Thursday, October 29, 2015

Customers Prefer Moments of Mobile Commerce than Marathons on Black Friday

Every year customers flock from their Thanksgiving meals to the mall in order to capitalize on the Black Friday discounts before the holiday season. It is a tradition that has been ingrained since the 1950s. However, more recently, consumers have been more inclined to use their smartphones or tablets in order to avoid the chaos in the stores. In an article written by Mobile Commerce Press, it suggests, “These m-commerce purchases occur in scattered moments over time instead of all at once as is the Black Friday tradition.”1 The moments that occur are called “micro-moments” and will predictably replace the shopping marathons that happen every Black Friday.1 Google observed last year that mobile purchases had steadily increased while spending on big shopping days like Black Friday had decreased.1 “54 percent of shoppers who will be making purchases this holiday season have said that they plan to do some of their shopping on their smartphones during periods of free time,”[1] These new trends may have an effect on the future of Black Friday.
            I believe that there is a trend toward mobile commerce in general but especially during heavy shopping periods. The ease and simplicity of using your smartphone to make purchases outweighs the discounts and “deals” that you get on Black Friday. Amazon has a “one-touch” purchase, which sounds a lot better then waiting in huge lines after Thanksgiving.2 In article from Chain Store Age, Dan Leberman, VP/manager of PayPal said, “Ten years ago, there was a big spike in traffic and purchases after Thanksgiving. Now it’s smoothed out. Don’t wait for Cyber Monday or Black Friday.”[2] Online stores are constantly sending out emails and adding discounts or free shipping on regular days that are more convenient and less of a hassle. If a customer has the opportunity to get a similar deal as Black Friday on a random Tuesday on their lunch break; it would make sense that customers would choose the m-commerce method. In the 2014 holiday sales, m-commerce reached about $1 billion, which is a significant amount in comparison to overall Black Friday sales and an increase from the year before.[3] M-commerce gives the customers everything that they want except for the ability to see the products in person. This is an argument to why m-commerce will never overtake the traditional Black Friday shopping.
Some stores are opening earlier on this Black Friday, like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Best Buy.[4] However, these stores are not known for their strong online/m-commerce presence and offer their best deals in store. One store, Recreational Equipment Inc., is not even opening their doors this Black Friday.4 This specialty store sees more of an online presence and a focus on retailers like Amazon, where it is accessible twenty four/seven.While big department stores may still be able to get away with large Black Friday marathon shopping sprees now, I do not think that this is a long-term, sustainable business practice as mobile commerce progresses and improves. 


  1. While I agree with you that online shopping is becoming more popular, I don't think that retail Black Friday sales are going to stop anytime soon. Online shopping is more convenient and easier than going to a retail location in many aspects, but physically going to the store is always going to have certain benefits. Like you said, you get to see the item before purchasing, which is especially important in purchasing clothing items. Retail Black Friday shopping is also popular because it gives people something fun to do. Even though the best deals are not always going to be found in retail locations, it is a fun tradition to go to the store, and it brings joy to a lot of families.

  2. Personally, I love the feeling of waking up early for Black Friday to try and find any and every sale going on around my area. I feel as though online shopping for Black Friday is something that should be saved for the day after, instead of during the day. I think that Black Friday shopping is something that is a tradition among families, and is celebrated by waking up early and going to bed late. Online shopping is the icing on the cake. When I do look for online shopping, I strictly look for electronics but there's still the feeling that going to the store and making sure what you buy is legit sounds more safe than buying it online. Likewise, if everyone decides to do online shopping, sites will overload and eventually crash, leaving many people to miss out on deals they could have snatched up if they went to their local store. Similarly, hackers could use this opportunity to send spam e-mail or fake sites that look like the real site in order to take credit card information and steal money. Waiting in line and knowing you are the last person to get your hands on the new video game system is a feeling that cannot be replaced by online shopping. With that being said, I do believe online shopping is becoming more popular as the years go on, but Black Friday sales won't be affected, since thousands to millions of people wait in line to buy discounts.


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