Black Friday-like discounts are getting bigger every year. This year, 16.4 percent of Black Friday sales are expected to take place online.
There’s good reason for these sales. Research from Target shows that only 60 percent of people are even aware that Black Friday is November 30th. If you’re an avid shopping holiday, you’re keeping up with the latest Black Friday trends—including the speed at which retailers are slashing prices to clear their shelves. Target predicts that the average Black Friday shopping day will get even faster as Cyber Monday becomes a bigger holiday week event.
What’s driving the slower pace of Black Friday sales? ShopNumi. Shoppers who shopped last year saw average discounts of 11.5 percent. However, this year the discounts are expected to be 17.5 percent. This is really significant because almost a third of the top-selling items in the next six weeks weren’t even available for Black Friday discounts last year.
Black Friday deals are expected to peak on November 29th, while Cyber Monday sales will peak on December 2nd.
While retailers are expecting the busiest day of the year to come around the calendar’s midway point, it also appears that most Black Friday-like deals will only be around on November 29th. This is most likely because of this year’s previously-released data from ShopAdvisor, which found that “Retailers offered a smaller percent of overall deals than last year’s Black Friday, and fewer discounts for specific products.” As you might have guessed, Americans also waited longer to get their Black Friday deals (Black Friday promotions typically started an average of a week earlier than last year’s Black Friday). But perhaps what’s most interesting is that store loyalty isn’t that strong. “Nearly half (45 percent) of those surveyed said that they are likely to switch their retailer to take advantage of other offers later in the holiday season,” says ShopAdvisor. Many consumers who shop on Black Friday don’t visit an average of three or four stores to compare prices.
Here’s another thought. When a consumer shops for electronics, the average discount per product is already 10 percent this year, which is higher than the discounts given to other retail categories such as clothing and home furnishings. So when another consumer buys the same product, the retailer may not offer the same discount as they did with the first consumer. Stores may have changed their sales strategy, and may instead cut them differently to take advantage of a more competitive holiday season. For instance, the average discount for many tech items this year has risen from 10 percent to 11 percent, so if you buy the same tablet from different retailers, you may get a different discount. However, the average ticket size of the other consumers’ gift purchases is lower. In addition, the prevalence of online shopping in the months before Black Friday could be changing the competitive nature of the season, as well. While online shopping hasn’t caught up with offline shopping, it may be offering consumers who are hooked on Black Friday opportunities to find and compare prices. “In the days before and after Thanksgiving, Americans opened their wallets and wallets wide for a redemptive season of love,” says ShopAdvisor. “In fact, spending grew 17 percent year-over-year for Thanksgiving 2017, and black Friday itself saw a 17 percent increase from the year before, as a recovering economy combined with the added momentum of the post-hurricane Superstorm Sandy recovery period helped shoppers in need of goods and money.”
This report first appeared on Millennial Matters