It's Black Friday 365 Days a Year

By David Sims October 31, 2011

According to research featured on the Retrevo blog, the phenomenon of Black Friday shoppers, those who are interested only in heavily-discounted merchandise, could be a 365-day a year reality due to Groupon.

That’s “thanks to Groupon” or “blame it on Groupon,” depending on your perspective, whether you’re out buying the merchandise or the one paying for it to clutter up your house.

And talk about finding a deal -- The Wall Street Journal is reporting that while Groupon's initial public offering, scheduled to begin trading November 4 on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol GRPN, is “getting generally negative reviews from analysts,” but should find pricing “within its expected range of $16 to $18 a share.”

Retrevo cites from a recent Gadgetology study, finding what the study’s authors say is “a class of shoppers who buy lots of things through deal sites and they expect deep discounts on what they buy.”

In fact, the study profiles what it calls a “Deal Addict” -- much like the people waiting outside Kmart in their folding chairs, munching doughnuts and sipping coffee in the predawn hours before Black Friday as if it were a new Star Wars movie opening.

The same frenzy could surround the Groupon IPO, with the same falloff as a Star Wars movie sees: “The company's financial metrics suggest that Groupon is today's Webvan, says Francis Gaskins, president of research site IPOdesktop.com, referring one of the more prominent dot-com flops,” according to the Journal.

“Almost three quarters of last year’s Black Friday shoppers (70 percent) say they are members of deal sites,” the study found, adding that “one of three of those deal site members say they buy most things or almost everything on discount regardless of whether it’s from a deal site or not.

The study found about a seventy percent overlap, in fact, between last year’s Black Friday shoppers and deal site members on Groupon, Woot and the like. And with deal sites, you don’t have to wait for your fix. You can shoot up -- sorry, you can find deals anytime.

One consequence could possibly be the diminishment of those folding chair lines. Manish Rathi, Retrevo.com’s co-founder and vice president of marketing, observed that given the culture of instant gratification for deal-finding, it will be “hard for today’s retailers to make their Black Friday deals stand out when shoppers have been getting significant discounts throughout the year.”

 


David Sims is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TechZone360 here.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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