Every year when Black Friday rolls around, we’re scrutinizing how well retailers performed in-store. Wiser, a national analytics firm for brands and retailers, surveyed Black Friday shoppers across 300 Walmart, Target, and Best Buy stores to find out which stores had the best deals, the hottest products, and how much shoppers were spending.
Who Did We Survey?
Millennials were out in full force this year, with 37 percent of respondents aged 25 to 34 out shopping on Black Friday. Generation X trailed closely behind, with 32 percent searching for the best deals in-store. Only 16 percent of shoppers aged 45 to 54, and 8 percent of the 55-plus community left the house to shop.
It's clear that younger generations prefer brick-and-mortar for the instant gratification. Furthermore, when buying more sophisticated technology, they want to check it out in-store before making a purchase decision.
Were This Year’s Deals Better Than Last Year’s?
According to our survey results, not really. Fifty-five percent of shoppers said deals were about the same as last year’s across Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Only 11 percent claimed that deals were much better than last year. According to our survey respondents, Best Buy offered better deals than Target and Walmart.
Speaking of Best Buy’s deals, 95 percent of shoppers chose to shop there for electronics, with Target as a surprising runner-up (73 percent) and Walmart in third place (69 percent). As a result of Best Buy’s sales success in the electronics category, it also saw the most out-of-stocks in-store, with 68 percent of consumers noting out-of-stocks specifically in Best Buy. Fifty-eight percent of respondents noted out-of-stocks in the electronics sections across all three retailers.
The second category with the best deals was toys, which proved to be an incredible battle between the major retailers with Toys"R"Us out of the picture. Thirty-eight percent of shoppers noted that toys had the best deals on Black Friday. Toys weren't immune to out-of-stocks, however, with 35 percent of respondents claiming that Walmart and Target ran out of certain products in-store.
Which Brands Had the Best Deals?
Not surprisingly, electronics topped the charts for the most popular and sought after deals at all three retailers. Our survey results showed that Samsung had the best deal in televisions, with 45 percent of shoppers opting for Samsung over LG. Amazon.com's Alexa narrowly defeated the Google Home by 5 percent.
Over in the toy section, LEGO proved itself to be the most popular toy brand purchased on Black Friday, with 30 percent of shoppers opting for its products. Nintendo trailed at 20 percent, Marvel at 13 percent, Disney at 11 percent, and Hasbro products at 5 percent.
When we broke it all down by retailer, 47 percent of respondents noticed that LEGO was the best deal at Target, beating out Walmart, where only 32 percent of shoppers opted for LEGO products. At Best Buy, 39 percent of respondents said that Nintendo was the best toy deal of the day.
How Much Did Shoppers Spend?
Forty-four percent of respondents spent between $100 and $500 on Black Friday, 28 percent spent up to $100, and 24 percent spent between $500 and $1,000. Spending amounts per customer rose 40 percent year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Additionally, at least 8 percent of respondents said they planned to shop on Cyber Monday, with all three retailers running at a close margin — Walmart at 83 percent, Target at 78 percent, and Best Buy at 77 percent.
One could also argue that the experience is what draws us back to brick-and-mortar time and again. The NRF reported that 89.7 million Americans shopped in-store in addition to online, showing that in-store still has a prominent place in retail. Target has created an interactive experience in its toy sections, complete with demonstrations, giveaways and oversized displays. While Amazon and the rest of e-commerce is all about convenience, in-store continues to dominate on Black Friday and beyond with one-of-a-kind shopping experiences, something that all retailers should continue to focus on this holiday season and beyond.
Andy Ballard is CEO at Wiser Solutions, Inc. Wiser’s SaaS technology integrates the workflow of multichannel brands and retailers to provide actionable insights with unmatched speed, scale and accuracy.
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