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 showed.
The survey, conducted by the National Retail Federation
(NRF) and BIGresearch, showed 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
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 showed. 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, ‘social’ retailers may be rewarded this season
in terms of additional holiday sales.”
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.”