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Retailers Need to Step Up Amid Waning Appeal of Black Friday

Couples Shopping in the mallA PwC report showed that only 35% of shoppers plan to complete most of their to-buy lists on the day after Thanksgiving, as opposed to 59% that did so in 2015. The event’s waning popularity has occurred despite some retailers having rolled major discounts for all their items.

U.S. retailers will likely need to step up their store management training and promotional campaigns, among other business tactics, especially since Black Friday is losing its appeal among holiday shoppers.

Marketing Gimmicks

Loyalty members of Sears and Kmart may rack up to 50% of discounts from their purchases until Nov. 25, yet shoppers seem to be unfazed with the promotional campaigns. The rise of online shopping could be a major factor, according to Dawn Eber, PwC’s U.S. consumer markets risk assurance leader and partner.

Eber said that Americans are more familiar with online shopping, which also offers attractive product prices. As such, the idea of standing in line on Black Friday no longer appeals to them even with sales discounts. For this reason, traditional retailers need to improve ways on how to better serve customers, due to the rapid growth of e-commerce.

Online Sales Milestone

Deloitte’s holiday shopping survey showed that online sales would account for 51% holiday sales in 2017, up from 47% year over year. The consultancy firm expects total retail sales to be worth more than $1 trillion this year. For the first time, online sales will exceed offline purchases, the survey noted.

On the other hand, in-store purchases will decline to 42% of overall sales from 47% in the previous year. The survey cited customer satisfaction as the key factor for the e-commerce sector’s outperformance of brick-and-mortar retailers.

It seems more consumers are shifting from traditional to online shopping. Conventional retailers need to be more flexible on their business strategies during the holidays to avoid losing business to their online competitors.

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