Seems like we were just ushering in 2015, and here we are again – gearing up for the holiday season.
As we approach the month of November and, more specifically, Black Friday, what can consumers expect?
Someday soon it will just be “the Friday after Thanksgiving.” I’ve said this for a couple of years now, but will continue to say it – Black Friday’s days are numbered. With “holiday” advertising and sales starting before the kids were back to school, Christimas trees on display in early September, and stores opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving – heck, some don’t even close anymore, it’s inevitable.
I miss Black Friday of the past – it was a special day that marked the official beginning of the holiday season. We had the pleasure of celebrating Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, without giving a second thought to Christmas. Those days are long gone though.
Will the chip make a difference? By now you’ve surely heard that credit card companies are issuing new, more secure, credit cards to their cardholders. These cards have a chip embedded in them to allow for more secure transactions.
In order for this to work, businesses needed to install new chip card readers in their systems. Plenty of warning was given, and a deadline of October 1st was given to make this change. However, it looks like both sides are having some trouble.
According to a recent article, as many as 60% of credit card holders have yet to receive a chip embedded card, and retailers, many of which are smaller companies, have yet to install the readers.
For those that have the cards visiting stores that have the hardware, this could still cause some trouble. While more secure, there have been bumps along the way, and the new system can be a bit sluggish. Some are predicting that this may cause more time at the register, making for slower purchase times and longer waits in line. It will be interesting to see if this impacts holiday shopping at all.
Will online shopping dominate? It may not matter if there are good in store sales on Black Friday or if the chip readers cause longer wait times….if the trend continues, online shopping may be the predominant method this season. According to an IPSOS study conducted earlier this year, 40% of holiday shopping was done online. As companies promise better deals, fast and sometimes free delivery, this percentage may increase this holiday season.
It’s all speculation right now, but it will be interesting to see how things stack up this year.
What are you expecting to see this holiday shopping season? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.