cyber monday

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Image source: ShopStyle

Black Friday hysteria has well and truly arrived, with some discounts starting even earlier than expected. We’ve taken a look at how retailers are handling one of the biggest shopping events of the year, from tech-enhanced in-store experiences to websites that will help shoppers scope out the best deals.

ShopStyle creates new website

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday gain traction year after year, ShopStyle has devised a means of filtering through all the promotions so shoppers can find the best daily deals. The shopping comparison website has designed a site dedicated to holiday promotions. Updated daily by ShopStyle editors, the site collaborates with 1,400 fashion retailers aiming to present the “best of the best” deals to its users.

Pinterest users will probably spend more

On the brand’s business blog last week, Pinterest employee Liz Xiao revealed that two million people had already saved Black Friday and Cyber Monday-related pins, and there’s no doubt that that number has increased now that Black Friday week is in full swing. Xiao also added that, according to a November 2015 Civic Science survey: “Not only will Pinners shop more on Black Friday, they’ll also spend more than non-Pinners.” Pinterest users are generally willing to spend three times more on clothing and accessories than those who do not use the social-media-cum-scrapbook site.

In-store revamps ready for the customer onslaught

Over at Macy’s, an update to the department store’s Perry Ellis concession aims to change the way men shop for their clothes. The store has installed floating mirrors – fitted with proximity sensors that will, on cue, display interactive branded content – as well as LED hardware that will further promote Perry Ellis’s values. Phone-charging stations have also been installed for customer convenience – ideal for savvy shoppers who use mobile technology to improve their shopping experience. Meanwhile, Bloomingdale’s first-ever outlet store opened last weekend in New York, no doubt deliberately timed to tap one of the year’s biggest shopping periods. While the Bloomingdale’s Outlet has yet to release any information regarding its Black Friday offers, its discounts already offer a generous 25-75% off.

The discount backlash

In a similar vein to complaints about manic shopping on Boxing Day, Black Friday has received criticism due to the fact that it falls over the Thanksgiving weekend – the day after Thanksgiving itself – which, some argue, is a time for rest, relaxation and spending time with loved ones. While Macy’s will, for the third time, open its doors for Black Friday at dinner time this Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 26), other retailers are refusing to succumb to the pressure. For the first time, all of H&M’s US stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day to “allow [their] store teams to enjoy this time with their family and friends”. British retailer Jigsaw, meanwhile, has released a Black Friday Manifesto online, explaining that it will not be partaking in Black Friday, declaring: “Our products are reduced by nothing because they stand for something.”

Cyber Monday deals look promising

Those who don’t like the idea of venturing outside over the Thanksgiving weekend can still capitalise on retailers’ generosity by shopping online on Cyber Monday (November 30), or even before then. Amazon – whose Prime Day deals in June were more successful than last year’s Black Friday events – is a testament to the success of online shopping, and the company appears to be ahead of the pack, offering highly discounted deals every day between November 23 and 30. Other retailers are also luring online shoppers in with some lucrative deals, including Whistles, which is boasting 30% off all items throughout Cyber Monday.

Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com, has commented in a recent blog post that, despite it not being the biggest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday sales “continue to climb”. He continued: “To today’s always-connected shoppers, who get served deals constantly via email, social and broadcast channels, events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday stand out even more because they know retailers are giving it their all – and that this one really counts.”

Reported by Grace Howard