Year after year, consumers wait in excruciating anticipation for Black Friday sales to begin. Some even leave their Thanksgiving dinners early, tossing aside the turkey and pumpkin pie to get to shops on the fourth Thursday of November.
American consumers are up for the challenge of maneuvering shopping carts filled with the latest tech and clothes through crowds of hungry shoppers. And who can blame them? When brands begin marketing campaigns as early as October and November, it’s hard to say no to a good deal.
Black Friday shopping is a holiday pastime for many, but what can consumers and marketers expect this year?
How Many Consumers Shop on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Weekend?
Last year, 64 million consumers shopped both online and in-stores between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, otherwise known as Black Friday weekend.
Black Friday weekend encompasses the following shopping days:
- Black Friday refers specifically to the day after Thanksgiving. Historically, Black Friday was celebrated in-store. In 2017, 174 million American consumers shopped in stores on Black Friday.
- Small Business Saturday is for supporting local shops. Last year, Small Business Saturday saw 55 million consumers.
- Cyber Monday is for online shopping. Historically, Cyber Monday deals were released on Monday when working adults were back at the office and in front of computers. In 2017, more than 81 million Americans purchased goods online.
In 2017, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday were the two most popular days for in-store shopping, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the two most popular days for online shopping.
96% of shoppers bought goods throughout the five-day sale. Plenty of consumers used this time to purchase holiday gifts, spending $251 on average on products for others.
What Time Do Consumers Shop on Black Friday?
According to Statista, 21% of consumers who shopped in-store during 2017’s Black Friday craze woke before dawn and made their trips between 5 and 8am.
Where Do Consumers Go for Black Friday Deals?
Most consumers will spend their money at more than one store on Black Friday, as projected by Statista.
Many shoppers will find themselves at large box stores like Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Lowe’s. Online shoppers frequently turn to Amazon.com and Walmart.com, which are two of the largest online retailers.
What Will Consumers Buy on Black Friday?
If they come across a good deal, consumers say they are most likely (34%) to impulsively purchase apparel/footwear and consumer electronics, followed by media (books, video games and CDs) (29%), games or toys (28%) and household appliances (21%). Review the chart below for more potential impulse buys.
How Much Will Consumers Spend on This Year’s Black Friday?
Black Friday sales have steadily increased since 2008 and are projected to grow by 4.3% in 2018, according to The Balance.
Last year, shoppers spent $967.13 on average. This year, they are projected to spend an average of $1,007.24 during Black Friday shopping, increasing the total holiday spend to $717.5 billion.
How Do Brands Market Their Black Friday Sales?
BlackFriday.com predicts this year’s nationwide shopping spree will be successful, with demand from consumers for store openings as early as noon on Thanksgiving day. Costco, JCPenny, Sam’s Club, Target and Dell have already released their Black Friday catalogs, most of which include dozens of pages of marked-down products and other steals.
Many brands produce short TV spots that invoke the excitement shoppers experience when preparing for Black Friday sprees. This 30-second commercial from Walmart promoted store hours and the rush of bliss consumers feel when they get their hands on the right product at the right price.
While plenty of stores open on Thanksgiving to jumpstart the sales, there are more than 70 retailers that won’t open until Black Friday, giving their employees a chance to enjoy their holidays. Among the list of Thursday shopping protesters are Burlington, H&M, Joann Stores, Nordstrom, Patagonia, Raymour & Flanigan, Sur La Table and TJ Maxx.
While consumers ready their wallets, marketers are busy crafting promotions and targeting the right demographics for their brands. If you’re a marketer, a consumer or both, we hope your Black Friday is a successful event, in terms of revenue and bringing home the perfect products.