Ready, Set, Shop with Insight from LSU Marketing Professor Dan Rice

Dan Rice

LSU Associate Professor in Marketing and Director of Graduate Studies in Marketing Dan RicePhoto: LSU

BATON ROUGE - Naughty or nice? Shopping in-store or online? LSU Associate Professor in Marketing and Director of Graduate Studies in Marketing Dan Rice, shares his expertise into the shopping holidays known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What can we expect across Louisiana in regards to Black Friday shopping?

I would expect Louisiana to be largely in line with the rest of the country.  The economic indicators suggest improvement over last year on average. And we are another year removed from the terrible flooding that took its toll on the people of Louisiana.

Overall, are people spending more or less money during the holiday season?
The predictions suggest more, but you won’t really know for sure until the end-of-the-season results are in.

In terms on holiday shopping, like Black Friday, are you seeing any trends?
The predictions are for a modest gain in overall retail sales this season (3.6-4.2 percent according to the National Retail Federation, with gains of ~2.8 percent in brick and mortar and 8-12 percent online).  Other estimates suggest as much as a 47 percent increase in Black Friday through Cyber Monday spending per consumer ( survey results).

A recent survey by Deloitte found that more spending will be done online versus in-store this year. Why is that happening?
There’s probably not just one reason. As consumers and retailers become more comfortable with the online channel, sales will tend to increase.  Much of this might be due to increased promotion for the online channel by retailers. Even for brick and mortar-based retailers, it can be very profitable and efficient to have a large portion of sales online. From the consumer perspective, many consumers prefer the online purchasing experience relative to the bustling adventures of Black Friday sales in person.

It seems that many stores are releasing their Black Friday prices earlier and earlier, why are they doing that?
These sales are about driving customer business, meeting customer needs and attracting the customer’s attention. Some research has indicated that consumers in general are planning on shopping earlier this year (though this might be influenced by earlier advertising). Stores want to make sure that they are well-positioned when consumers begin their holiday shopping and get their attention. One way to do that is to promote sales earlier or open earlier.  However, other stores are going the opposite way and not opening at all on Black Friday, like REI.  This is an alternative way to get attention and gain some return (even if largely goodwill for the brand), and one that presumably works, as this will be the third year in a row they are doing that.

Is more money spent on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
Typically, more people are shopping in general on Black Friday, with Cyber Monday potentially coming in second in terms of number of shoppers.

Anything else consumers should know?
Always make sure to check the deal closely to make sure it’s as good as you think it is.

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