Despite the never-ending hype surrounding the deals you can find on Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving really isn’t the day to snag the best bargains.
That’s according to a recent market study which has collected information on one trillion visits to 4,500 retailing websites since 2008.
The fact is last year retailers made their biggest price cuts on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Additionally, retailers offered bargain hunters better deals in the weeks before Black Friday last year than during the weeks leading up to the holidays.
The sad truth is that if you waited until Black Friday to shop the deals, you probably went home empty-handed because the most-sought-after goodies were out of stock.
As you can see, the data from this recent study illustrates how much the holiday shopping hype differs from the pricing reality, an article in The Wall Street Journal notes.
“It also shows the power of the Internet, which has made it possible to comprehensively track and compare prices industry-wide, in the process illuminating once hard-to-measure variables such as the use of ‘loss leaders’ and responsiveness to competitors’ price moves,” according to the article.
This holiday season, The Wall Street Journal is tracking retailers’ strategies with the Christmas Sales Tracker, a new online tool that will follow the prices of 10 holiday gifts, including a doll set from the Walt Disney Co. movie “Frozen” and a Razor electric scooter at big retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Toys ‘R’ Us.
The tracker is collecting prices once an hour from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 to determine the best times to buy these 10 products, how early retailers offer their best deals and how fast it takes for competitors to match the lower offers.
The WSJ Christmas Sale Tracker indicates that retailers are changing prices on popular items in the weeks leading up to the holiday-shopping bonanza to test how price cuts drive traffic and Web sales, according to the article. And these findings shine a light on the way retailers are discounting products to get a jump on holiday sales.
Analysts says retailers are offering earlier discounts this year, especially on the Web. That’s because consumers plan to do more than 44% of their holiday shopping this year, according to the National Retail Federation – the most since the NRF first asked the question in 2006.
Retailers are working hard to keep abreast of shoppers who are looking for gifts earlier. They’re also trying to avoid a repeat of the late influx of online orders that overwhelmed shipping capacity last year and prevented thousands of people from receiving their gifts in time for Christmas.