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Black Friday Impacts Online Sales

Many stores offer deep discounts to attract customers

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Black Friday Shopping
Hundreds of shoppers wait for the doors to open at Best Buy, in Mayfield Height, Ohio. VOA

The Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Black Friday is viewed as the start of the holiday shopping season, a time when U.S. retailers rake in a significant portion of the year’s profits.

Many stores offer deep discounts to attract customers, and shoppers often line up early for a chance to grab a great deal before supplies run out.

“I think it is a very good sales gimmick,” says James E. Schrager, professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “And what’s been happening for a few decades now is that retailers are very worried about when they get the customer into their store for this huge seasonal buying season. And they know it comes and goes very quickly … so this is a very good idea, so that they make sure they get their time — that is, the customer’s time — in their store to show off what they have.”

Macy’s, the department store, is believed to be the first retailer to advertise after-Thanksgiving Day shopping during their Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in 1924. Black Friday shopping grew more popular in the 1930s.

Black Friday Shopping
A traffic jam is negotiated in the aisles of Toys R Us, in San Rafael Calif. which was crowded with Black Friday shoppers. VOA

“Black Friday was a way to make sure that, for the season, they would make their number,” Schrager says. “ ‘Make their number,’ in the retail business, means sell more than you did last year. So every retailer loves to grow. Every retailer wants to get bigger and have better market share than it had the year before.”

Legos, cameras and a high-end backpack were among the hot online searches going into Black Friday 2019, according to Google, the online search engine. But where people will actually shop on the day after Thanksgiving isn’t clear.

“I can’t speak necessarily specifically to that because, of course, you don’t necessarily know what any one person is doing,” says Molly VandenBerg, a Google trends expert. “When we look at search behavior, people do certainly come to Google to search for things like where to buy a particular item.”

Schrager says online shopping hasn’t diminished Black Friday’s significance to the nation’s brick-and-mortar retailers.

“I think it’s more important than ever,” he says. “Online retailing is new, it’s new and it’s newsy. But if you look at the numbers … 89 percent of everything bought new is sold in regular stores.”

Walmart's Black Friday event
Customers continue to use their phones – and the Walmart app – as a shopping tool during Walmart’s Black Friday event in Bentonville, Arkansas. VOA

Online sales accounted for just 11.2 percent of total sales in the third quarter of 2019 — the months of April, May and June — according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Over the past 10 years, there’s been a little under 1 percent growth per year in online retailing.

Online shopping sales are expected to grow 18% this year, according to a recent Deloitte holiday retail survey.

The same survey finds that nearly two-thirds of shoppers plan to look online for gift inspiration. However, more than half of the consumers surveyed still plan to head into the store to see and touch a product before purchasing it.

ALSO READ: Online Shopping Giant Amazon makes Customers pay more for Popular items

But there are other ways to incorporate technology into the holiday shopping season.

“If you’re heading out into the stores, you might want to know how crowded they’re expected to be before you get there,” says VandenBerg, the Google trends expert. “And you can do this with the ‘Popular Times’ feature. If you’re looking at a particular store, or even like a grocery shop, you would be able to see an estimate of how busy we anticipate it would be, or how long you might wait.” (VOA)

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Apple Brings Lucrative Cyber Monday Deals

Apple fan? Here are some lucrative Cyber Monday deals

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The MacBook is a brand of Macintosh laptop computers by Apple Inc. that merged the PowerBook and iBook lines during Apple's transition to Intel processors. Pixabay

If you want to grab some of the best deals on Apple products on Cyber Monday, it may benefit you more if you scan the major retailers like Amazon and Best Buy first before moving on to the Apple Store.

Apple’s gift cards may be handy in case of multiple Apple purchases, but they may not beat the offers given by major retailers and cellular carriers, according to CNET.

Cyber Monday, which falls on the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, is considered the biggest online shopping day of the year in the US.

Online sales on Cyber Monday are expected to reach $9.4 billion, up by 18.9 per cent from 2018, according to the web analytics tool Adobe Analytics.

On purchase of the latest iPad which has a larger 10.2-inch screen, one can save up to $99. The device is available on Target at $230.

 

Apple Phone
A female can be seen using an iPhone. Pixabay

One can save an almost similar amount of money ($100) on purchase of Apple HomePod on Best Buy.

The Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones are also heavily discounted. On Best Buy, they are available for $200, allowing people to save up to $150.

The MacBook Air can be purchased for $900 on Best Buy, helping you save $200.

You can buy the Apple AirPods with Charging Case for $140 on Amazon and save $29.

On Black Friday, US online shoppers spent $7.4 billion dollars, up by 19.6 per cent from last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

The top three online selling products on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, were L.O.L Surprise dolls, Frozen 2 toys, and FIFA 20 video games, Xinhua reported.

ALSO READ: Apple is soon coming up with a Video Streaming service like Netflix

Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, meanwhile, said Thanksgiving digital sales in the US grew 17 per cent to 4.1 billion dollars.

In a blog post, Salesforce said that Thanksgiving Day purchases were primarily through mobile devices, noting that 60 percent of all digital orders came through a mobile phone, beating prior estimates. (IANS)