How can in-store retailers adapt to shopper needs this Black Friday?

How can in-store retailers adapt to shopper needs this Black Friday?

In 2021, global online sales for the Black Friday weekend (including Cyber Monday as well) reached a record quantity of $275 billion, 2% up from 2020. The US share of this spending was ~$62 billion, 4% up from the previous year. These are astronomical numbers which represent huge growth for online shopping specifically.

With statistics like that, you may be wondering, "do people still shop in-store on Black Friday?" 

All signs indicate that holiday shoppers are coming back.

Despite amazing hurdles for American consumers, (like steep gas prices, pandemic concerns, and supply-chain issues), traditional, brick-and-mortar shopping may have reasons to regain hope this year. Looking at the holiday shopping trends from 2019 to 2020, then 2020 to 2021 paints a pretty clear picture. 

2020 proved to be a grim year for physical retailers (with in-store holiday shopping plummeting 33.1%). In 2021 however, things started looking up again with an 18.9% increase over the holidays in general, and a 34.2% increase of in-store traffic for the Black Friday weekend specifically. 

2021 didn't prove to be a full comeback for in-store shopping, but everything's moving in the right direction again.

What can brick-and-mortar businesses learn from the past few years?

There may be some consumer adaptations which aren't so easy to shake.

For example, Salesforce research (outlined in this article by Spendmenot) highlighted an interesting change, saying "Retailers offering a pickup option grew their revenue by 50% more than retailers who did not". And this describes the 2020 to 2021 year.

Did consumers learn to like some of the shopping adaptations made during the pandemic? It's hard to compete with the convenience of online shopping, but brick-and-mortar stores can borrow a few tricks from the pandemic to make the in-store shopping experience as quick and easy as possible. Offering pick up options for online or call-in orders for example is one such method.  

While it may seem intimidating, in-store pick-up is just another logistics puzzle which can be easily solved with the right equipment to keep the process organized. Once developed, systems like this can go a long way towards letting shoppers have a convenient experience, which may help brick-and-mortar businesses compete with online giants like Amazon. 

Here are some tools that can help you set up in-store pick-up for your business:

  • Some stores choose to provide specific parking areas near the front of their store for shoppers simply looking to pick up an order. Plastic stanchions like these are lightweight and affordable options for differentiating the pick-up parking area.
  • In addition, customized stanchions like these can help ensure the pick up areas are clearly labeled. 
  • Signage like this can also help designate a specific pick-up area. Some can be installed on top of stanchions as well.
This holiday season will tell us a lot about whether or not shoppers are ready to return to brick-and-mortar stores for their Black Friday shopping, but the signs are certainly hopeful.   


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