Black friday research paper


What are the key findings?

As Amazon lays waste to traditional retail and competition heats up within the dwindling ranks of survivors, price matching is increasingly the law of the land. Not all retailers price-match though, and some pointedly exclude clearance sales from the mix.

An exploratory investigation of Black Friday consumption rituals | Emerald Insight

Before you assume a retailer matches all comers, read the fine print on their website usually available in a disclosure statement and check their Black Friday flyers for exclusions specific to that day. Generous return policies allow no-questions-asked returns for full cash refunds or credit card chargebacks within a predefined timeframe, usually at least 14 days. Returns usually need to be unopened, in original packaging. Store credit, possibly less a restocking fee, is a better bet.

That said, some retailers loosen their return policies during the holiday shopping season — the eligible window might be longer, or the permitted condition dodgier. Within product categories, major-retailer return policies tend to be pretty similar. Whether you buy it at Staples or Office Depot, you can probably get a full refund for that unopened 3-in-1 printer 10 days after you buy it.

Some types of items, such as undergarments, typically have stricter return policies or all-sales-are-final policies by default. On the other hand, you should think twice about patronizing retailers with unusually restrictive policies.

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If pricing and price matching allows, do as much of your shopping as possible at superstores like Walmart and Meijer — places with lots of different departments and low prices across the board. Budget more time than you think you need at each stop. Already-busy shopping districts and malls become downright chaotic on Black Friday. Heading out on Black Friday without a shopping app is like arriving at a potluck dinner without a side dish. As I noted in point 1 above, the best way to avoid overspending on Black Friday is to set a budget and stick to it. Before you head out on Black Friday, draft a comprehensive list of recipients for whom you plan to shop on that day and the exact items you plan to buy them.

This is sound advice at any time of year.


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When department stores, home improvement stores, or apparel stores appear in the fourth quarter mix, the stage is set for an irresistible savings opportunity. One of my favorite no-annual-fee credit cards is Chase Freedom Unlimited. The one-two punch of serious free money and no interest on carried balances for more than a year is pretty hard to resist.

If you do have to carry a credit card balance from month to month, check out our roundup of the best low APR interest credit cards on the market. This is one of the least-appreciated ways to significantly reduce your holiday shopping expenditures. Some sites offer physical gift cards and online-only coupon codes. Do you have hard-to-please recipients? Black Friday shopping is faster, more manageable, and more fun with a friend or relative — ideally, someone shopping for the same recipient pool, like a spouse or sibling.

Before you arrive at the store, divvy up shopping duties: you to cosmetics and electronics, your partner to apparel and sporting goods, and so on.

What is Black Friday? Shopping Facts and More!

Though the practice is controversial, many retailers open on Thanksgiving, usually in the afternoon or evening. Some remain open into Black Friday. Because Thanksgiving is a national holiday, shoppers with family obligations tend to be absent from the fray. If you can shake off your turkey coma, Thursday evening is arguably the best time to shop on the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Wear a fleece or light jacket for your outerlayer, possibly with a snug-fitting underlayer to ward off the outside chill.

When is Black Friday this year?

On Black Friday itself, the best sales typically happen early in the morning. Doorbuster sales start at 4am or 5am and wrap up by 9am or 10am, and the most coveted items tend to fly off the shelves well before then. If that means losing sleep to stand in line for a few hours before the store opens, so be it. Not willing to brave lines or crowds? Patronize retailers that remain open continuously from Thanksgiving afternoon.

Wait for post-Thanksgiving crowds to die down in the wee hours, then breeze in and take your sweet time. Black Friday is a perfect storm of traffic, crowds, long lines, early-morning start times, and limited inventory. Like clockwork, Black Friday brings arguments and altercations, some of which escalate to tragic effect. Get gift receipts for every returnable purchase. Bring a paper or digital Black Friday flyer for every retailer you plan to patronize. And it was a similar story for around a third of consumers in Canada 39 percent , Germany 32 percent , and the United Kingdom 30 percent.

This year, clothing moved ahead of all other categories to take the top spot on consumer shopping lists in all countries we surveyed, bumping consumer electronics into second place. While digital remains strongly ahead as the primary method consumers plan to use when shopping for consumer electronics, 50 percent of shoppers in Canada and 54 percent in the United States still favor offline shopping when it comes to selecting new clothes. Movies, books, and music emerged as the third-most popular product category, selected by 33 percent of US and 39 percent of Canadian respondents, while 40 percent of consumers in Germany and 42 percent of UK shoppers plumped for beauty and fragrances.

Even in big-ticket categories where consumers have traditionally exhibited in-store or offline purchasing behaviors—such as for furniture, household appliances, and cars—there are indications that a growing number of consumers are now prepared to head online to snap up Black Friday deals. With an average of 54 percent of shoppers in all surveyed markets saying they are planning to shop more online this Black Friday compared with previous years, it is clear that digital is becoming increasingly dominant as a channel.

When asked to evaluate what is motivating them to shop more online, the simplicity and convenience afforded was the top reason for shoppers in most age groups and in most countries. The findings also reveal that US respondents across every age category were the most likely to plump for online shopping as the ideal antidote to escaping the chaos they say they have encountered when venturing to stores to shop during Black Friday events.

Respondents were asked to evaluate their top three shopping channels of choice. Indeed, taken together, mobile apps and mobile browsers proved a popular option, selected by 50 percent or more of consumers in all countries surveyed, with 75 percent of US and 61 percent of German shoppers using these channels. Meanwhile, US shoppers in general appear to be stealing a lead on consumers in other countries, with 8 percent saying they will be turning to voice-activated digital assistants, such as Alexa and Siri, to bag deals on Black Friday.

With consumers clearly eager, ready, and willing to participate in and shop Black Friday , retailers and brands should look to prepare the right promotions for the right customers to ensure they attract high numbers of shoppers—and secure big-basket orders.

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Consumers have already set aside significant budgets to fund their Black Friday shopping sprees and have clear purchasing intentions when it comes to who they will be buying for and which product categories they will be prioritizing. But beyond that, they are adopting a much more spontaneous approach in relation to what items they will actually purchase, preferring instead to sit back and see which promotions and offers most entice them to spend. Register on the Periscope website to download the full report. McKinsey uses cookies to improve site functionality, provide you with a better browsing experience, and to enable our partners to advertise to you.

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Subscribe Sign In. Summary: This study looks at consumer complaints made through a third-party website called complaints. Researchers compare the types and quantity of complaints made during the holiday shopping season of November and December to complaints made during the rest of the year. The monthly average number of complaints is higher during the winter holiday season, with the largest proportion of complaints focusing on product delivery, pricing and return and refund policies.

DOI The authors found that consumers viewed Black Friday as an annual ritual in which these shoppers had participated an average of 12 years. Shoppers said the event provides an opportunity for family bonding and competition. The shopper first recruits a group of bonded people i. The group then creates a detailed plan of attack based on the most efficient route to purchase the best items on sale i.

Here’s What Happened on Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018

Third, the group goes into battle, getting in and out as quickly as possible. In other words, they rise at dawn and race into the stores to grab up the deeply discounted items i. Finally, the group emerges successfully, purchasing those deeply discounted items at the expense of all the other shoppers who are trying to do the same thing i. Summary: This study focuses on the shopping habits of students studying business at a university in the Midwest.

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