Black Friday is fast approaching and the impact that COVID store closings, supply chain disruptions and accelerating e-commerce adoption will have on the bottom line of holiday deals and shopping habits. buying remains on the minds of all retailers. A decisive factor will be how consumers interact with the various sales channels in the retail industry.
With large-scale on-demand delivery, new ecommerce marketplaces, and every brand under the sun applying a more robust omnichannel approach than ever before, will these cumulative trends have a significant impact on how consumers shop? during Black Friday? How have consumer habits changed over the past two years and how should online retailers, in particular, adapt? We brought in Jennifer Kaylo Ruscin, Retailer Expert at Growth Spurt Sales & Marketing, for a quick analysis of shifts in buying habits and how she advises consumers to make the most of persistent disruption. of the Black Friday experience.
The first thing I would say is move towards COVID, Black Friday was still Black Friday. People expected to go to the stores to find amazing deals, fight against each other and create a bit of excitement and maybe havoc at the store level as they rush to buy whatever they wanted. Now we started to see changes in online shopping habits in 2019 and then everything changed during COVID. So last year we saw a huge shift towards exclusive shopping virtually online for Black Friday. So much so that sellers were running out of inventory, buyers couldn’t find anything. PS, a similar story is going to happen this year. And as we move on to this year, what I see is because of the issues we have in getting product to port and because of the already limited amount of inventory on the shelves, we are already hearing that the toys are going to be a problem to find in stores. Some tips I would have this year. If you are a number one buyer, shop early. Buy early, early, early, early. Start now. I felt that transition as we were already entering Christmas in November, moving from Halloween to Christmas and in stores, instead of feeling irritated like I usually do, like “why do we already like to play games?” Christmas music and why are we already seeing Black Friday sales and deals on November 1st? Guys, it’s because if we don’t go shopping early, there will be nothing left. So definitely feel that sense of urgency. And number two, think about experiences and being outside the box if you’re running out of stock or running out of things to buy for your family and loved ones. I really encourage everyone to think about buying locally, to think of an experience like taking people to Topgolf, bungee jumping or skydiving, or planning a camping trip. I know none of these things are retail related, but when we all walk around and look at the shelves in Q4 and find that there’s nothing left, think outside the box.