Retailers offering more Black Friday deals online in response to pandemic challenges

RetailMeNot says stores have moved holiday promotions online as more consumers plan to stay home

Black Friday deals are going to be bigger than ever due to the “economic challenges” American retailers are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports digital coupon giant RetailMeNot, Inc.

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According to research conducted by its parent company, J2 Global, Inc., there will be more holiday discounts offered than usual from 61% of operating retailers in the U.S. Moreover, RetailMeNot suggested in a recent press release that 88% of American consumers will not be walking into stores this year for doorbuster sales.

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"A shift towards online shopping is one we’ve seen increase over the past few years. When the pandemic hit, that shift increased even more as consumers were looking to shop safely from home,” RetailMeNot’s Shopping & Trends Expert Sara Skirboll told FOX Business via email. “In fact, according to our RetailMeNot research, we know that 75% of Americans prefer to shop online this year."

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JCOMJ2 GLOBAL INC.95.19-1.69-1.74%

Naturally, this shift in online shopping has increased demand for digital coupons. Compared to last year, RetailMeNot has “observed consumers choosing online coupons more” with “an 8 point mix shift in engagement toward online deals.”

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In response to U.S. consumers seeking out holiday deals, RetailMeNot says it has noticed that 10% of Black Friday deals that were promoted in October had been moved online versus in-store.

More U.S. consumers are accessing Black Friday sales online this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic. (iStock)

Earlier than usual promotions also extended the holiday shopping season, which resulted in a 12% increase in the number of retailers using holiday-related messaging compared to last year. Terms such as “Black Friday” and “doorbuster” were used more often, according to RetailMeNot.

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Other strategies retailers appear to be engaging in for the holiday season include more site-wide deals with fewer category or product restrictions, more online coupon codes with focus on customer conversion, more free shipping offers and longer-lasting sales.

Additionally, curbside pickup and buy online pickup in-store options increased 52% year-over-year among retailers in October, says RetailMeNot.

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In the years before the pandemic, consumers highly sought Black Friday deals for electronics, small appliances, video game consoles and apparel, reports RetailMeNot. And more recently, consumers have used this time to splurge on smart home devices.