Wildcard SSL Certificates Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning--Consumer Behavior

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Lars Perner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Marketing
Department of Marketing
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1424, USA
(213) 740-7127
Cell: (213) 304-1726

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Predictions for Black Friday and Holiday Sales, 2021 

Normally, we would expect a significant amount of “pent up” demand as people are now able to shop again, but with lackluster deals in stores, this may not happen this year.

Black Friday enthusiasm will probably be limited this year given both the heavy media coverage of supply chain problems and shortages and the actual limited supplies available. • Since even fully vaccinated individuals still run some risk of COVID, being in crowded stores will be less appealing. This is especially the case for households where children are not yet fully vaccinated.

Given the politization of COVID, some people deliberately seek out crowded experiences as a sort of “demonstration”—possibly defying mask mandates—but hopefully this will be limited.

Ironically, although in-person shopping and going out in public was more difficult last year, online merchandise was still relatively plentiful.

Black Friday advertisements seem to be rather scarce this year.

Already before the pandemic, Black Friday shopping was waning in popularity. More and more, sales had begun early and a lot of deals were offered online. In addition, over the last thirty years, the model of holiday bargains has shifted. Mega-merchants such as Walmart and Target, large chains such as Best Buy, and warehouses such as Costco now buy very large quantities, placing orders far in advance in return for deep discounts. This means that unlike in the old days when holiday bargains often sold out quickly, there was generally enough for everyone, so the urgency of getting out early on Black Friday morning had waned. Although supplies actually will be limited this year, people are out of the habit.

Related to the above, for many, it is much more convenient to buy online. It will be interesting to see if online merchants try to sell merchandise they do not actually yet have, possibly promising a delivery time that they may or may not be able to meet.

With family members getting together for Thanksgiving, things can get tense and historically, Black Friday shopping has offered a bit of a “circuit breaker.” This year, Thanksgiving parties will probably be smaller than before the pandemic, so there may be less of a need.

These are strange economic times. During recessions, it is generally a good thing if those who are better off spend heavily and stimulate the economy, but at the moment, this could boost inflation.

Even if much of the current price spikes may be temporary as supplies catch up, many households will have less left over for holiday spending and many will likely worry about inflation.

Whether by planning or lack of success in shopping, a lot of people may end up giving gift cards this year so that recipients can buy once supplies reach stores.