Business and Ethics / People of SU

Seattle U in the News: Ask the Experts About Shopping on Black Friday

November 18, 2020

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Albers School of Business and Economics Professor of Marketing Mathew Isaac was interviewed by the business site WalletHub for his advice and insights on some key questions for budget-conscious shoppers as Black Friday approaches.

Albers School of Business and Economics Professor of Marketing Mathew Isaac was interviewed by the online business news site WalletHub for his advice and insights on some key questions for budget-conscious shoppers as Black Friday approaches.

Here are the questions and excerpts from Isaac's answers. You can read the entire story and Q&A here

How can consumers distinguish between real Black Friday deals and marketing traps?

"Marketers often try to employ the persuasion principle of 'scarcity' on Black Friday to get consumers to visit their physical stores. Consumers should read retailers’ fine print in terms of 'scarcity' to understand how likely it is that they will actually be able to take advantage of the best deals based on when they plan to shop."

How can consumers protect themselves from overspending on Black Friday?

"Making a shopping list is a good way to avoid impulse purchases that are particularly likely when consumers observe other shoppers buying indiscriminately or excessively- a 'feeling of missing out' may lead consumers to overspend too. Consumers often underestimate the power of social influence!"

Which day do you believe people get the best deals: Black Friday, Cyber Monday or another day? Why?

"I read some research from the coupon- and discount-shopping browser extension Honey that average Cyber Monday savings were a little bit higher than average Black Friday savings in 2019. The average savings were not wildly different though, only a few percentage points. However, it probably depends on the product category as to whether Black Friday or Cyber Monday is better."

What are some tips for maximizing bargains on Black Friday?

"I would suggest that consumers focus narrowly on the one or two big-ticket items that they have been waiting or saving up for rather than trying to finish all of their holiday shopping on Black Friday."

Which types of products are better to buy on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday?

"Typically, newer big-ticket items tend to be discounted more heavily on Black Friday than Cyber Monday, especially in a physical store. Cyber Monday is usually better for smaller electronics and tech gifts."

More than half of Americans don’t plan to shop this year on Black Friday due to the pandemic. Do you think the current situation will lead to the demise of in-store Black Friday shopping as we know it?

"I think younger consumers have been less enthusiastic about Black Friday for several years now, particularly those who hold anti-consumption beliefs and are worried about materialism and sustainability. However, in-store Black Friday shopping holds nostalgic and sentimental value for many older Americans, and I imagine that they will return to retail stores on Black Friday as soon as it is safe to do so (and some may go this year, as well, even in the middle of a pandemic)."

 

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