November 27, 2018 Trends en_US This year’s Black Friday brought a surge in sales and a shift toward online shopping. Here are some of the biggest Black Friday takeaways for small retailers. Fewer Shoppers Head to Stores for Black Friday 2018

Fewer Shoppers Head to Stores for Black Friday 2018

By Audrey Sellers November 27, 2018

Black Friday, one of the year’s biggest shopping days, didn’t draw as many shoppers to physical stores this year.

Brick-and-mortar traffic slipped about 1.7%, according to ShopperTrak.

However, while foot traffic in physical stores was down, overall sales were up.

Mastercard projects Black Friday sales reached $23 billion, which is up about 9% from last year.

By the end of the year, holiday sales could exceed $1 trillion for the first time ever, according to eMarketer. The company predicts a 5.8% increase in sales from last year and the strongest growth in seven years.

Rather than visit physical stores, many shoppers chose to skip the crowds and make their holiday purchases online during Black Friday.

Consumers spent a record $6.2 billion online, according to Adobe Analytics, which is nearly 24% more than online sales last year.

With this year’s Black Friday in the books, it’s helpful to consider some of the biggest takeaways from the post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza.

Smartphones Simplify Shopping

Sales from smartphones topped more than $2 billion for the first time in history, according to Adobe. More than a third of Black Friday’s sales originated from mobile devices.

The fact is many shoppers prefer the ease of purchasing from their smartphones. Why get off the couch and fight the crowd when you can access the same deals from your phone?

Consumers made more big-ticket purchases this year, such as furniture and large electronics, from their phones, with average order values up 8.5% from last year.

As more consumers buy from their mobile devices, retailers remain committed to providing a top-notch shopping experience. According to Adobe Digital Insights, retailers turned 10% more smartphone visitors into buyers this Black Friday compared to last year.

Customers Like to Buy Online, Pick Up in Store

Eager for a great Black Friday deal but not so eager to stand in line, many shoppers opted to purchase items online and retrieve them in store.

This holiday shopping season, half of online shoppers plan to pick up their purchases in store, according to the National Retail Federation.

When shoppers come in to pick up their purchase, small retailers can entice them with in-store items and provide a positive, memorable experience, whether it’s letting customers sample products or hosting workshops to build a community feel.

Prepare for a Bright Holiday Shopping Season

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have passed this year, but the best days are still to come for small retailers.

ShopperTrak predicts Super Saturday, which falls on December 22, and the Sunday before Christmas, December 23, to be especially busy shopping days.

Small retailers can also take advantage of the four Saturdays leading up to Christmas, as well as the Saturday after Christmas.

Make sure your store is prepared with well-stocked shelves and employees ready to help. The holiday season is a chance for your shop to shine by providing a remarkable customer experience and giving customers an ideal blend of online and brick-and-mortar shopping. By delighting shoppers now, you’re better positioned to bring them back beyond the holidays.

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Audrey is a former magazine editor in Dallas-Fort Worth who now works with B2B and B2C clients on various copywriting projects. Her passion is crafting copy that keeps readers coming back for more. Read more