Merry Christmas in July? Believe it. Christmas is roughly five months away and the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season is less than four months away. Now is the time to prepare and plan out your strategy to have a successful holiday shopping season. “Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving revered as the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. Retailers small and large will have extraordinary pre-dawn sales to get into the “black” for the holidays.
As a manager for the largest retailer in the world, I have seen my fair share of after Thanksgiving sales. I was marveled and awestruck by the amount of people willing to brave, at times sub-zero weather to purchase gifts for them and loved ones. The shear buying power of the consumer made me believe in the power of money and customers willingness to spend. Having seen the same customers year after year had me thinking? How are these customers able to maneuver through hoards of people and still purchase what they came to purchase? My answer was simple, planning? Realizing planning was a key component to customers shopping patterns; I will give you a step-by-step guide to make your “Black Friday” experience exciting and enjoyable.
There is a rare occasion retailers after Thanksgiving items are not online. Various outlets will post items which will be “door-busters”. Keep a list of specific items you will be shopping for and quantities. Most retailers do not post quantities for keep in mind if you plan on purchasing more than one. Also consider items will be in different locations throughout the store, so if you are shopping alone, prioritize.
If you have a partner, utilize them. Most customers shop in pairs to increase their chances of acquiring the items they came to purchase. Now retailers are even telling customers where items are located, so you and your partner can divide and concur. Remember to use technology in your favor. Cell phones are critical in today’s shopping environment. Once you have selected key items, call your partner to follow up on their progress.
Get there early
Needless to say, some of the bargains you encounter are once in a season deals. Arriving at your selected retailer before is vital because other customers will be thinking the same. The early bird gets the worm. If your plan is to shop at one particular retailer, scout the area for multiple locations. Retailer “X” has five locations within a 20 mile radius. Chances are not all locations will be as busy as the next.
This is the single most important part of holiday shopping. Some retailers, regardless of size will not have the items you are looking for during your shopping trip. Do not let your frustration come to pass. The more intense a situation becomes, the more confusion occurs. Another part of patience is to follow all applicable rules of the retailer. Their main purpose is to service the customer. Their second goal is to keep the store orderly and safe.
A simple and failsafe plan to assist in your holiday spending. After Thanksgiving can appear to be hectic, but take it from a corporate “insider”, the best shoppers are shoppers who come prepared.