Thinking of bagging yourself a Black Friday bargain?
Revealing the motives, characteristics and experiences of sale shoppers
In the US, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), has widely been recognized as the busiest shopping day of the year, with many retailers offering new promotions and heavily discounted items for customers as they begin their Christmas shopping. A new study, published in the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, examines a broad range of Black Friday (BF) shopping behaviors and experiences, as well as the relationships between shoppers’ motivations and characteristics.
Authors Hyun Ju Kwon and Thomas M. Brinthaupt asked 142 students from a US public university to participate in a survey of multiple scales. This selection of participants included those that did (63%) and did not (37%) shop during the most recent BF holiday. Participants were asked to rate their experiences on the ‘hedonic shopping motivations scale’, with subscales containing examples such as ‘To me, shopping is an adventure’ and ‘I enjoy hunting for bargains when I shop’.
The study reveals that more positive BF experiences were related to spending more money, spending more time shopping, beginning to shop earlier in the day and visiting more shops and stores. Those who specifically shopped for electronics reported lower levels of satisfaction with their shopping experience, with those who shopped for clothing reported significantly higher scores on the adventure and gratification subscales.
The behavioral results of the study also indicated that BF shoppers reported significantly higher levels of ‘hedonic shopping motives’ and much higher levels on the adventure, gratification and idea subscale compared to non-shoppers. Conversely, the authors deduce that non-shoppers “may avoid BF shopping because of the added burden and stress associated with the holiday”.
Descriptive statistics from the participants showed that they were most likely to rely on word-of-mouth, visited an average of five stores and reported shopping most often for apparel, electronics and other (non-grocery) products. There appeared to be no gender correlation behind the results.
The authors conclude that “those with more positive BF experience reported a greater intention to shop BF again”. This indicates that there may be longevity to the concept of ‘Black Friday’, already indicated by the migration of BF across the Atlantic to the UK in the last few years.
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