Black Friday, Cyber Monday joined by a travel companion
Friday, November 16, 2018
Perhaps the official start to the holiday shopping season, Black Friday has long served as a chaotic day of consumerism to follow Thanksgiving. However, a recent survey by OpenX and The Harris Poll showed that this year, shoppers are skipping the day altogether.
Given the current state of brick-and-mortar retailers, it seems that retailers may have to rethink their Black Friday strategies in the years to come. But it also appears that a new discounted shopping day is on the horizon, reflecting current consumer behavior.
The survey found that a majority of shoppers find Black Friday to be "overwhelming," with 60 percent of shoppers planning to skip the day altogether.
However, the online follow-up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, was found not to be overwhelming by 73 percent of those polled. Given the thought of shopping online from the comfort of one’s home, and avoiding parking lot road rage and crowded shopping centers, it’s no surprise that online shopping has won out yet again.
But it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom for retailers. As Forbes reports, consumers are expected to spend $1 trillion this holiday season. They are doing their research ahead of time online and on mobile devices, comparing prices across a variety of retailers. Camping out in the wee hours of the morning for a hot ticket item may be an activity of the past, if it already isn’t.
With the digital marketplace taking over the retail industry, Econsultancy was forced to ask, "Is Cyber Monday still relevant in 2018?" If Black Friday is morphing into Cyber Friday, what’s everyone buying three days later?
Fear not, Cyber Monday shows no signs of slowing down. With sales of $610 million first recorded in 2006, last year’s number was over $3.3 billion. As long as retailers continue to offer discounted goods on this "online shopping holiday," shoppers will continue to flock to the deals.
What’s next? Perhaps a whole week of deals devoted to niche (or not-so-niche) industries. One day making waves is Travel Deal Tuesday, which falls after Cyber Monday. Identified in 2015 by Hopper, the airfare booking and prediction app, this could very well serve as another successful outlet as consumers thirst for deals.
Apart from Thanksgiving and Christmas, the fall and winter holiday seasons tend to be slow, and airlines are looking to fill seats. In 2017, Travel Deal Tuesday offered the most airfare sales, with deals on 20 percent of international and round-trip routes.
Patrick Surry, Hopper’s chief data scientist, noted that they sent more deal notifications that day than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. With the levels of travel rising dramatically among younger generations over the past few years, it’s no surprise that these deals have been so successful for airlines and tour operators.
One recent study noted that millennials would rather travel than spend money on "things." Could these be the same people skipping the big-screen TVs on Black Friday?
Another study found that Generation Z takes 2.8 leisure trips per year. Spread out of the course of a year, travel sites would be prudent to offer a variety of deals year-round.
With the intentions of staying home, shopping online, and booking vacations, the behavior of millennials and Generation Z is right in line with Black Friday’s trajectory towards Cyber Monday and Travel Deal Tuesday.
Black Friday is still here to stay, albeit in a more digital form than years past. Cyber Monday is still very much relevant. And Travel Deal Tuesday is worth keeping an eye on in the years to come.
Is the Wednesday after Thanksgiving the next day to gain a moniker to go along with some discounted goods or services? It’s too early to tell. Creating a shopping event isn’t necessarily the case here — as seen with the introduction of Cyber Monday in the 2000s, it’s more so about the evolving demands and habits of the consumer.
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