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Kerin Foster

Black Friday Sales: Where Might They Be Headed for 2012?

Kerin Foster
Black Friday Sales: Where Might They Be Headed for 2012?

With Black Friday only a week and a half away, retailers are pouring all of their marketing efforts into their various deals and specials all while trying to outshine their competition; talk about a lot to tackle during the busiest time of the year! Stores such as Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Sears, and the Gap will be opening their doors to consumers as early as the eve of Thanksgiving in the hopes of scooping up market share and extending the holiday season. Many employees of these retailers are not all that thrilled about having to show up for work on Turkey Day (who would be?), but stores are attempting to extend their intake as Black Friday funds consist of approximately 10% of all holiday sales.

Upon searching for black friday in Google Search, 805 million results surface and competitors Target and Wal-Mart are already bidding on the keyword as well as Brad’s Deals, who serves to show the public the best Black Friday deals, ads, news, and related stores, even displaying a countdown to the big day, description, and history behind all of the wonderful things that involve Black Friday.

Google search results for black friday 2012 show that competitors Target and Wal-Mart are both advertising their Black Friday sales as well as Kohl’s who has offered to customers that they can preview their ad on November 18th. Seeing as how this is the most generalized and simple search term, it is likely that shoppers often search for it above all others.

By viewing the keyword summary for black friday, we can see that there are 900 million results and an average volume of 301 searches per month, which is pretty widespread. Additionally, the phrase match report shows us that there is still interest in black friday 2011. When it comes down to Black Friday in 2012, it doesn’t seem that the public is quite as keen to search in terms of the year but relative keywords show terms that include specific retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target.

What Else is New?

New for 2012, Wal-Mart has introduced a mobile app that could potentially drive 40% of their web traffic which is HUGE! Since it is expected that mobile is going to be a large and prime initiator in holiday sales, Wal-Mart took this opportunity to their advantage and created a new app so that users can find stores and deals that are specific to a location. In addition, if the user opens the app when they are inside a Wal-Mart store, they can enter what is called an ‘in-store’ mode that allows them to see content relative to that store and also use an all-too-handy price checker. In-store mode will also allow users to click on items from Wal-Mart’s Black Friday circular and locate them within the store while viewing descriptions and prices. Talk about convenience! It looks as though Wal-Mart has taken the plunge and is trying to make Black Friday as easy as possible for their customers to navigate in addition to potentially increasing their sales due to this ease of shopping. Is it possible that competitors such as Target’s Black Friday and holiday sales may not be quite as high because of this technological advance on Wal-Mart’s part?

The search term walmart black friday deals presents approximately 52,000 results with target black friday deals bringing in almost 48,000, making them neck-in-neck for search results. Wal-Mart is also offering a 60” Vizio Smart television for only $688 in addition to other deals such as a $399 16GB iPad 2 accompanied by a $75 Wal-Mart gift card. Target has similar deals such as a $50 Nook, Xbox 360 with Kinect for $199, and a 50” 1080p HDTV for $349. So ultimately, both retailers are trying their best to offer sales and deals that will bring shoppers running… literally!

Search Engine Traffic, Black Friday Style

Search engine traffic for the competitors Wal-Mart, Target, and Kohl’s are a little bit wavering when it comes to holiday searches, but it seems as though Wal-Mart is the be all and end all when matched to its competitors. Searches increase for all three, but Kohl’s is on the lower end of the totem pole. Wal-Mart specifically had their searches increase significantly around the holidays in 2009, somewhat in 2010, a great deal in 2011, and it remains to be seen for this year. Target, on the other hand, received increases in searches during the holidays in 2009 and in 2011 while 2010 stayed mostly unchanging.

So What Does It All Mean?

Black Friday is an extremely important and above all demanding and stressful day for retailers… and for shoppers, apparently.  Stories have run rampant in years past wherein shoppers went berserk over certain items and caused a frenzied (but still full of holiday cheer) atmosphere. Perhaps 2012 may be different with some stores opening late on Thanksgiving night; but it is always certain that shoppers will be waiting in the wee morning hours outside their desired stores to cash in on the best deals of the year. The marketing tactics of these retailers will prove to be successful or in vain on Friday, November 23rd as Black Friday gets underway bright and early.

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