With holiday shopping madness well underway, it’s crunch time for preparing stores for the customer boom. Don’t fret – there are simple and easy solutions to ensure safe shopping especially on Black Friday.
When someone mentions ‘Black Friday’, it’s likely to conjure up some pretty startling imagery. Crowds of people anxiously lining up at dawn, giant big box retailers hawking their goods, and the ensuing consumer pandemonium. Many of us watch the horrors play out in the news and look forward to more subdued shopping days in the coming weeks.
Traditionally falling on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is synonymous with sales, discounts and spending sprees. In 1961 the term was coined to denote retailers moving from the ‘red’ to the ‘black’ after seeing a yearly bump in sales on this day.
Last year, Americans spent more money on Black Friday than ever before! Many retailers have extended Black Friday to a 4-day event ending on Monday (Cyber Monday). Each of the four days typically showcase a different sale or offer.
This year, things will be different. The COVID-19 pandemic will surely have an impact on peoples’ buying patterns and where they spend their money.
What does this mean for a normal shopper going to the store to buy a sweater?
A lot. The bottom line: shopping habits are drastically shaped by the pandemic.
Many of these consumer habits are noticeable if we review some current trends:
1. Shopping Early
Due to the pandemic, shoppers want to get out there early this year. According to Consumer Affairs, retailers are getting a head start on shopping this year. Competition with Amazon Prime Day has also pushed back normal Black Friday sales. The traditional “get people hyped up for mid-night after Thanksgiving” is no longer “a thing”.
2. Shock To Loyalty
Mckinsey is reporting that 73% of US consumers are discovering new brands and changing where they make purchases due to mobile and desktop ads. 61% of people engaged with an ad for Black Friday, raising brand awareness and reinforcing product interest. With increased digital advertising saturation, retailers are learning to “expect the unexpected”.
3. Ads Are Driving People to Stores
A Hubspot Survey in 2019 tracked Black Friday consumer trends. It brought some very interesting findings to light. Despite foot traffic dropping roughly 6%, brick and mortar purchases still rose over 6%. They attribute the increase in items purchased to the huge amount of ad spend focused around this event. The survey also concluded that over half of all people who purchased items in-store were responding to an advertisement they viewed online.
4. Multiple Black Fridays
Black Friday is no longer defined by the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, the worlds’ biggest brick and mortar retailer, Walmart, is having THREE Black Friday in-store sales. Naturally, they are ‘spacing’ them out throughout November. The new format will also offer contact-free curbside pickup service.
Luckily, businesses are taking measures to alleviate these worries and elevate the shopping experience.
Let’s take a closer look at what can and should be done at the retail level.
We Need to Boost Consumer Confidence
In order for consumer confidence to rise to pre-COVID levels, retailers must take steps to show that safety is a top priority. ‘Fire sale’ prices to get people in the door are not enough. With a few simple measures, the Black Friday experience can be a safe one.
- Plastic Barriers: Plastic barriers can be designed in any shape and size. They are solid, non-porous barriers which provide a level of protection by blocking potential germs in the air from spreading. Banks have long used them.
- Customer service areas, cashiers and checkout counters are ideal locations. Secure a rectangular shaped barrier to a counter top or hang it from the ceiling. These barriers are very effective in reducing the spread of airborne particles.
- Bathroom partitions are another logical place to install PPE protection which helps prevent the spread of airborne particles in a closed environment.
- Floor Decals: Be prepared for 2x, 4x, possibly 10x the amount of customers entering your business on Black Friday. Mass amounts of people converging makes it difficult to see walkways. The solution is to strategically apply brightly colored decals to the floor. These effectively and safely direct people through establishments. Here is what to look for when procuring floor decals.
- Made from high-durable vinyl
- Customizable with your company logo
- Easy to sanitize and clean
Properly implemented floor decals will space people 6 feet apart when standing in line or at a restroom, thus making a safe shopping environment.
Make it Happen
ThermoPro is a custom manufacturer of Thermoformed plastics NOW producing personal protective equipment (PPE). Depending on the nature of your business, we can customize barriers and PPE to fit right into your retail landscape. You’ll save time and money with a customized solution for YOUR business. Our team is ready to speak with you to address all of your needs. Call us today! 800-523-5542.