Looking Back: Learning from Last Year’s Holiday and Black Friday Trends

black-friday-trends-smEvery year following Black Friday and the holiday season, we take a look at what transpired. Some years are, as is to be expected, better than others, but no matter the numbers, there is always something to be learned from what the season held. This year, we are doing the same thing, only a little more relevantly timed. What can we learn from last year’s holiday and Black Friday trends?

Black Friday Trends

Many more retailers adopted the American trends last year than ever before, keeping stores open later (and opening earlier) and advertising mega sales over the short sales window. So what were the results?

According to the Financial Post, “Canadian retail sales unexpectedly rose by 0.4% in November (2015) to a record high $43.03 billion, pushed up in part by promotions such as Black Friday.” That being said, this increase was not experienced by all sectors: “The three largest subsectors – motor vehicles and parts dealers, food and beverage stores and gasoline stations – all posted slight declines from October (2015).”

This year, retailers are expected to continue the trend, keeping pace with our Southern neighbours and hoping the sales will roll in. Will a still-dismal Canadian dollar keep customers on our side of the border? We can hope. We can also prepare for the best – making sure shelves are stocked and customers are being served.

Holiday Season Trends

As usual, the 2015 holiday shopping season was fruitful. This is pretty much the standard every year. It has become the norm to see sales jump after the first of December – people need to shop to cross off those lists, and most start at the beginning of the month. However, last year’s sales were not as high as expected – according to Statistics Canada, retail sales sank 2.2% to $43.2 billion in December 2015. Much of this was blamed on unseasonably warm weather (who really wants to shop when the sun’s so bright?).

Additionally, many more sales than usual were conducted online, meaning retailers are now faced with double-duty serving those in-store and online. This comes with its own set of challenges, but if you can meet them, you’re already ahead of the game.

What can we learn from these numbers? Well, obviously we already know that customer service needs to remain high (as with any time of the year), but we may need to be doing just that much more to draw customers in. The good news is, we’ve heard rumours that the snow won’t stay away this year as it did last winter, making weather far more favourable to days spent inside shopping. Again, we can hope.

Want to get a strategy in place to take advantage of holiday and Black Friday trends? Call Storesupport today: 1-877-421-5081.

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