How do you spend Black Friday? Do you stand in line in the early hours of the morning, waiting for the doors to open to your favorite retail store? Or do you spend your day on the couch, making purchases from your laptop? Or maybe Black Friday isn’t a day of spending at all. Black Friday in Milwaukee is no longer just a shopping day — it’s a beer lover’s day. Last year, 1600 people stood line to wait for Lakefront Brewery’s barrel-aged Imperial Stout Black Friday beer release – and this year, 11 craft brewers and brewpubs have announced a special-release beer for the day after Thanksgiving, with one more doing a release on Thanksgiving Eve and another on the Saturday after Black Friday.
Predictions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Although it doesn’t get more fun than a Black Friday beer release, this year’s predictions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday show that consumers do indeed plan to shop.
Consumer spending over the Black Friday weekend is expected to increase by 47% from the same period in 2016. According to RetailMeNot’s survey data, consumers plan to spend an average of $743 this year during the weekend that runs from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. That figure is up from an average of $505 over the same weekend last year. The survey data suggest that nearly seven in 10 consumers will shop over the Black Friday holiday weekend this year.
RetailMeNot’s Chief Marketing Officer, Marissa Tarleton, broke down the firm’s holiday spending predictions and consumer and retail trends.
- Cyber Monday Has Become Even Bigger than Black Friday in Terms of Online Sales – Convenience is important to today’s shoppers, and this year, more than 56% of those surveyed by RetailMeNot plan to make a purchase on Cyber Monday – compared with 39% in 2016, which was the largest online sales day in history. According to Adobe data, shoppers spent a record $3.39 billion online on Cyber Monday last year, up 10.2% year over year and surpassing the Black Friday online sales total of $3.34 billion.
- Retailers Will Extend Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals over a Two-Week Promotional Period – Nearly 45% of consumers already began their holiday shopping before November. Retailers, too, started their promotional offerings earlier than last year, with 85% of retailers investing more in holiday efforts than they did in 2016.
- Brick-and-Mortar Retail vs. Ecommerce – Despite the constant question, “Is retail dead?”, brick-and-mortar sales will remain healthy, with half of the consumers surveyed saying they would wake up early on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to score a good deal. And not surprisingly, online sales are also expected to grow:
According to Adobe, online sales over the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend totaled $9.36 billion and were up 16.4% year over year. Also, in 2016, Black Friday set a new online sales record, with Ecommerce sales surpassing the $3 billion mark for the first time, growing 21.6% year over year. Thanksgiving Day online sales in 2016 totaled $1.93 billion and were up 11.5% year over year.
- Some 81% of Consumers Use Up to Six Channels to Shop for the Holidays – The consumer shopping experience goes much deeper than the online vs. in-store options. In fact, many channels for finding deals and promotions exist today – retails apps, word of mouth, social media, search engines, and many more – and 81% of shoppers today use over 6 different channels to make their purchases.
- Experiential Gifts and Self-Gifting Are Growing Holiday Trends – While clothes, electronics, and toys still top today’s consumer wish list, RetailMeNot is also seeing growth in categories such as food, lodging and travel, and entertainment, suggesting that giving the gift of an experience is becoming more popular.Anyone who has ever went holiday shopping could probably be guilty of also buying themselves a gift in the process. RetailMeNot’s survey shows that consumers are searching in-store for categories such as health and beauty, which gives the retailer an opportunity to capture shoppers looking to treat themselves as they are shopping for others on their list.
Small Business Saturday Still Strong
Collaborating with another business often works very well for retailers and in this spirit of celebrating enterprise and entrepreneurship, Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010. The shopping holiday is on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year falling on the 25th – with the goal being to give small businesses a piece of the holiday shopping action and attract shopper attention.
The rise of shopping malls and large chain stores such as Walmart and other retailers has caused irreversible damage to Main Street in the last half-century or so – which is why supporting local businesses on Small Business Saturday is so important. And the holiday has paid off in spades for retailers. In 2012, consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at small retailers on Small Business Saturday. By 2015, that amount nearly tripled to $16.2 billion.
Whether you are a consumer or retailer participating in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday, is it important keep your payment transactions safe from cyber criminals waiting to ruin your holiday season. Bluefin offers a complete suite of security products for today’s omni-channel merchant, including PCI-validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) mobile, retail, unattended and call center transactions, and secure Ecommerce technologies including payment iFrame – helping to protect all store and online transactions this holiday season.