Black Friday is Dead, Long Live Black Friday: InfoScout’s Top Predictions for the Holiday Shopping Season

In the run-up to Black Friday, InfoScout, the leader in real-time shopper insights, offers its Top 7 predictions based on analysis of thousands of customer shopping trips

SAN FRANCISCO--()--InfoScout, America’s richest source of consumer purchase insights, today released its top seven predictions for the holiday shopping season based on its research into the shopping habits of nearly one million consumers. Through its portfolio of proprietary mobile apps that engage a representative sample of American shoppers, InfoScout captures nearly 1 out of every 500 shopping trips made across the country — primarily through the gathering and analysis of more than 100 million purchase receipts across all retailer channels annually.

InfoScout’s holiday shopping predictions include:

  1. It’s only a matter of time before Super Saturday overtakes Black Friday.
    Despite retailers’ best efforts to pull holiday shopping ahead of Black Friday, consumer procrastination is actually pulling trips later into December. Super Saturday (Dec. 17) —the last Saturday before the Christmas weekend — looks to continue its recent trend of stealing share of trips from Black Friday. In 2015, Super Saturday saw 12% more trips than the prior year, while Black Friday trips remained flat.

    “Black Friday has become an increasingly artificial phenomenon, driven as much by retailer promotion as by its date on the calendar,” said Jared Schrieber, InfoScout’s co-founder and CEO. “Super Saturday, by contrast, offers a more practical reason for primacy in shopping trips — it’s the last weekend to shop before the holiday.”
  2. Being a consumer’s “first stop” for holiday shopping is more important than ever.
    A smaller concentration of sales on Black Friday means shoppers will tend to complete their trips earlier — which makes the importance of being a shopper’s first stop greater than ever. Last year, for example, InfoScout data showed that shoppers who made Walmart their first stop on Black Friday spent nearly twice as much there as those who made it their second stop. Virtually every retailer achieves a substantial “first stop” benefit (on average, an 18 percent basket size increase).

    “Last year, 74 percent of Black Friday shoppers went to more than one store, and many of those went to a third and fourth,” said Schrieber. “On the other end of the spectrum, 38 percent of shoppers who went to Walmart first did not go to any other store on Black Friday. We expect the trend toward visiting fewer stores to accelerate — which makes attracting customers to your store first critically important.”
  3. People who buy TVs this season will primarily consider price and size, not features.
    InfoScout’s recent survey of 840 recent TV buyers showed that just one in five TV buyers — 21 percent — purchase the brand they intended to purchase when they walk into the store. The rest either don’t have a specific brand in mind, or change their mind after they enter the store. What’s more, product features, such as 4K resolution or Smart TV functionality, are not the differentiators brands would like them to be. Only 26 percent of TV shoppers chose a specific brand because of product features.

    “When we are expecting 55-inch 4K TVs to be sold for as low as $315 on Black Friday, are consumers really buying these TVs because they have 4K resolution? Our data suggests they will be buying them because they fit their wall and their wallet,” says Bob Goodwin, InfoScout’s practice leader for consumer technology.
  4. Any growth in year-over-year holiday sales will be won by Amazon – for all other retailers, the shopping season will be a zero-sum game.
    Last year, the No. 1 “first stop” for Black Friday shoppers was Walmart — but running a close second was Amazon, as shoppers preferred to enjoy the leisure of shopping from home, rather than brave the crowds. InfoScout expects that trend to accelerate in 2016.

    “Amazon’s share of holiday sales will grow by double digits again this year,” Schrieber said. “In fact, we expect Amazon to account for virtually all growth in retail sales, while others fight over their share of the rest of the pie.”
  5. Voice products like Amazon Echo will have a breakthrough holiday season.
    InfoScout predicts 2016 will be the Year of Voice for holiday shoppers, as products like Amazon Echo, Google Home and others in the “smart speaker” category gain awareness and rapid adoption.

    “Last year was a huge win for the Amazon Fire, which dethroned the iPad as the top-selling tablet on Amazon during the holiday season. This year promises to be even bigger for the Amazon Echo; we predict it will be among the season’s hottest products,” Schrieber said.
  6. Use of “click and collect” among shoppers will more than double.
    “Click and collect” services enable people to shop online and then pick up the items at the store, giving shoppers the ability to avoid long checkout lines and shipping fees. InfoScout expects usage of “click and collect” to spike dramatically this year.

    “An InfoScout survey earlier this year showed that only 34.6 percent of shoppers had used ‘click and collect’ — but of those shoppers who used it during the 2015 holiday season, a full 95 percent plan to use it again in 2016. That suggests rapid adoption is on the way,” Schrieber said.
  7. It will be another tough holiday season for mobile payments.
    Apple Pay had a disappointing season in 2015, being used in only 2.7 percent of eligible transactions. That was down from 4.9 percent in 2014. InfoScout predicts 2016 will be even tougher for Apple Pay — especially now that top retailers including Walmart and Kohl’s have introduced their own mobile payment options.

    “The challenge for mobile payment options is that shoppers don’t find them any easier or more convenient to use than credit or debit cards. Until that changes, adoption will fail to cross the chasm,” Schrieber said.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

Business and consumer news media interested in specific holiday shopping data and trends may send inquiries to infoscout@ideagrove.com.

About InfoScout

InfoScout helps brands and retailers grow via next generation consumer insights derived from America’s largest purchase panel. Through its portfolio of proprietary mobile apps that engage a representative sample of American shoppers, InfoScout captures nearly 1 out of every 500 shopping trips made across the country. These shoppers also complete in-the-moment surveys to more fully explain the ‘why behind the buy.’ With more than 100 million brick-and-mortar and ecommerce receipts captured annually, InfoScout has rapidly become a primary source of real-time, omnichannel behavioral insights for industry leaders such as Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Intel, Electronic Arts and NBC Universal. For more information visit: http://infoscout.co/

Contacts

for InfoScout
Jamie Bryant, 972-850-5858
jbryant@ideagrove.com

Contacts

for InfoScout
Jamie Bryant, 972-850-5858
jbryant@ideagrove.com