It doesn’t matter much to retailers, who use early holiday sales to try to release products before many shoppers even pick out their Halloween costumes. But it showed that consumers are motivated by deals, no matter what they’re doing. After two years of limited discounts, consumers are showing they are willing to hold out for value.
Brands are getting on board. “We’ve made so many,” bike maker Specialized says on its website, telling customers they can “save BIG.”
Rakuten, an online platform that offers deals and rewards for shoppers, said that retailers’ participation in Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions was “the largest in the last three years.”
Natalie Rodriguez, 47, who works for the Indiana Department of Finance, said the merchandise was not something she wanted to give away for Christmas.
“I’m really aware of the deals that are coming up right now. I guess it’s a catch to see who gets my money first. Am I taking advantage because I see that it was a deal?
“In the Amazon sale, I had 150 items in my cart and saved them for later, but I didn’t see anything that could compare to what I would consider a Black Friday deal. When I was a kid, Black Friday was really expensive, like 80 or 90 percent off. The most I saw was 30 and 40 percent on other things. It’s like, ‘Hey, I’ll pass,’ especially if it’s not something important. Crest Whitestrips were a good investment, but I don’t need them right now.
“What I got was a $50 gift card with a $10 bonus on it.”
Arriving on time, finally
For years, fueled largely by Amazon, consumers have become accustomed to fast shipping — often in two days or less. The epidemic increased that. Shortages of drivers and supplies meant people had to plan ahead.
This year, industry experts are expecting another Shipageddon. There are more than enough delivery workers and warehouses to meet the demand. Shippers should be able to deliver 110 million packages a day, about 20 million more than consumers are expected to order, according to ShipMatrix, a consulting firm.
“Because of the experience of what has happened with global supply chains in the last few years, people are extending the holiday season longer,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime.