Did you shop Black Friday this year? I’ve heard this question a lot over these past couple of days and in my immediate circles, I would say the breakdown between the Yes’s and No’s is about 50-50. There are those who are die-hard Black Friday shoppers and those who wouldn’t go near a store on Black Friday if you paid them.
However, it’s always interesting to me to follow the trends throughout the shopping season and this year has been particularly interesting due to some varied reports. Some analytics firms are reporting a drop in the brick-and-mortar store shopping from anywhere between 7-11% while others are reporting an increase. Perhaps one reason for the disparity is the fact that more stores are opening on Thanksgiving night and spreading the “Black Friday” sales over a longer period of time.
One interesting trend being reported is the increase in sales of certain products. While people are still in the market for great deals on electronics, one product that has seen a significant surge this season are firearm sales. Based on a recent article in the IJReview, firearm sales shot through the roof.
“According to the FBI, the federal background check system processed more than 175,000 background checks — an average of three per second.
It was the highest number of background checks ever for a Black Friday, and second highest in history. The highest day on record is December 21, 2012, with 177,000 checks.”
Definitely an interesting trend in 2014.
Another interesting trend we’re seeing in 2014 is an increase in online shopping on Thanksgiving day. According to a recent report on c|net, online retailers saw a 14.3% increase in Thanksgiving day online sales but the order value saw a slight drop. This trend of spending less, seemed to carry over into Black Friday, with a 4.4% drop from last year.
Speaking of online sales, according to a recent article in Digital Trends, one in three online sales were conducted on a mobile device or tablet. Smartphones accounted for 13% of online purchases which is nearly double from last year, while tablets accounted for 16% of online purchases, a slight increase from 14% from last year. I find this to be a very interesting trend in holiday shopping and one we are likely to see increase in the future.
Finally, what about Cyber Monday? You can’t really have a talk about Black Friday without talking about Cyber Monday. While it’s still very early, preliminary reports show an increase over Cyber Monday sales in 2013. You can check out that article here.
So, how WAS Black Friday this year? Well, we likely won’t know the full story until the 2014 shopping season is behind us, but so far, it seems that the holiday shopping for 2014 is off to a great start.
Dilip Barot is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Etech Global Services, and founder of Creative Choice Group, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Etech employs 2,500 team members across the US, India and Jamaica. If you would like to learn more about Etech, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.