In a year in which employment is up, the lingering hardship of economic recession is lifting and gas prices are at a five year low, this should have been the shopping season retailers dream about.
But it wasn’t.
Black Friday sales were down by an alarming 11% this year. The reasons behind this sharp decline provide a dramatic and essential lesson for small businesses and the people who market for them.
What the Decline of Black Friday Means for Businesses
The dismal sales reported on Black Friday highlight several trends in consumer behavior that have been apparent for some time now — though not in such clear and decisive terms.
Who Needs Deep Discounts, Anyway?
Some experts have speculated that a better economic outlook actually hurt retailers this Black Friday. An unexpected side effect of better economic prospects is that consumers are less easily tempted out of their post-turkey food coma by slashed prices. Reduced fuel costs and a better job market mean that money is not quite as tight as it has been for consumers. Therefore, discounts are less likely to dominate the consumer decision making process.
The Shift Towards Online Shopping
Any business still ignoring the importance of a local/mobile search component got a big wake up call on Black Friday. The use of smartphones has ignited a trend toward price-motivated consumers hunting down the best deals on a product in seconds and purchasing it online. This trend, combined with the immense hassle of fighting aggressive crowds for deals, put a major damper on in-store sales this Black Friday.
Black Friday Fatigue
Anyone with an email account, a television, or a smartphone was undoubtedly exposed to thousands of Black Friday ads this year. With so much revenue at stake, many businesses went over-the-top with their marketing efforts in an attempt to reach consumers. But their efforts may have actually had the opposite effect and turned their customers off. Marketing fatigue is nothing new in today’s media saturated world, but consumer’s increasing aversion to being bombarded by ads is worth noting. Sometimes less is more. Just because you can send out 5 marketing emails in a single day does not mean that you should.
Strategic Marketing for Holiday Sales
The ultimate take away from the anemic Black Friday sales? Consumer behavior is rapidly evolving. Your business needs to be able to respond. That’s where we come in. To learn how Turn the Page can partner with you to achieve your online marketing goals, call (816) 527-8371 to talk to one of our online marketing experts today.