Despite the dire economy, shoppers are still expected to spend a lot during this year’s Black Friday week, which is set to begin on November 24th officially. The average shopper is expected to spend around $1,226 during this year’s holiday shopping season. This is according to a report by Deloitte. The report notes that the financial situation of most households is better than it was last year.
Consumers are very eager to maximize on savings and will be looking to take advantage of the discounted prices. Economists expect this to be the Best Black Friday yet for retailers. The big question this year is whether online retailers will be on equal footing with mall-based retailers. Is this the year that we will finally see the tradition of shopping in malls on Black Friday die?
In recent years, an increasing number of shoppers have preferred shopping online on Black Friday as opposed to the long-standing tradition of thronging to stores for doorbusters and other in-store deals. 2017 will not be any different. In fact, Black Friday online sales are expected to surpass sales from brick-and-mortar stores.
Why are mall-based retailers struggling to keep up with online retailers?
It all comes down to a failure by brick-and-mortar businesses to replicate the competitive advantages of online shopping.
Online retailers offer a broader selection of merchandise compared to in-store retailers who are limited by the square footage of their physical locations. Online companies have the advantage of displaying their goods through photos and customer reviews. Unlike physical stores, they do not have to build their inventory in the hope customers will buy it.
Online shops also offer convenience. Shoppers can shop from anywhere as long as they have a computer or a smartphone with an internet connection. Traditionally, Black Friday shoppers had to drive to malls battling traffic, both car, and human, if they wanted to get to the lucrative deals. Now they can conveniently do their Black Friday shopping online, use mobile payment apps and enjoy free shipping offers.
Online retailers pay less rent in the form of web hosting fees than physical stores. As such, they have the luxury of slashing prices more. Price plays a significant role in the purchasing decision of customers on Black Friday so most will be inclined to shop online.
Brick-and-mortar retailers, however, offer something that online retailers cannot, a fun-filled shopping experience. The holiday season is about fun times with friends and family, so the tradition of flocking to mall-based stores is not going away anytime soon so you can bet that mall-based retailers are here to stay.