Black Friday has nearly become as much of a holiday as Thanksgiving in the U.S. The lure of deep discounts, doorbusters, and the thrill of the hunt have been reasons why Americans view this day as the kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Amidst the looming threats of a “retail apocalypse,” Black Friday 2018 proved a solid day sales-wise. Here are some takeaways from this redeeming moment in the retail sector.
Consumers seek out BOPIS services
More and more shoppers are opting for omnichannel fulfillment options such as buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS) services. Senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Retail, Mike Webster, said that BOPIS orders grew more than 50 percent.
The reason why consumers want to buy items online and pick them up in a store is simple- convenience. Also, the lure of BOPIS lies in its ability for retailers to avoid the costs of running an online fulfillment center and cuts out shipping costs. It also makes it possible for them to return the item instantly if it falls short of their expectations.
Consumers want to protect themselves
Growing threats to their online privacy and freedom have caused consumer worry. Data breaches and other newsworthy scenarios have made them concerned over handing over personal information. A significant number of shoppers say they would ask retailers to erase their data from their databases if they had a privacy law backing them, according to Forbes.
Foot traffic at malls and stores decline
An increasing number of consumers are foregoing brick-and-mortar shopping for e-commerce. CNBC reported that visits by consumers to physical stores fell by 1.7 percent compared to 2017 figures, and 1 percent for both Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day shopping.
Although, there appears to be a steady rise in online sales, with $6.22 billion worth of items sold online, a 23.6% increase from last year’s figures.
Sales began before Black Friday and continued after
The convenience and increase in year-round online sales and discounting enable shoppers to buy earlier and continue their shopping even after Black Friday had ended.
Amazon is still the king of e-commerce
Amazon still maintains its leading position amongst e-commerce platforms in the world. The internet giant keeps going from strength to strength, as its users ordered about 180 million products over five days.