Despite the Financial Hurdles, US Consumers are Expected to be Splurging on Black Friday
By Space Coast Daily // November 13, 2023
The lingering impact of the pandemic and inflation has transformed consumers into more discerning and budget-conscious shoppers than ever before, despite a slowed-down pace of shopping and lower numbers of purchasers finding frittering money away unproblematic.
The latest events have been pushing consumers away from frivolous spending habits to focusing on financial responsibility, even if it means monitoring deals and offers all year round until they become comfortable with the price of the desired item. Black Friday is the most anticipated shopping opportunity of the year, with millions of shoppers preparing well in advance. It found its roots long before this marketing strategy became widespread worldwide and saw international businesses and customers meet each other halfway. Consequently, future-oriented businesses have started offering all sorts of perks, such as early deals, offers, and coupons for the best-selling products and items that most consumers eye throughout the year, catering to an ever-changing wave of preferences.
From the smallest to the largest business, almost every enterprise finds its way to leverage Black Friday, which would seem like an even more challenging undertaking given today’s current daunting economic landscape. Indeed, the recent financial challenges have fostered a sense of vigilance and resourcefulness among US shoppers, driven by the contraction of their disposable incomes. This shift in consumer behavior bodes well for the anticipated hike in sales during Black Friday this year, which will see more customers drawn by the one-of-a-kind deals compared to last year. The history, whatsoever, has proven a similar upward trend for the last few years. And as most predictions suggest, the sales share this year is going to mirror that of last year, with only a 1-2% point difference in spending levels.
Consumers are still down to spend on items they can’t deprive themselves of, which would otherwise cost a fortune
To get more bang for their buck, US consumers are fearless about spending lavishly, assuming it means they are getting top deals. 13.09% of the total November sales are prognosticated to result from Black Friday purchases, seeing items one cannot deprive themselves of, such as mobile devices or tech equipment, ranking among the highest picks on the list. Among the highest priorities, one can find clothes and skincare, too, since they are part of the best-selling products of all time. Getting the latest smartphone generation or taking steps to smarten the house is an ambition for many, yet not a piece of cake for the majority. As such, given the high usefulness as well as consumers’ feel for the latest, best releases, it stands to reason that all eyes are and will be on the categories that have always seen the highest demand: tech tools, clothing, appliances, smart home devices, and the list can continue.
Looking at last year’s purchase records, items like watches, televisions, and smart speakers topped the list of acquired products during Black Friday. Furthermore, according to a Statista survey from 2021, the items that accounted for most of the search queries around shoppers’ favorite time of the year included the Nintendo Switch, air pods, PS5s, iPads, and others. Thus, you can get an idea of what businesses are prepared to put on sale this year, too, to cater to customers’ preferences, especially since the event is approaching with rapid steps, and you probably want to have your bucket list smartly prepared.
The items mostly eyed tend to be generally costlier throughout the year, with differences depending on the category you look into. However, it’s safe to say that choosing well-established commercial operators provides more trust and comfort in the selection and certainty that the deal is one of the best you could have made.
The numerous payment alternatives relax US consumers and encourage spending
In light of today’s market conditions, which are more competitive than ever, companies are vying for the loyalty of as many clients as possible to increase their market share. Black Friday is the best opportunity for both businesses and consumers to get the best returns on investments. Notwithstanding the allure of the bargains available on “Big Friday,” shoppers are unlikely to jump with lumps of cash at the store’s counter. Instead, customers today are forecasted to resort to payment solutions like the following:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Buy now, pay later
- Mobile wallets
- Bank transfers
The trends differ depending on the age category, and undoubtedly, millennials are the most flexible in paying. They’re down for each category mentioned above, whereas baby boomers are more likely to only use checks, debit cards, and credit cards, given their well-rooted spending habits.
The Big Day shopper behavior is reshaping together with the dynamics of customer trends
To understand what tomorrow’s shopper behavior during Black Friday is and gain a glimpse into what forward-looking businesses are cooking in the oven, it’s helpful to recall what this significant sales day actually represented in the first place. The name is rooted well in the 1860s when the stock market collapsed, eventually representing an annual shopping day after the “Thanksgiving” celebration.
Fast forward, and this event marks a powerful holiday shopping opportunity in spite of the challenges and hurdles encountered in the last decade. To gain a clearer picture, it’s enough to look at the sales in 2022 online, which rose by 2.3% compared to the previous year and exceeded any expectation when it hit a whopping $9.12BN.
Retailers expect this year’s performance to be on par with or better than that of the previous one. However, it can be guaranteed that internet channels will generate the majority of sales rather than over-the-counter ones.
Black Friday, which takes place on the 24th of November this year, is just a few days away, meaning that it’s easily deductible what almost every US consumer is occupying their time with these days. Some consumers are looking into the offers already provided or crafting their to-buy list, whereas others are waiting for the big day to discover the provided deals. As a savvy, responsible shopper, how do you feel about Black Friday, and are there any must-haves you’ve been keeping tabs on?