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Do you understand your customers?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are perceived as two major holiday shopping days which can bring global retailers good money. Also, buyers take advantage of these days to get amazing snips, yet to big spenders, a huge amount of money can be spent without hesitation. Hence, having a better understanding about consumer behaviors toward shopping in both online and physical stores at this occasion will help merchants in holiday marketing campaigns.

In this article, the question - which reasons drive consumers to purchase on Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be answered. The elements including the ease of shopping, the usefulness of the channel, convenience and enjoyment will be identified. Also, genders will be considered as an important factor in shopping behaviors. The purpose of this is to help merchants understand their customers better; this is seen as a crucial factor to build up an effective marketing campaign which will help retailers increase sales.

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1. Multichannel Shoppings

Multichannel shopping is now taken advantage as retailers want to optimize their profits. The more easily customers can approach shopping channels, the higher profitability a firm can get in holiday shopping season. A segmentation examination conducted in 2007 indicated that channel preference is driven by other drivers in every purchasing stage such as pre-shopping, shopping and after-shopping. Also, customer segmentation based on channel behavior was investigated in 2008 showed that shoppers can be classified into 3 groups: those who enjoy shopping in multi channels, those who prefer to shop in bricks and mortars and those who are uninvolved.

On another hand, online shopping is becoming an increasing trend, yet physical stores cannot be replaced by the internet because of the convenience and for the variety of items. However, customers add more shopping channels during their decision-making process to cut down time spent on shopping and allocate spending depending on the task or the context of buying decision.

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2. Shopping convenience and usefulness

2.1 Convenience

As you may already know, consumers are often under high pressure to finish their shopping during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consumers prefer to shop in an atmosphere that makes searching easy, helps them get a better bargain and find appropriate products efficiently. In short, the shopping convenience which all customers want to experience here is referred to time and effort saving when purchasing goods or services. This explains why online shopping is favored by millions of people worldwide.

However, the perceptions of shopping convenience can be different among people those who are online shoppers and those who prefer traditional in-store shopping. While using the internet as a shopping channel brings a bunch of benefits for buyers such as time-saving, better price comparison, higher opportunity to get good bargains and flexibility in shopping time, buying things in a mall helps consumers find what stuff is truly useful, necessary and appropriate.

Thus, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be seen to be easy to use, as most consumers find the mall convenient, as they have most likely shopped at the mall previously and understand how to use it. Online shopping is also easy to use because most consumers now are used to doing so. Consumers perceive each mode to be useful in shopping for gifts because both offer larger selections during the holiday season than at other times.

Conclusion

  • Shopping convenience is positively associated with perceived shopping usefulness for holiday shopping on Black Friday.
  • Shopping convenience is positively associated with perceived shopping usefulness for holiday shopping on Cyber Monday.

2.2 Usefulness

Several studies show that perceived usefulness significantly influences attitudes toward online shopping as well as influencing online purchase and repurchase intentions (Shih, 2004, Song and Zhang, 2004, Swilley and Goldsmith, 2007 and Vijayasarathy, 2004). The perceived usefulness of shopping either at the mall or online refers to the value of one particular channel over another. In other words, shopping at the mall on Black Friday may or may not be more useful in gift purchasing than shopping online during Cyber Monday. Shih (2004) shows that perceived usefulness significantly determine attitudes toward online shopping. Song and Zhang (2004) report positive influences for online repurchase intentions. Vijayasarathy (2004) finds usefulness significantly predicts attitude towards online shopping, and attitude toward online shopping strongly influences the intention to use online shopping. We extend this argument to understand the usefulness of holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Conclusion

  • Perceived usefulness of shopping positively influences holiday shopping attitude on Black Friday.
  • Perceived usefulness of shopping positively influences holiday shopping attitude on Cyber Monday.

