With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us are starting to prepare mentally for the season of shopping. Holiday shopping has long been a tradition in the United States, and holiday shopping as an experience, has grown into such a national juggernaut that retailers have coined terms for the biggest shopping days of the year. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, arguably the most popular in the group, is now joined by Small-Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. What used to be a shopping experience defined by scouring the mail and newspapers for coupons and arriving at stores and malls early on Black Friday has now likely been redefined by the growth of e-commerce and on the flip-side, the depressed growth of the U.S. economy.
The changing times have made understanding how consumers plan to shop a priority for merchants and retailers. Conducting research on people’s purchasing intentions, what they intend to buy, and what inspires them to buy (and buy even more!) can help merchants drive even larger numbers of consumers to spend this holiday season. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed over 200 shoppers to learn more about what exactly they were planning to buy during this holiday weekend–if at all.
If you’re planning on buying a TV, iPad mini, or some other type of electronic item this holiday season, you’re in good company. Of the respondents who plan to shop on Black Friday (about half of them), a majority are looking forward to buying some kind of electronic item. And, a slightly lesser, but still significant number, plan to buy clothing, shoes or jewelry.
And, people certainly associate Black Friday with technology purchases. When asked to recall their most memorable Black Friday purchase, many electronic items including flat-screen and LCD TVs, laptops, and gaming systems were listed as notable purchases.
Over 50% of respondents cited deals as ‘very’ to ‘extremely influential’ in their decision of where to shop on Black Friday.
While a lot of people shopped online last year on Black Friday, even more are planning to shop online this year. About 12% shopped mostly online or only online last year, and more than 40% of respondents are planning to make their Black Friday purchases online this year.
Why are more and more people flocking online? As you probably guessed, the people who don’t plan to plan to shop at a Black Friday sale reported that crowds were primary reason for staying home.
- Electronics and computer items are on most people’s shopping lists. While electronics retailers, like Best Buy or Amazon, can clearly benefit from this demand, merchants who sell accessories to these items such as designer iPhone, iPad, or laptop cases, or furniture to showcase these items- a TV stand or entertainment center- should also highlight these items in their marketing efforts to attract customers this holiday season.
- When shopping online, consumers value free shipping and returns. With more and more consumers planning to spend online this holiday season, offering these services are essential in order to compete with online retailers like Amazon and Zappos, and to win over the hearts, and wallets, of customers.
- When choosing where to shop, consumers are heavily influenced by deals. Since shopping online allows consumers to easily peruse prices, offering deals is now more important than ever. In addition, peoples’ inboxes are bombarded with online deals so it is important to figure out where customers first learn about deals and direct their market offers accordingly.
Did you brave the crowds for some Black Friday deals? Or did you stay home for leftover turkey? Let us know in the comments section below.