Black Friday 2017 – Results and SurprisesHayley Smith
This year’s Black Friday was predicted to be the biggest and most popular yet – and it didn’t disappoint.
Chicago, IL, one of the nation’s biggest cities, saw a large increase in store traffic for Black Friday this year. Experts from the weather analytics firm Planalytics say that “Rainfall from Thanksgiving through the weekend was the lowest since 2013, and snowfall was the lowest in over 20 years,” which played a serious role in the increase of foot traffic. Spending time outside during a Chicago winter is nearly unbearable, as most residents will tell you. This warmer and dryer weather was appealing and encouraging to consumers.
In terms of expensive technology, the usual powerhouses like Best Buy, Amazon and Target had great success on Black Friday. Setting itself apart from the competition, the greatest benefit to shopping on Amazon has been guaranteed low prices due to their price-matching. Amazon is able to consistently list products at a lower price than both Best Buy and Target, and this year’s Black Friday was just more of the same. Price-matching algorithms allow Amazon to beat out its competitors by narrow margins, which is appealing to customers and maximizes its profits.
However, Walmart isn’t far behind. Thanks to the acquisition of Jet.com last year, Walmart’s ecommerce has skyrocketed. Their new abilities were tested over the Black Friday weekend. Thanks to Jet.com’s innovation and power, Walmart was able to price-match and compete like they’ve never been able to before. Boomerang’s Vice President of Marketing Gary Liu agrees and says that, “[this] technology has set up Walmart and Amazon for a ‘clash of the titans’ in online sales where consumer perceptions of prices are formed.”
One of the most interesting takeaways from Black Friday 2017 was that although the foot traffic in stores increased as expected, there was a large number of people who went to the stores simply to check out products that they planned to buy online for a cheaper price on Cyber Monday, just a few days later.