2.3 Shopping enjoyment

During the holidays, many families go the mall together for shopping excursions. These experiences in shopping are looked at with either revelry or displeasure. Holiday shopping can be divided into hedonic and utilitarian motivations, as it is comprised of both escapism and tasking (Jin and Sternquist, 2004). Enjoyment has been found to motivate shopping (Arnold and Reynolds, 2003) and has been found to influence attitudes toward shopping (Childers et al., 2001, Ha and Stoel, 2009, Hart et al., 2007, Jin and Sternquist, 2004 and Konus et al., 2008). The enjoyment found in holiday shopping can be both the escapism (finding a place to go and have fun) and task-related when seeking out the perfect gift. Shopping with others, the holidaydecorations, and posing with Santa Claus adds to the retail store shopping enjoyment. Continuing mall shopping, escaping from work related activities, and the convenience of shopping alone can add to online shopping enjoyment. We surmise that convenience also adds to this holiday shopping enjoyment.

Conclusion:

  • Shopping convenience is positively associated with perceived shopping enjoyment of holiday shopping on Black Friday.
  • Shopping convenience is positively associated with perceived shopping enjoyment of holiday shopping on Cyber Monday.

Babin et al. (1994) extol enjoyment as one of the hedonic fundamentals of shopping. Ha and Stoel (2009) show that enjoyment influences attitudes toward online shopping because shoppers who enjoy a website are most likely to shop on that particular site. Childers et al. (2001) find enjoyment to be a factor in a positive attitude toward an online store. However, there is evidence that enjoyment is more of a motivator for shopping offline than online (Dennis and McCall, 2005 and Rajamma et al., 2007).

Conclusion:

  • Shopping enjoyment positively influences holiday shopping attitude on Black Friday.
  • Shopping enjoyment positively influences holiday shopping attitude on Cyber Monday

2.4 Intentions to shop during holidays

Shopping attitudes leading to the intention to shop has been widely used for understanding what influences shopping intentions as shopping attitudes have been found to lead to positive shopping intentions (Chen et al., 2002 and Vijayasarathy, 2004). Therefore, for holiday shopping:

Conclusion:

  • A positive attitude toward holiday shopping on Black Friday will lead to the intention to shop.
  • A positive attitude toward holiday shopping on Cyber Monday will lead to the intention to shop.

2.5 Gender Differences in Holiday Shopping

As the number of female Internet users begins to outpace that of males (Williamson, 2008), retailers may need an understanding of gender differences when comparing online and offline shopping motivations. Intention to shop, either online or offline, may be influenced by gender (Alreck and Settle, 2002, Dholakia and Chiang, 2003, Laroche et al., 2005, Otnes and McGrath, 2001 and Zhou et al., 2007). Donthu and Garcia (1999) report no difference between online and offline shoppers in terms of gender. Venkatesh and Morris (2000) first look at gender differences in the framework of TAM and show that behavioral intentions for men are more strongly influenced by the perceived usefulness than they are for women. According to Zhou et al. (2007), based on factors related to online shopping, women are more skeptical of online shopping than men are, but men make more online purchases and spend more money online than women do; however, they are equal in terms of future online shopping. Gender differences in holiday shopping have been explored in terms of attitudes (Fischer and Arnold, 1994) and purchase intentions (Chiu et al., 2005). Women enjoy shopping (Fischer and Arnold, 1994) and are influenced by the ease of purchasing (Chiu et al., 2005), while men are more utilitarian than women are in their shopping (Fischer and Arnold, 1994). Because of these differences, the genders more likely diverge in terms of shopping on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday. Women more than men are likely to enjoy the festivities of the holiday shopping experience, and may tend toward shopping on Black Friday with others at the mall. Men, on the other hand, are more likely than are women to shop online at work on Cyber Monday in order to get the shopping done. Because of these differences, we posit that:

  • Gender positively moderates the relationships of convenience, shopping enjoyment, and perceived usefulness with attitudes toward holiday shopping.
  • Gender positively moderates differences between attitudes toward holiday shopping and intentions to shop, specifically on Black Friday, when women are more likely to shop.

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