News Feature | October 29, 2013

Inside The Mind Of 2013's Black Friday Shoppers

Source: Retail Solutions Online
Sam Lewis

By Sam Lewis, associate editor
Follow Me On Twitter @SamIAmOnFood

Black Friday Mall

Find&Save survey finds shoppers will be savvier than ever on retailers' biggest day

Each year, Wanderful Media’s annual Find&Save Black Friday Shopping Survey aims to discover who, what, where, when, why, and how of retail’s biggest day. “We analyze and study all shoppers, but the Black Friday shopper is a different breed, a ‘super shopper’ who thrives on finding the best deals and maximizing the day,” says Ben Smith IV, CEO of Wanderful Media. The results of this year’s survey were released on Monday, Oct 28. Here is it what it found.

The primary motivation of any Black Friday shopper is finding good deals on the holiday season’s best products. This means that brand loyalty is typically lost, and brands offering the biggest percentage discounts are most desired. The thrill of competition also fuels Black Friday shoppers, so much in fact that a major portion of them complete just about half of their holiday shopping on Black Friday.

Find&Save’s survey breaks Black Friday shoppers into two categories. “Night Owls” are shoppers who leave their house Friday morning before 5 AM, often camping in a retailer’s parking lot, and “Early Birds,” those who go shopping after 5 AM on Black Friday. A major difference between the two groups, outside of their preferred time to shop, is their feelings about Black Friday interrupting Thanksgiving. When asked about Black Friday sales beginning late on Thanksgiving night, 53 percent of Night Owls say they “love it,” while only 38 percent of Early Birds can say the same. Another difference between the two groups lies in what they are shopping for. Seventy-five percent of night owls are shopping for electronics, compared to only 60 percent of early birds.

To get the most out of their dollars, Black Friday shoppers load up on research. More than two-thirds of Black Friday shoppers are researching the best deals and creating a mapped plan to fulfill their shopping desires. Newspaper circulars, TV ads, and other traditional media sources are still the top research sources for Black Friday shoppers, despite an overwhelming percentage (82) of those surveyed being interested in emailed information about Black Friday deals and sales. Mobility is also gaining importance in Black Friday. To help with Black Friday shopping, two-thirds of those surveyed already use, or would consider using, their mobile device to enhance their shopping experience. Most shoppers surveyed would use mobility to price check or use geo-locator services to find sales closest to them. Additionally, shoppers are interested in shopping mobility to view Black Friday circulars on the fly.

Here are few other important things to note about Black Friday shoppers.

  • Approximately half of those surveyed will spend three to five hours shopping.
  • Black Friday shoppers typically begin holiday shopping long before Black Friday. In fact, 30 percent say they begin buying holiday gifts before Halloween.
  • Shopping ahead of time means research and planning ahead of time. Almost 45 percent of Black Friday shoppers will visit three to five retailer sites looking for information to plan their Black Friday shopping excursion.
  • Despite rising popularity in e-commerce, Black Friday is still the holiday shopping day choice of consumers, edging out Cyber Monday by 6 percent of those polled.

“Through the Find&Save survey, we found Black Friday shoppers are planners, they love the thrill of finding a great deal and would welcome mobile apps and other planning tools to help maximize the day,” says Smith. Perhaps a poll completed after Black Friday can determine how mapping out all the aspects for Black Friday affected how many planned items ended up in shopping bags, along with shoppers’ satisfaction of the Black Friday experience.

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