How black will Black Friday be?

Black Friday — November 29, 2013 — is more than a day guests seek out great prices in stores located near your property. It’s an annual trend for many who consider shopping their “sport” and Black Friday, dare I say, their Super Bowl!

Depending on a property’s location, there could be an attractive payoff for hotels that cater to the day. Part of the mass appeal, besides kicking off the gift-giving season, is the support factor of this long-time cultural phenomenon. It’s a trend-driven day where the best of the best shopping devotees thrive on the thrill of anxious crowds, holiday music, artistic displays and, of course, the competitive atmosphere. Whether it’s the price wars or the extra pampering opportunities given at hotels, it can be a victory for all!

Hoteliers, you can take Black Friday to the next level by offering related perks, which are a no-brainer to promote on your social media platforms or via an email campaign to your repeat guests. Suggestions that pair nicely with the day include:

  • Complimentary upgrades
  • Sparkling cider and wine
  • Pumpkin spice and candy cane coffee to go
  • Chair and foot massages
  • VIP discount cards from local retail partners
  • Oversized tote bags with your hotel logo
  • Protein-packed snack bags to boost energy levels
  • Handouts listing store hours and attractive sales 
  • Complimentary shuttle runs

Another reason the retail world is in major anticipation mode for November 29th is the buzz about “showrooming,” which is when shoppers use real-world stores for browsing and websites for purchasing. However, this year, there is a polar-opposite shift in which shoppers are predicted to do just the opposite — purchase their items physically in the stores after conducting research online. This new trend already has a name, “webrooming,” and while the average consumer has never heard of the term, plenty plan to engage in the practice, which has retailers anticipating an extremely lucrative Black Friday.

The benefits attracting the new wave of webroomers are straightforward: no shipping costs, the fulfillment of immediate gratification and the beauty of avoiding any of the guesswork related to purchasing something they can’t see and touch in person.

So in the spirit of a profitable holiday season, I leave you with two questions:

  • Will you be heading out to tackle Black Friday physically at the stores, or do you plan to buy online thanks to the options, ease and attraction of Amazon and other similar websites?
  • Will your Black Friday include a hotel stay and, if so, what city will you be visiting?

I look forward to your responses!