No matter what your budget is
Black Friday. For some, it's an annual tradition. For others, it's the day to do every lick of Christmas shopping. But for many more, it's a hit-or-miss event they'll only do if they find something amazing or really need a good deal. This year, more than any in recent memory, will be essential for all of those groups because of several factors meshing together at the same time.
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In recent years, Black Friday has been extremely formulaic: cheap TVs, cheap laptops, and a bunch of other stuff with relatively good discounts. This year will be different as retailers are working harder than ever to reach out to two sides of customers: the recently unemployed who have finally found work, and those who are still down in the dumps and just want to grab something nice for the holidays.
That's just part of the equation of why this year's Black Friday will set the tone for a brand new decade. There's a number of reasons why this is the case, and here they are:
#5 - The Economic Climate
The country is officially out of the recession. People are struggling to pick themselves up, but at least for a number of Americans, it is happening. For others, they've relented to the idea that no jobs are available and are now fully adjusting their lifestyle to accommodate that. Either way, the hysteria has sort of come to an end. So for the holiday season this year, spending is expecting to go up, even though individual disposable income hasn't necessarily. So for Black Friday retailers, there needs to be a lot of creativity to attract people who want to spend money but don't want to buy the big-ticket stuff. This will lead to higher discounts on a greater number of products.
#4 - Technology Is Changing
3D TV. Android and iPhone. Blu-ray. We're undergoing a huge technological shift right now and it is hitting a fever pitch this year. Because of this, older but still relevant products need to move off the shelves. This includes non-3D HDTVs, pay-as-you-go mobile phones, and digital cameras. All of these are products that have had very long shelf lives, but are now starting to become irrelevant. There's more motivation than ever to get these units moved before they get completely replaced.
#3 - Retailers Say So
It doesn't matter how many external factors are changing if the retailers don't see any reason to change their strategy. That's not the case, though. Huge brick-and-mortar giants like Wal-Mart have said they're changing the way they approach Black Friday. Wal-Mart has specifically stated it will take anew approach this year, focusing on low, attractive prices for everything instead of just hitting a few highly inexpensive loss leader items and then trying to rope customers into buying more, incidental products at full price.
#2 - Competition Is Fierce
The hunt for holiday customers is always a huge challenge for stores, but this year it's even stronger than ever. Again, holiday spending is expected to actually rise this year. Retailers know that and they want every piece of that increase they can get. Because the forecast isn't all doom and gloom, they have reason to be excited and offer more incentives than has been usual.
#1 - Cyber Monday Won't Be As Huge
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Online shopping is already starting to bounce back after the recession. It's expected to be a good season for the electronic retailers as well. So even though Cyber Monday will still have good sales as always, it won't really be incrementally better than it has been over the last few years.