Consumer Behavior on Black Friday

Topics: Christmas and holiday season, Retailing, Consumer protection Pages: 6 (2433 words) Published: January 22, 2012
Running Head: Black Friday

Consumer Behavior on Black Friday

The purpose of this research is to examine consumer behavior on Black Friday. Black Friday is typically the busiest shopping day of the year, and it is all driven by the chance for consumers to save the most amount of money possible while getting their holiday shopping done. Research was done online, and also through personal experiences. By understanding what retailers and consumers hope to accomplish on this day can have a positive impact on everyone. Consumers are able to get what they want with the least amount of turmoil, and retailers are able to turn a profit. This research can be most helpful to merchants, as it will help them to understand what a consumer wants, and what they expect the unofficial holiday to be like. A complication with this research is that each consumer is different and may have different expectations in mind. Concentrating on making Black Friday as organized as possible will only benefit all parties involved.

Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving, which is the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday is a day when stores dramatically discount products with the intention of luring in the highest number of shoppers possible. The term Black Friday received its name because that is a day when, hopefully, businesses balance sheets go from red, a loss, to black, a profit (Staff, 2010). It can be a day of chaos, as seen in 2008 when a Walmart employee was trampled to death by a mob of customers (Gould, Trapasso, & Schapiro, 2008). But many that day focus on saving money, and are willing to wait in lines for days for a deal. Impulsive Consumption

Some of the purchases made on Black Friday may be impulsive. The textbook states that impulsive consumption is usually spontaneous and involves some feelings of liberation; is associated with a lessened sense of costs or consequences; and is motivated by a need for immediate self-fulfillment (Babin & Harris, 2011). Consumers who go to a store for only a couple of items may find themselves enticed by other items that are on sale. The average person spent $365.34 during Black Friday weekend 2010, for a total of approximately $45 billion total spent nationally (Chang, 2010). Unplanned purchases may be made because although a consumer went to a store for one sale, they may not have known all the other items that are discounted that day, and may make other purchases. Because many Black Friday shoppers are actually holiday shopping for other people, it is easy to look for a gift for one person, but find those perfect gifts for the other four people on your list, all in the name of getting a good deal.

Social Environment
Social environment is defined in the text as “the other customers and employees in a service or shopping environment (Babin & Harris, 2011). Normally, people may be put off by crowding at stores. However, it is the norm on Black Friday. Although it is still unfavorable, it is something that people are willing to adapt to for the day. It may give a sense of urgency, which will put a consumer into the mindset of action. The text also refers to shopping buddies. Many people who wait in line for hours or even days on Black Friday do not do so alone. There are usually small groups of people, which may help to make consumers feel more comfortable. Consumers are taking more time to find buddies to shop with, and they are making an effort to have a plan in mind for what stores they will visit, and what they will purchase. For people who wait in lines for extended periods, they usually create some type of habitat to pass the time. Consumers bring tents, chairs and heaters to make themselves more comfortable. Some even bring electrical items such as lighting, computers or small televisions to keep them company while waiting for the savings to begin. The people in line usually form temporary relationships with the...

References: 4 Years Strong: Walmart Sends Another Cease & Desist. (2011, 10 14). Retrieved 10 22, 2011, from
Babin, B. J., & Harris, E. G. (2011). CB2. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Black Friday 2011 Predictions. (2011, 10 11). Retrieved 10 23, 2011, from
Chang, A
Palmer, K. (2010, 11 23). Black Friday Guide to the Best Deals and Steals. Retrieved 10 23, 2011, from
Staff, L
Wong, E. (2009, 11 30). Google Tracks Black Friday Trends. Retrieved 10 23, 2011, from
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