Is Black Friday Dead?

By — 11.26.12

I’ll admit it. I used to be an in-store Black Friday shopper. I wasn’t the frenzied person fighting over a discounted cell phone at Walmart, but I enjoyed finding a deal whenever possible. Once upon a time, stores were closed on Thanksgiving. After spending a day cooped up in a house with my family and ingesting enough calories to get me through the winter, I needed to get out of the house for a little retail therapy. This year, more stores opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day, capitalizing on earlier sales. As I passed by Best Buy on my way home from Thanksgiving dinner, I witnessed over 100 people standing in line for the 9pm opening. I couldn’t imagine why so many people would stand in line these days when they could simply go online.

Over the years, ecommerce has grown and the online shopping experience has improved. We have the opportunity to research products, compare prices, read reviews, and have a product delivered to our doorstep with just the click of a button. The days of shopping at a brick and mortar store on Black Friday have been traded for a more convenient shopping experience. I now find it much more desirable to browse the aisles of a store virtually, while on my couch. And I’m not the only one. According to Chase Pamentech, in-store sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year actually decreased .18% as compared to 2011. While in-store sales remained flat, online sales for the same two days actually increased 29.3% (ComScore). At Adlucent, we saw paid search grow exponentially this holiday season as revenue spiked for our retail clients.

Today is Cyber Monday. Online shopping will account for 20% of all holiday sales (NRF) so today is critical for many retailers, particularly those who are seeing flat in-store sales growth. It’s a busy day at Adlucent and for online retailers. We’ll see how the day plays out, but I have a feeling we’ll see even larger growth.

So did you shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday this year? Are you planning to shop online today?

Andrea Stout

Andrea is the Director of Marketing at Adlucent. She loves developing content, crunching numbers, and learning the latest trends in ecommerce. Connect with her on Twitter.


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