Washington, D.C. - Despite the rise in online and mobile
shopping, more than 152 million consumers may visit brick-and-mortar stores
over Black Friday weekend, up 27 percent from last year, a new poll shows.
The survey, conducted by the National Retail Federation
(NRF) and BIGresearch, shows that 74 million people definitely plan to hit the
stores Thanksgiving weekend, while another 77 million said they will do so if
the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds.
But even if they aren't buying online, a significant number
of those consumers are expected to use the web and mobile devices to track
in-store promotions. Nearly one-quarter said they will seek out coupon websites
like RetailMeNot.com and FatWallet.com; a third will specifically keep track of
the email coupons they receive from retailers; 17.3 percent will monitor
retailers' Facebook pages; and 11.3 percent will check out group buying sites
like Groupon and LivingSocial.
The numbers are even higher for tablet-owning holiday
shoppers: 21.3 percent said they will use their devices to seek out group
buying sites and 31.2 percent plan to check out retailers' Facebook pages.
Accordingly, 84.2 percent of retailers will send an email to
their customers about Black Friday deals, up from 80 percent last year, and
nearly three-quarters (73.7 percent) will use their Facebook page to reach
shoppers, up from the 57.1 percent in 2010, a separate BIGresearch poll shows. Many
retailers will also utilize their website's home page (50 percent) and Twitter
(57.9 percent) to announce and promote Black Friday deals, according to the
survey, which was commissioned by Shop.org, the NRF's online arm.
"Social media will play a big role in how shoppers follow
company sales announcements this holiday season," said Phil Rist, BIGresearch's
executive VP, strategic initiatives. "From Facebook to Twitter and even blogs,
â€˜social' retailers may be rewarded this season in terms of additional holiday
Still, the largest percent of respondents (50.5 percent)
will continue to scour advertising circulars to learn about Black Friday
promotions and about a third will turn to retailers' TV commercials, the survey
Merchants may also have a few more last-minute lures up
their sleeves, suggested NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay. "Though many retailers
are already touting select Black Friday ads, there's no doubt we'll all be
blown away by what retailers still have in their bag of tricks for shoppers."
Washington, D.C. - Despite the rise in online and mobile shopping, more than 152 million consumers may visit brick-and-mortar stores over Black Friday weekend, up 27 percent from last year, a new poll shows.