Black Friday Preparations a Bust? Consumer Behaviour Trends

consumer-behaviour-smBlack Friday is just a few short months away, and in retail, that means it is time to start thinking about how you will harness the power of this retail holiday which offers great opportunity. Canadian retailers have long tried to compete with our neighbours to the south and keep Canadians on home soil rather than crossing in droves to spend in the U.S., but some years have proven to be better than others. So, what will this year hold? What do consumer behaviour trends hold for Black Friday this year?

Last year, prior to the holiday, retailers were warned not to expect big things from the day. Statistics Canada cautioned retailers not to hold out hope for big spending. When it looked at retail spending in November from 2006 to 2014, it found the share of annual retail sales in the month edged up only slightly, from 8.4% to 8.5%. The consumer behaviour trends seemed to suggest that Canadians were only slightly interested in what Canadian retailers had to offer.

However, a more recent report found that it was actually the opposite. Retail spending in Canada actually jumped in November 2015 as consumers were out in full force taking advantage of Black Friday promotions. Total sales were actually $44.3 billion – and that strong consumer spending has really helped to stimulate the economy.

The low dollar is largely responsible for keeping Canadians at home. Instead of rushing across the border to find great deals, Canadians saw the value in looking for better deals at home – deals that were not actually negated thanks to the low value of the loonie. In November 2015 alone, 775,000 fewer Canadians visited the United States compared to 2014 levels, which would help explain the success of Black Friday.

With the Canadian dollar still low, although troublesome for some other aspects of retail, there are some positives that comes out of the slump. As it stands, Canadians are likely to replicate their spending activities from last year, sticking close to home rather than venturing farther afield.

If last year’s numbers hold out this November, Canadian retailers are in a unique position as we enter the fourth quarter, with the chance to regain the ground lost to American retailers over the last few years. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Want to know more about how you can take advantage of consumer behaviour trends in the months approaching Black Friday? Marketsupport can help. Contact us today at 1-877-421-5081.

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