Black Friday: The Rules Have Changed

It’s that time of year again; the time when retail stores make or break their fiscal year… the time when thousands of shoppers seek out the best deals of the year. That time is called Black Friday. Over the past few years, there has been a shift in the marketing tactics used to reel in customers. Let’s take a look at a few:

Cyber Monday – Many stores have utilized this day to keep the frenzy going. On the Monday after Black Friday, you start to see deals pop up all over the place on the internet. Sometimes these deals are even better than in-store purchases, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.

Thanksgiving DayWhat was once a day to stuff your face with Turkey and enjoy time with family has now become a ‘kick-off’ for the crazy shopping days of Black Friday. What else is there do to after you’ve enjoyed your meal? You might as well walk off some of that Turkey and wrestle with the masses for the popular toy of the season.

Guaranteed in-StockThis is a new concept we’ll probably see this year.  Major retailers guarantee an item will be in stock or will ship the product for the same price.  This kind of ruins the fun of potentially getting trampled in the store!

More Time to PlanStores are putting up sale ads up to a week or two prior to Black Friday, giving potential customers plenty of time to plan their routes. There is even a dedicated website:

Buy Now - not only are stores offering all of the above, I’ve seen as early as the Monday before, stores email you a code (for reward members) and you can get the Black Friday deals online.  Don’t wait, start your shopping now!

I venture out every year, but it seems like I’m always disappointed. Items are frequently sold out at the stores, they are so crowded you can’t even push a shopping cart around, or it seems like the stores are never staffed enough. If you are brave enough to take your chances, good luck! I hope you get what you are striving for (and that you don’t get in any fist fights!)

By John Boyer, Director of Marketing, Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates.