crazy use of exclamation points in my Twitter stream and more. I made a decision as VP of Marketing at Totspot ( to ignore Black Friday altogether. Instead we did a week of lift-ups for moms (#TSLoveFest) this week before Black Friday. Why? Because if you're actually REAL about what the holidays mean to a mom, then you know it's fricking hard, expensive, exhausting, exhilarating and emotional (both in a good and bad way). My goal this week was to make moms feel good about the holidays to come, despite whether or not they choose to participate in the Black Friday mayhem.

    We brands MUST FIND A WAY TO EMPATHIZE with moms and dads, not beat them over the head with deals until they concede to our relentless pitching of our goods.

    #BlackFriday #marketing #ecommerce #IMHO

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