Okay, so if you’re like me, you’re already tired of all the annoying holiday shopping ads on TV that are all telling you that right now is the best time to buy (fill in the blank product here) right now! And of course with Black Friday just past us, the ads were in full force with “door buster” deals and other extra perks for shopping early. Added to the drama this year was the fact that value stores such as Wal-Mart and Target opened on Thanksgiving evening as opposed to 4 AM or whatever obnoxiously early time it was last year. But now that the drama of the biggest shopping day of the year has died down a bit, I started to wonder if any of the ads and marketing strategies actually paid off for these brick-and-mortar stores.
In a Forbes.com article posted on November 28th, the author suggests that rather than Black Friday sales results giving us a glimpse of the holiday season’s hottest items or predictions on whether this holiday season will be better or worse than last year, consumers’ shopping and purchasing trends and habits are changing and that retailers should be cognizant of these changes if they are to have a successful holiday sales season.
For example, the traditional big shopping days such as Black Friday are less and less appealing to consumers with Black Friday sales down 1.8% from 2011. Whether stores open on Thanksgiving night or at 4 AM on Friday, consumers find neither time convenient. They are choosing to shop at more schedule-friendly times or even online. With e-commerce and personalized electronic ads becoming more and more prevalent, is it any surprise that Black Friday online says were over $1 billion, which made it the largest (dollar wise) online shopping day of 2012 so far? This is a 26% increase from online sales on Black Friday 2011!
Another message retailers need to interpret is that consumers may be becoming calloused to the inundation of sales ads. As we learned in our marketing class last quarter, mass media is not nearly successful as it used to be. Retailers need to create more personalized, relevant ads for their target market and cut through the incessant advertising noise that bombards consumers every day.
This article got me thinking about our Capsim simulation and how some of these concepts might apply. Although we just started and we’re all still forming our strategy, there are some key concepts that we’re putting into practice this quarter. It will be key for us all to identify our target market, know and understand the needs/wants of that market and then create products and a marketing campaign that our target market will be receptive to. Although there is no Black Friday in the Capsim simulation (which I think we’re all thankful for!) for us to use as a basis for purchasing trends such as the Forbes.com article suggests, we will hopefully put into practice some of these key business concepts as we move through the 7 Capsim rounds.