Black Friday, which falls on the Friday after American Thanksgiving, promises electronics retailers and OEMs a rich boon in sales to close out the year and make the holidays merry. It’s a season for food, friends, family…and smart shopping (including online research).
“Americans continue to engage in holiday traditions like spending time with family and friends, exchanging gifts and cooking a special meal,” Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insights & Analytics said. “But today those traditions include going online to research products and compare prices to make informed purchasing decisions.”
Many people will be shopping this weekend and electronics products top the list of potential purchases. A survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that, although many plan to shop during the long holiday weekend, Black Friday will remain the busiest day with 71% percent (116 million) hitting the stores then. Forty-one percent (67 million) will shop on Small Business Saturday, and 78% percent of those cite wanting to support small businesses as the reason. Sunday will find one out of five people (32 million) thinking about what to buy. Cyber Monday will still be a hefty day for retailers when 46% (75 million) are expected to take advantage of online bargains. Retailers count on sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas for about 30% of their revenues, the NRF said.
The average adult is expected to spend $483.18 on Black Friday, which equates to $90.14 billion in sales across all categories, according to Finder.com. That’s an increase, up $30.57 billion from 2017’s spend of $59.57 billion. Three out of four consumers (76%) plan to spend as much or more than they did last year, according to A.T. Kearney's 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey: How Retailers Can Capitalize on Last Year’s Lessons.
Technology is the second most popular buy, outpaced only by clothing. In fact, 22% of sales will go to that category on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. “This category will sell out the fastest on Black Friday. If shoppers see a good deal on TV, computers, tablets or phones, I urge them to pick it up immediately!” said Sara Skirboll, resident Shopping & Trends expert at RetailMeNot.com. Electronics are going to be heavily discounted which means people will start shopping for this early, she added.
Long-lines and out of stock products were among the top complaint of shoppers last year.
To ease the pain of shopping, retailers say they are planning to hire 10% more holiday workers than last year—even while admitting that holiday help can be hard to find. Automation and supply chain efficiencies can also help offset the impact of labor shortages.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN