For those readers celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, below is a playful parody of the retail ‘holiday’ called Black Friday in the US. Enjoy!
Inspired by the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, we play-on on the rise of holiday shopping in a Black Friday Carol. Join us as we visit a cranky consumer, Scrooge, who is aggravated that the day of thanks and gratitude is being cut short to start the holiday shopping rush. . .
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Scrooge tells his employee, Cratchit to turn off the lights and shut down for the day. Cratchit says, “Each year the shopping season gets earlier. Why tomorrow is Thanksgiving, sir, a day for giving thanks and taking a break with family and loved ones. But all you feel is more pressure for shopping as stores are opening earlier to increase their sales.” Consumer Scrooge mutters, “Why do you bother with a big dinner at all? I have no time to eat dinner with my family. I have to be ready to hit the stores on Brown Thursday now, as they have moved Black Friday deals up! Dinner? Family? Bah humbug!” Scrooge leaves work, and goes home to bed.
During the night, Scrooge is awoken by the ghost of Black Friday Past, who is pushing a squeaky shopping cart, and demanding that Scrooge come with him to show Scrooge his cranky consumer past. The ghost says, “Look at how your family celebrated Thanksgiving ten years ago.” Scrooge sees his family at the Thanksgiving table, then sitting on the couch with dessert, watching parades and football on TV. He looks at the dining room table covered with newspaper circulars and direct mail, the family is trying to spend time together, but Scrooge’s younger self disrupts them by carrying piles of newspaper ads, clipping coupons, and mapping out his route to get the best deals on Black Friday.
The Ghost of Black Friday Past continues, “See how you are all losing countless family time spending hours browsing through paper circulars then running store-to-store shopping for the best deals?”
“I see now how I am so consumed with getting the best deals that I don’t see my family on Thanksgiving anymore,” says Scrooge. “But now with stores opening on Thanksgiving Day as early as 7 P.M., how can I miss out?” Scrooge shakes his head in frustration and finds himself back in bed thinking this all must be just a dream.
Consumer Scrooge hears a ringing in the distance and reaches for his phone, when he sees the Ghost of Black Friday Present appear holding a tablet device at his bedside. The Ghost of Black Friday Present beckons to Scrooge to follow, using the tablet as a guiding light. They see inside the homes of neighbors and friends on Thanksgiving, all happily sitting with their dessert at the dining table, or on the couch checking Black Friday deals at retailer sites, webrooming for items they will visit in-store over the weekend, gathering their coupons and loyalty deals through text messages, emails or app push. “You see Scrooge,” says the Ghost of Black Friday Present, “With the growth of mobile and tablets, there’s been a rise of online shopping and m-commerce to find the best deals, minimizing time away from your family.” Scrooge says, “I never knew how easy it could be. Look – they are even buying holiday items right from their phones!”
Scrooge hears a phone ringing in the distance again, and finds himself back in his bed. The ringing is his mobile phone alerting him of unread messages. Scrooge looks at his phone to the see the message, “This is the Ghost of Black Friday Yet to Come with some expectations for 2013.” The message continues:
- There will be a record growth for online sales on Thanksgiving of $1.1 billion and Black Friday of $1.6 billion, increases of 21 and 17 percent, respectively.
- 30 percent of consumers say they will do their Black Friday shopping online, up from 25 percent in 2012.
- 49 percent of shoppers will make Black Friday purchases from their smartphone.
- 63 percent are likely to showroom vs. 56 percent in 2012.
Consumer Scrooge finished reading the texts and was overwhelmed with newfound joy in his heart for Thanksgiving. He went to his town’s football game, called his family to say he was coming over for dinner, and made sure his smartphone and tablet would be fully charged for a family couch-fest of showrooming and shopping later over apple pie.
Learn more about optimizing your retail marketing by reading, Turn on Great Customer Experiences in Retail or reading our customer success stories on adding mobile to retail!