This Black Friday is going to be different for Wal-Mart shoppers. The monolithic retail company is ditching doorbuster deals to make holiday shopping easier for consumers.
While Wal-Mart is opening its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, it’s not rolling out the hourly deals on different items meant to pull shoppers in as early as possible. Instead, Wal-Mart is offering almost all of its deals online and in stores all at once: The in-store deals as soon as it opens, and its online deals right at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time on Thanksgiving.
Doorbuster deals have had success in past. They’ve been able to lure a steady stream of consumers in right when stores open and throughout the evening. However, it also means that Wal-Mart shoppers need to cut their holidays short, plan out strategies, deal with massive crowds, and risk items selling out. Getting rid of doorbuster deals gets rid of these issues entirely.
“Our plan is fundamentally, make shopping easier for our customers,” said Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer. “It’s about deals, it’s about availability and it’s about simplicity.”
The demise of doorbusters isn’t the only reason Black Friday will be different this year. The shopping holiday’s success has made it too big for just one country. Now, the United Kingdom is celebrating, too. According to research from SimilarWeb, the three biggest “Mega Shopping Days” for online shoppers in the UK are all American: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Online shopping traffic on these days rose nearly 26% from 2013 to 2014.
Cyber Monday will be a bit different, too. Knowing that 97% of consumers use Internet when researching local products/services, eBay, Amazon, and Best Buy have all already announced their deals way ahead of time, to give people a chance to plan and strategize their shopping.
Amazon announced that it will offer the new 8 GB Kindle Fire tablet for just $34.99, which comes with $10 worth of apps and games, and the Fire TV Stick for just $25, amongst other deals.
Best Buy has also revealed that the PS4 and Xbox One will be available for $50 less than their retail price, as well as bundles and savings on games.
Last but far from least, eBay announced deals that will roll out on Thanksgiving day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, launching them every hour starting on Thanksgiving and ending on Cyber Monday.
“Consumers are driving an extended holiday shopping calendar, and demanding earlier access to bigger deals, brands and selection,” Hal Lawton, senior VP of eBay North America, said in a press release. “Understanding these shifts allows eBay to celebrate the traditional shopping milestones with our customers, and to also establish new ones.”
If this all seems like a lot, don’t worry. It really means one thing: get ready to do some shopping this holiday season.