The 2015 Holiday Shopping Season Is Here, Now What?

With multiple Thanksgiving sales events adding an extra week to this year’s holiday shopping season, it’s likely we will see an increase in sales over previous years, according to Drexel University’s Rajneesh Suri, PhD, a professor of marketing in Drexel’s LeBow College of Business.holiday sale

Bargain hunters who feel pressured to shop for the best deals will worry a little bit more this year with sales starting on Monday of Thanksgiving week. They will most likely feel they will lose the deal if they wait to make a purchase.

“Repeated ad messages promoting deals may also convince consumers who aren’t necessarily bargain hunters to start spending earlier, as well resulting in higher overall sales,” said Suri.

With sales starting earlier, what happens on Black Friday?
“Some could argue that there might be less pressure on consumers to purchase ‘door-busters’ by getting up early on Black Friday because promotions started earlier,” Suri said. “It’s likely that consumers will feel less pressured and will scrutinize purchases thoroughly. Complicating this decision-making process is the fact that since deals will be broadcasted earlier in the week, sale messages will be repeated and consumers’ expectations of price will be set rather low.”

Some stores have decided not to open on Thanksgiving. How will this affect sales?
“Several retailers including Wal-Mart are following this approach this year,” said Suri. “However, retailers will cater to consumers searching for deals for almost a full week this Thanksgiving week. Consumers who have been used to shopping on Black Friday and those who feel uncertain about the general economic situation may find the pressure to be rather excessive as it lasts for five days instead of just on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday. This could lead to unwanted purchases and possibly higher total sales.”

With Cyber Monday around the corner, will consumers buy more in-store or online?
“Consumers will always purchase more in brick and mortar stores than online,” said Suri. “However online sales will show greater increases, as has been the trend so far. Online retail is heating up with Amazon facing increasing pricing pressures from competitors like Wal-Mart. With Cyber Monday sales starting early during Thanksgiving week as well, it’s likely that online sales will reduce time pressure on consumers and allow them to shop on their own schedules rather than set sales hours by retailers. Price matching by various retailers, including Walmart.com, may further abate the uncertainty around merits of various deals thus leading to higher sales. Free shipping by some retailers will further sweeten online deals.”

To schedule an interview with Suri, media should contact Niki Gianakaris, director of media relations, Office of University Communications, Drexel University, at 215-895-6741 or ngianakaris@drexel.edu.