Black Friday: What’s new for 2012?

I’m officially confused about what to expect this year on Black Friday.

Will people shop in-stores or stay home and shop online?

Will they shop on Thanksgiving or wait until Black Friday?

Will they shop…at all?

I’ll have until next week for the answers, but here are some thoughts from about how Black Friday 2012 might be different:

Fewer People Are Buying TVs

When it comes to Black Friday sales, HDTVs lead the charge year after year. However, for current HDTV owners, there are few reasons to upgrade to a new set. In fact, many of the features touted by today’s top HDTVs can be found in almost every consumer electronics device, from Blu-ray players to gaming consoles. For instance, both Netflix and Amazon’s Instant Video service can be streamed on a variety of devices, from tablets to an Xbox 360. With very few incentives to upgrade, TV sales will not be as high as previous years.

More Stores Will Offer Mobile Promotions

Mobile shopping is on the rise, and as a result, many stores now offer dedicated shopping apps, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages where followers are rewarded with exclusive discounts and coupon codes. We expect the number of these promotions to rise this holiday season, with many retailers offering select discounts via their mobile and social platforms.

4G Will Make Showrooming Easier

You do it. We do it. And by the looks of it, so does everyone else. Showrooming — the act of going to a brick-and-mortar store to test drive a product before purchasing it online for less — is on the rise. And thanks to the proliferation of speedy 4G technology, you can now compare those online prices much faster while you’re in-store. This speed could help you save on site too, as some retailers like Best Buy will make an attempt to counter showrooming by price-matching deals found online via your smartphone.

Consumers Will Start Holiday Shopping Earlier

Every year, retailers look to kick-start the shopping season and get folks buying as early as possible. This year, we saw a Black Friday ad surface as early as September, and rumors abound that many brick-and-mortar stores will actually open their doors on Thanksgiving. Consequently, it’s now a well-accepted fact that holiday deals will start early, and shoppers will begin seeking deals out even before Black Friday arrives. Black November, anyone?

Retailers Will Stalk Consumers Like Never Before

Not a fan of overly aggressive sales clerks? Well, brace yourselves because this holiday season we are all bound to meet their digital counterpart — the retargeting ad. Say you spot a coat you like on a particular website, but after adding it to your cart, you decide you don’t want to buy it after all. So on you move to a different website to catch up on your daily news and whatnot, when lo and behold, that same coat you just left in your shopping cart is now a banner ad appearing on every subsequent site you visit. We’re anticipating this type of ad targeting to become more pervasive this holiday season, especially since consumers will likely visit multiple sites in a short time period.

Retailers Will Tie Early Ad Previews to Marketing Ploys

For the past two years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of retailers who offer partial Black Friday ad previews to shoppers that “Like” the store’s Facebook page. This year, Lowe’s has upped the ante by announcing that MyLowe’s card holders will receive a “sneak peek” of the season’s savings in early November. We expect to see more of this exclusive early access reserved for shoppers that are willing to commit to the brand in someway, whether it be socially or via program registration.

What do you think will be different about Black Friday this  year? How will those differences change your plans?

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November 19th, 2012
1:00 pm

MyLowe’s is not a credit card. It is a card that is scanned that keeps track of purchases.