Black Friday is a treat for shopaholics just right after thanksgiving. It is referred as the busiest shopping period for the US as the retailers attract the shoppers by offering huge discounts on the products. It is considered to be one of the longest days for the retailers as many of them open up as early as 5:00 am. Moreover, a lot of shoppers are seen waiting in large queues outside the stores, for hours. ("The History of Black Friday")
IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON BLACK FRIDAY
With the advent of technology, this shopping spree has become more interesting and lucrative for both, the retailers as well as the shoppers. The expansion of the digital world has given both the sides to enjoy the benefit as it is an additional avenue to buy and sell the products. . Last year, the digital sales bypassed the sales done by the physical stores, depicting that digital has added an additional avenue for the retailers to earn more.
Entering the digital era, the retailers are able to create more hype and create engagement for their offers way before the actual day. A lot of various strategies like emailing the offers, vouchers and coupons to the consumer have become a practice.
Moreover, a lot of retailers like Macy’s are developing mobile apps for Black Friday where the shoppers could see the offers before the actual day and decide on what to buy. Since digital has brought the world at the tips of the consumers, the retailers are providing tools to compare prices in order to attract the consumers. The shoppers on the other hand have also benefitted as they now have various offers at their tips and they are in a better position to compare the offers and shop with much ease, avoiding the long queues outside the stores. The digital media has made them more aware of all the offers and they are able to make better decision regarding the offers and the product. (White)
EVOLUTION OF BLACK FRIDAY IN RECENT YEARS
With the changing times, the black Friday sale has also evolved. What was first restricted to one day only has now spread out to the extent that a lot of times the black Friday sale and cyber Monday cannot be distinguished. As already mentioned, black Friday sale has become more popular and more engaging for the customers through the digital medium. The consumers have become more aware when it comes to making buying decisions as now they can compare the offers and the products across various stores. This eventually has made black Friday more competitive for the retailers, putting more pressure on them to provide extra attractive offers in order to stand out amongst the various competitors. (Munro)
Promotional strategy for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has come up with the strategy of spreading out the offer to five days rather than just one day in 2014. The purpose of this strategy is to reach up to more and more people and relieve the customers from the pressure they go through during black Friday. This would help them in achieving higher sales and also give comfort to the shoppers. ("New Black Friday” Exclusively at Walmart")
Promotional strategy for Macy’s. In 2013 Macy’s came up with a mobile app where all the deals were available prior to black Friday. The purpose of the app was to help the customers to decide their wish list and share it with friends. The app was a good way of promoting the deals to the customer which also helped Macy’s in becoming viral through more and more shoppers sharing it with their friends. This app created a huge word of mouth for Macy’s offers. (Kingstone )
Promotional strategy for Target. In 2013 Target used various digital marketing platforms to promote various discount offers. Along with Facebook and twitter, Target created an “Interactive memory game” in order to create engagement with the audience and aware them of the various deals that the store was offering. This was a good effort to aware the audience of the various deals that they were offered. (Ong )
Technology has been one of the major factors in making black Friday one of the biggest shopping events in the US where all the retailers are seen offering huge discounts to the customers. It has enabled the retailers to reach up to wiser base of audience along with providing ease to the customers.
"The History of Black Friday." The History of Black Friday. BlackFriday.com. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
Munro, Daphne. "5 Big Changes Coming to Black Friday." ABC15. 6 Oct. 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
White, Martha. "Digital Strategies Help Black Friday Warriors Hang up Battlegear - NBC News." NBC News. 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
Ong, Matt. "Target Black Friday 2013 Ad - Find the Best Target Black Friday Deals and Sales - NerdWallet | Shopping." NerdWallet Shopping. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
"The “New Black Friday” Exclusively at Walmart." The “New Black Friday” Exclusively at Walmart. Web. 16 Nov. 2014
Kingstone, Sheryl. "Mobile Marketing and Commerce Strategies." Macy’s Black Friday Strategy Centers on Mobile Experience. 16 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.