The Crunch: The Black Friday experience is shifting from brick-and-mortar doorbuster deals to websites and mobile platforms. As consumers look for more convenient ways to shop for sales ads and find the lowest prices on the items they want, BlackFriday.com has become a one-stop shop for the resources they need. The site partners with retailers and provides a marketing outlet that extends their reach while meeting the needs of their customers. BlackFriday.com also gives businesses insights into consumer shopping trends and predictions for each holiday shopping season as it unfolds. With Black Friday sales guides, buying guides, deals list capabilities, deal alerts, and seasonal trends and predictions, BlackFriday.com offers practical holiday shopping resources and insights to both retailers and consumers.
Since 1952, Black Friday has been the day that kick-starts the holiday shopping season. Characterized by early morning openings, long lines, and plenty of competition for limited-quantity merchandise, the busiest shopping day of the year is greatly anticipated by not only shoppers but also retailers banking on the Black Friday frenzy to boost their sales.
Within the last decade, however, the stage for Black Friday has begun to shift from brick-and-mortar outlets to the quieter — but no less frenzied — online storefronts. In an increasingly competitive retail field, the trend toward online shopping and the mobile revolution have spurred retailers to search for ways to more conveniently advertise and offer doorbuster deals to their customers.
“Retailers have gotten a lot better at meeting customers’ needs, and consumers want everything at the spur of the moment,” said Melissa Martin, a spokesperson for BlackFriday.com, an online resource for the holiday shopping season. “They want to look at a product, see the reviews, and immediately know when a sale is going to happen. They want information but given to them in a more simplistic form, and they don’t want to have to look all over for something.”
Since 2006, BlackFriday.com has been watching these changes and adapting to provide the convenience and insight both customers and retailers are looking for in a modern holiday shopping experience.
“We help consumers and retailers by making all of the information available in one place,” Melissa said. “I call it a one-stop shop.”
By offering insights on consumer shopping trends and providing shoppers with tools to find the best deals more conveniently, BlackFriday.com sets itself apart as a premier holiday shopping resource for everyone.
Streamlining Shopping by Allowing Consumers to Quickly Compare Black Friday Ads
In the past, Black Friday enthusiasts have had to gather ads from the newspaper and come up with a game plan for getting the best price for each item on their list. This practice usually meant adopting a divide-and-conquer approach to save time and gas mileage.
As retailers have begun to extend doorbuster deals to their online stores, an increasing number of shoppers are browsing the web and shopping from the comfort of home instead. But navigating multiple websites and sales ads to compare prices can still be inconvenient.
The first way BlackFriday.com streamlines the holiday shopper’s experience is by offering ads for all major retailers in one place. When stores release their Black Friday plans at the end of July, BlackFriday.com puts together a Black Friday Guide.
“What we do is give the consumer what they need at their fingertips. They want to stop at one place online, look at all the sale ads, see who’s doing what, and be able to buy and get what they need immediately,” Melissa said.
The guide, which is released in a PDF file that is mobile optimized, doesn’t just list each retailer’s Black Friday ads, but also includes guidelines by store — everything from sale terms and price-matching policies to hours of operation and the best locations to find particular items in the ad.
In addition to shopping by store ad, consumers can browse categories, such as desktops and laptops or TVs, to pinpoint items on their list. BlackFriday.com features clickable links that connect to the retailer’s e-commerce site, where the items can be purchased online. A “Notify Me” option compiles items into a deals list and sends out deal alerts when they drop in price.
“You can put together a deals list and share it with family and friends or keep it private. When an item on your deals list goes on sale, it will alert you through email and let you know where that item is at the lowest price,” Melissa said. “It gives you the advantage of not having to flip through newspapers or look online, and it will give you everything you need to know and where to buy it.”
BlackFriday.com provides resources that enable consumers to enjoy a more efficient, organized Black Friday shopping experience, but it also offers buying guides that help customers make more informed decisions about their holiday purchases and gift guides that suggest ideas for hard-to-buy-for friends and family based on age categories and interests.
The site also keeps consumers up-to-date on the latest trends in Black Friday.com including news on home goods and appliances, ad leak predictions, and practical tips and hacks for shopping this year’s sales. This year, BlackFriday.com predicts consumers will start to see special sales even earlier than last year.
Based on its thorough knowledge of predictable retail seasons, BlackFriday.com also encourages consumers to look beyond Black Friday for the best deals.
“We even suggest on the site when to buy things,” Melissa said. “I know that on Black Friday there are some great TV deals, but the best time to purchase a TV is during Super Bowl week.”
Providing Retailers with Insights into Shopper Trends and Needs
Although its primary function is as a holiday shopping resource for consumers, BlackFriday.com maintains a healthy relationship with the retailers it works with, helping them transition from the traditional Black Friday event to the world of e-commerce and the mobile-friendly experience that shoppers desire.
“Our relationship with retailers has grown strong over the years. They hire us to promote what they do and help them do it more efficiently,” Melissa told us. “We can streamline our business and hone in on the sales side — whether email marketing or other things — differently than retailers can.”
BlackFriday.com also benefits retailers by giving them insight into what consumers want and how their shopping habits change from year to year. “We do talk directly with customers on a consistent basis and find out what they’re looking for,” Melissa said.
The site gathers and reports these insights in the form of Black Friday trends and predictions around the same time it releases its Black Friday sales guide for consumers in late July, keeping retailers informed of predictions like the expectation for more careful shopping despite high buyer confidence.
“Based on predictions, people are going to buy more of what they need and not so much of what they want,” Melissa said. “Consumers are getting smarter about what they’re buying and how they’re going to buy it, and they are going to look for the bottom-line price.”
BlackFriday.com believes this has encouraged the growth of thrift and discount store chains like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s. Although these stores don’t generally offer Black Friday sales, their everyday prices on brand-name products are low enough to draw consumers away from big-box stores.
“If the big-box retailers and other specialty stores want to keep up with that, they’re going to have to lower their prices at times of the year when people are buying, Melissa said. “That competition is going to start this year.”
One way retailers are meeting this challenge is by offering more digital coupons, especially stackable coupons consumers can use on top of doorbuster deals. “The couponing space has become so much a part of everyday shopping. It makes sense that when consumers see a price, even if it’s an amazing price if you offer them a coupon, they’re going to take it. It’s an opportunity for retailers to gain even more loyalty,” Melissa said.
Retailers have gotten savvier about meeting their customers’ needs and wants, and BlackFriday.com helps them stay that way. With insightful predictions, data on sales, and news on the latest consumer shopping trends, the site provides an insider’s perspective that helps retailers continue to adapt and improve their marketing strategies and product offerings.
Helping Keep Retailers in the Black and Consumers in the Know
The brick-and-mortar Black Friday experience many people look forward to will continue to be an option for holiday shoppers — at least for the foreseeable future. At the same time, as consumers shift more of their holiday shopping online and express their preference for more convenient, mobile-friendly deals, retailers will continue to adapt, and the face of Black Friday will continue to change.
By offering consumers resources to look at all of the ads, consult guides, make deals lists, and receive deal alerts, BlackFriday.com is keeping consumers in the know while giving them the shopping experience they want.
All this requires partnership with retailers, who benefit from BlackFriday.com as not only an advertising arm but also a resource for insight into consumers’ shopping habits and predictions based on trends.
By honing in on this yearly event, BlackFriday.com has positioned itself as an authority on all things Black Friday and works as a liaison between retailers and consumers to increase understanding, improve retailers’ sales, boost customer loyalty, and offer tools for each to experience the most optimized shopping and productive holiday season.