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Retailers Are Preparing for a Big Black Friday Return, But Shopping Patterns Will Be Different

Home Retailers Are Preparing for a Big Black Friday Return, But Shopping Patterns Will Be Different

Commercial Zone Blog

November 18, 2021

Retailers Are Preparing for a Big Black Friday Return, But Shopping Patterns Will Be Different

Shoppers have made it clear they’re ready to return to stores, and that’s left retailers feeling hopeful about this year’s Black Friday.

In a survey of shoppers from the website BlackFriday.com, nearly half said they’re planning to shop in-stores the day after Thanksgiving. Young shoppers seem particularly excited, with 63% of respondents ages 18 to 44 saying they plan to shop Black Friday sales.

That’s great news for retailers, but it doesn’t mean that the behavior of shoppers will be the same as it was before the pandemic. Here are a few of the trends shaping how customers will shop this Black Friday.

 

Shipping costs and delays are on the mind

Online shopping services like Amazon Prime have conditioned shoppers to expect free shipping, but rising shipping prices are making that harder for other ecommerce outlets to provide. USPS and other delivery companies are adding holiday surcharges, making online shopping pricier and in-store shopping more attractive. Shoppers are also worried about shipping delays, with 66% of respondents in the BlackFriday.com survey saying they’re aware of potential delays. That creates an opening for brick-and-mortar retailers.

 

Shoppers are starting early

Black Friday has customarily been seen as the start of holiday shopping. But for many 2021 shoppers, it may be the end. Due in large part to the news reports of supply chain disruptions, Forbes reports that a significant percentage of shoppers started their holiday shopping earlier than usual this year to make sure they find what they want. That means Black Friday could be the last chance for retailers to attract some shoppers this season.

 

Shoppers want Buy Now/Pay Later

One of the big stories of 2021 has been the skyrocketing popularity of Buy Now/Pay Later (BNPL), which provides shoppers with an alternative to credit cards. It’s especially popular among younger shoppers who are moving away from credit cards altogether, and the 60% of millennials and Gen Z-ers who may view credit cards as too risky. One study showed the model drives sales, leading to a 20% increase in conversions and an 87% spike in average order values. With the BNPL market set to hit $100 billion this year – up from $24 billion in 2020 – industry experts now say they expect the model to become standard.

 

Shoppers are ready to splurge

After more than a year of denying themselves some of their usual indulges during the pandemic — dining out, movies, vacations, concerts, the list goes on — many consumers feel they’re entitled to spend a little extra on themselves this holiday season. That could mean some shoppers will be driven to spend regardless of discounts, and Forbes expects it to create an opportunity for retailers to promote certain lower-frequency discretionary products, like smart watches or even animal DNA kits.

 

With many shoppers expected to return to stores this holiday season, make sure that your locations are looking their best. Now’s the time to replace any worn or outdated furnishings like trash and recycling containers, planters, and benches.

Commercial Zone has a full line of stocked site furnishings that are ready to ship and get to work beautifying any retail space. Learn more about our more than 600 unique products at commercialzone.com. Or call 800-782-7273 to talk with a member of our team of trained experts, who can help you integrate them.