The ‘2016’ Black Friday & Holiday Shopping Season

Black Friday is often a landmark for shoppers every year as it signifies the commencement of the holiday shopping season. Customers look forward to this time of the year and so does the retailer. Whether it’s customized and personalized offers or indelible in-store experiences, retailers try and get it right around this time of the year in order to achieve higher margins of profits and conversions. Black Friday 2016 is around the corner and the shopping frenzy is more than just setting in.

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The Big Weekend

The extended weekend that includes Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday has always given retailers something or the other to cheer about over the last few years. There was a huge doubt on how people would react considering the results of the US Presidential Elections, but everything seems to be easing out now. Findings from the National Retail Federation Survey states that as many as 137.4 million Americans are estimated to hit the stores for shopping over the weekend. The turnout expected is more than last year (135.8 million). This will provide the retailers with a good head start for the rest of the holiday season to follow. Overall, a slightly better forecast of holiday sales has been provided for 2016 by NRF. The holiday season sales are expected to rise by 3.6% this year. While the forecast is not alarmingly high from what has transpired over the last few years, but it is certainly expected to be one of the better seasons of recent times. The NRF Survey also found out that as many as 74% of people are planning to go shopping at the store on Black Friday itself. Thus, a big weekend is definitely on the cards.

A Statistical insight on Black Friday & Holiday 2016

Retailers understand the importance of having an omni-channel presence. As a result, the focus will not only be to provide customers with relevant, customized and personalized offers, but provide them across all channels. According to the estimation provided by NRF, the overall spending during the holiday period is expected to be US $655.8 billion in 2016. With 74% people expected to go shopping to the retail stores on Black Friday itself, retailers can expect a blockbuster season ahead. Let us have a look at where the consumers plan to shop from during the holidays.

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The illustration above clearly provides ample evidence of the need for retailers to have an omni-channel presence. 55.7% and 56.6% of customers will prefer shopping from discount stores and departmental stores respectively. On the other hand, 56.5% of people will avail the online medium. Grocery Stores and supermarkets account for 44.5% as well.

Another study by Prosper Insights reveals that American consumers plan to spend a mighty US $935.58 during this holiday shopping season. Retailers will be looking to utilize the bulk amount of big data that they have access to in the best possible way. Apart from this, according to data on Sessioncam.com, 41.9% shoppers will prefer to pay by debit cards and 24% by cash. Faster payment systems are something that retailers will try and adopt as no one would want to spend their day waiting in long queues. Faster payment checkout options on the mobile app or at the store kiosk will be vital.

Overall, retailers are hoping for a productive Black Friday to kick start their long holiday shopping extravaganza.