Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 11

HOLIDAY TRENDS
such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday,
don't hold the same weight they did even
three or four years ago.
The notion of holiday shopping sales
offering the best deals is also suspect.
Take for example Amazon's annual
Prime Day, which occurs each year in
July and has successfully created its own
unique, recurring sales event and related
media cycle. The ubiquity of everyday
online shopping and competing deals
offered at specific points-in-time has resulted in a loss of demand for and lesser
need to focus all online sales promotions
on one specific shopping day such as
Cyber Monday. With online deals beginning to show up days or weeks before
the holidays, and extending well into
mid-December, Cyber Monday seems
to be transitioning more to a Cyber
November, or even a Cyber Everyday
mindset. For retailers hyping up their
2017 Cyber Monday deals - it's time to
take a step back and reevaluate what you
can be doing now for this new Cyber
Everyday mindset.

Blame the Kids
Generational differences are causing
major shifts in the popularity of Black
Friday and Cyber Monday deals as well.
According to a recent study by Natural
Insight, a workforce management company, 88 percent of consumers ages 4559 plan to shop in stores this year and

80 percent of consumers age 18-29 plan
to make purchases in brick-and-mortar locations from November through
December. However, the survey also revealed only 15 percent of shoppers plan
to shop on Black Friday itself. Many feel
that they can get the same deals that the
store flyers advertise from the comfort of
their own couch without having to brave
the crowds and frenzy that can come
with Black Friday sales floors.

Understanding the
"Me Channel"
Even with store traffic in decline in
recent years, eMarketer noted that foot
traffic was down 12.3 percent in November and December 2016 compared
to previous averages - there is hope for
the brick-and-mortar store. Consumers
are still going. The difference is that now,
they are looking for an in-store shopping
experience that offers them something
unique from what they get online.
Retailers need to quickly grab the
attention of these in-store customers
with the convenient experience they
desire, or run the risk of falling prey to
showrooming. This is even more important during the holiday season when
consumers are more prone to mission
shopping with a planned list.
Another shift in the nature of Black
Friday and Cyber Monday sales is the
actual products and services that con-

Eighty-eight percent of consumers ages
45-59 plan to shop in-store this year.

sumers seek. Increasingly, shoppers are
looking to buy experiences more than
traditional gift items. Research from The
Journal of Positive Psychology showed
that "people enjoy greater well-being
from life experiences and consider them
to be a better use of money." Following
this mindset, there is an expected surge
in the purchase of subscription services
(e.g., Birchbox or Lootcrate) and experiential giving (e.g., gifting a cooking class
or a trip) projected for 2017's holiday
season. These experiential gifts are
luring customers out of stores and onto
the web, which is fostering the Cyber
Everyday mentality of the modern day
shopper, especially Millennials, who
value experiences over goods.

Rolling with the Changes
History, and now, data, tell retailers that
Black Friday is here to stay for the long
haul even if it changes its form over
time. The hyped phenomenon of Cyber
Monday, on the other hand, may be
losing momentum. The rise of e-commerce, generational differences, shifts
in shopping behaviors and increases in
experiential gift giving are all factors.
The holiday shopping season will
always be a unique time for retailers, but
the consumer mindset has shifted from
single-day buying frenzies into a weekslong journey of seasonal discounts
both online and in store. Retailers who
remain fluid, adaptive and frictionless
will be able to survive and thrive by
meeting consumers' shopping demands
and preferences. O
Bart DeFoor is a principal consultant at
North Highland with more than 18 years
of consulting experience with the last 10
years concentrating on the retail industry.
He has a proven track record of delivering value in the in-store environment,
merchandising, and marketing space for
big-box retailers, and is a sought after
resource in the areas of category management, assortment planning and product
merchandising.

November/December 2017

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - Contents
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