With Black Friday weekend quickly approaching, retailers are looking to know what to expect. While there are predictions about which department stores will attract the most traffic and lists of upcoming promotions already shared, there are also overall consumer trends and buying behaviors to consider. Here are some forecasts and trend predictions for the upcoming weekend:
Increased mobile usage
Our phones have become essential to us in our everyday lives, and this is no different when shopping. In 2016, 48% of shoppers believe it is easier to make mobile purchases than an in-store purchase. Even those who do shop in store are using their phones– 70% look for deals and promotions on their phones while they shop.
Shopping all weekend, not only on Black Friday
Black Friday is a big day in retail, and over the years has become not only a day but a whole weekend. It even prompted Cyber Monday as online sales increased. This year, Black Friday is starting even earlier, with 21% of Americans planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Coupons from social media
Many retailers promote their holiday sales in-store, through email, and on social media. This year it is expected we will see an increase in consumers using coupons from social media, with 43% of Twitter users more likely to visit a store after seeing a coupon or deal on Twitter. Another interesting conclusion from Twitter’s research into mobile usage indicates that 73% of users are more likely to purchase from a small business if they see a coupon or deal on Twitter during the holiday season.
Increased gift card purchasing
Total gift card sales are expected to increase $1.5 billion in the 2016 holiday shopping season, reaching $27.5 billion in total. Shoppers purchasing gift cards will likely purchase an average of 3 of them to give as gifts this holiday season. So, if you see a customer stressing about the perfect gift for their loved one, the answer may be more simple than they think.
What does this mean for retailers?
Most retailers start preparing for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season in early fall, but if you did not consider these forecasts and trends, here are some tips for the season:
- Optimize your website for mobile, and keep the content updated
- Be sure your POS system or ecommerce site can process online transactions on mobile
- Plan to be busy Thursday evening through Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend
- Post promotions and deals on all social media sites, especially Twitter
- Stock up on gift cards, and suggest gift card purchases to customers
Throughout the holiday season, one thing that most retailers see an increase in is sales. Without a reliable POS or business management system, you may not be maximizing your sales opportunities. If you need a system or are considering upgrading your current system, contact System Solutions.