With Black Friday started the annual shopping season of the year where American consumers shopped at malls, scanned bar-codes compared prices and shopped online. This Thanksgiving event various stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Macys opened their stores with door busting deals and attracted customers to spend their hard earned dollars. National Retail Federation reported that more than 35 million Americans visited retail stores and websites on Thanksgiving alone compared to 29 million consumers visited in 2011. We clearly see the increase in the consumers visiting and making purchases on Thanksgiving. ShopperTrak, which measures and analyzes foot traffic at retail stores worldwide, reported that store visits on Black Friday increased by 3.5%. Even thought the foot traffic increased the sales decreased by 1.8%. The customer behavior has changed over the years and consumers have learnt to wait for more deals and shop even after Black Friday. This strategy was followed by several companies like Amazon who rolled out more deal over the weekend and then there was the Cyber Monday with sales, promotions and discounts on websites.
The new trend reported by IBM was that more consumers shopped on Black Friday using mobile device. Other than making purchases online, consumers used their mobile devices like iPad, iPhone and Android devices to compare prices online and get the best deal. With the increase in online shopping, two other businesses also saw an increase. When we shop online two most important things are online payment and delivery of the purchased products. Shipping and delivery services like FedEx, UPS see the seasonal increase in delivery services and every time we make a payment using the debit and credit card, Visa and MasterCard makes money. In this holiday season where we see an immense increase in the online sales, other companies are also making money and this trend leads to the evolution of a new ecosystem.
The question is whether this is Cyber Monday is affecting the sales on Black Friday and whether we are going to see a shift in the trend where consumers will make the purchases online and avoid the waiting time at odd hours at retail stores.