Their decade of expertise combined with the valuable opinions of hundreds of their visitors who recently completed a thorough survey about their Black Friday opinions allows the site to offer a glimpse into what should be the most popular deals and the hottest items of the year. They’ll also give some detailed price predictions based on their tireless research as well as some general holiday shopping predictions.
Last year saw the trend of stores opening earlier than ever continue. Most stores opened at midnight, and a few opened earlier on Thanksgiving night. The initial reports from retailers were positive as the increased shopping hours allowed them to offset any potential decrease in sales caused by the economy not having fully recovered yet. GottaDeal.com expect these early opening times to continue this year, as do their visitors. 44% of our their respondents predicted opening times similar to last year, while 55% predicted doors would open even earlier.
While the site won’t see a steady stream of leaked Black Friday ads until the middle of October at the earliest, they are predicting that while retailers will try to boost sales with their Black Friday ads, the actual deals will likely be very similar to last year. As has happened in the last couple of years, while there will be a handful of very hot deals, they expect the deals overall to lack that "wow" factor that the sale ads had 7 to 10 years ago. While there were some nice deals last year, many stores failed to get consumers excited.
One of the complaints many site visitors had was that stores failed to stock enough Black Friday sale items to meet demand. Unfortunately the site doesn’t see that changing much this year. They’re expecting stock levels to be consistent with last year, therefore it may be more important than ever to get in line early to score the best deals this year.
Another trend that should continue is the extension of Black Friday from one day into a prolonged period of sales. Again this year there were several major national retailers that had "Black Friday in July" sales earlier this year. These sales were not even close to the regular Black Friday sales in terms of the level of deals, but the trend of using the term "Black Friday" for sales that aren't specifically on November 23rd will likely continue as retailers pull out all the stops to get people in the stores.
This year Black Friday falls on the earliest possible date, November 23rd. This will give retailers a longer period between Black Friday and Christmas, the most important stretch of the year for them, which should mean more deals after Black Friday as well. Next year, Black Friday will fall on November 29th, the latest possible date. This will introduce new challenges for retailers with the close proximity to Christmas as they’ll lose a shopping weekend.
GottaDeal.com also predict that stores will once again heavily embrace social networking this year as a part of their strategy for the holiday season. Look for exclusive deals and contests to appear on stores’ Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Expect several stores to give sneak peeks of their Black Friday ad via these means as well, although GottaDeal.com may beat them to it and have their ad already posted on the site first. Shoppers may remember that Walmart released their ad on their site and Facebook page last year, something that the retailer found to be very successful.
The site takes a look at specific items that should prove to be popular this year:
Tablets & eReaders
Starting with what is likely the hottest item this year, tablets: While the Apple iPad continues to dominate the market, there are several new challengers this year, especially in the 7” tablet marketplace. Google’s Nexus 7 along with Amazon’s new lineup of Kindle Fire HD tablets figure to be extremely popular this holiday season. Inventory issues may prevent major deals on these models, however shoppers could see free accessories or gift card offers with the purchase of these tablets.
Inexpensive Android tablets will once again dominate the Black Friday ads this year because of their low prices. Expect many tablets in the $49 range, usually 7” or 8” models with 4GB of storage space. Step up to a 10” Android 4.0 model with 8GB storage for around $129. Look for great deals on higher-end Android tablets from manufacturers such as Asus, Toshiba, Samsung and others.
eReaders will also be very popular this year. Amazon recently introduced their Paperwhite models. These, as well as the original Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook eReaders will appear in many Black Friday ads this year. Expect price cuts on older generation models as well as retailers hope to clear old stock before the end of the year.
HDTVs have been popular Black Friday items for many years now, but shoppers still crave even more deals so GottaDeal.com expects that this holiday season will be another big year as prices have continued to drop since last year. 3D TVs have been on the market long enough that Black Friday shoppers may finally start seeing some deep discounts on older 3D models this year.
In their recent Black Friday survey, the site asked our visitors for price predictions, and their thoughts were pretty much in line with those of the site’s representatives. They expect to see the most common Black Friday HDTV, a 32" LCD model, as low as $149 this year. During the last few months on GottaDeal.com, they've posted deals for 32" HDTVs for as low as $179, so it's completely realistic to expect deals in Black Friday ads for under $150 on a lower-quality model.
Another very popular HDTV that is commonly seen in ads is a 42” 1080p model, usually from a well-known brand. On GottaDeal.com they've posted 42" 1080p LCD HDTVs for under $400 recently, so it would not be surprising to see a 42" 1080p LCD HDTV in Black Friday ads for around $349 or less. Expect a cheaper 42” plasma HDTV for as low as $249. Larger 47" and 50" LCD or LED models should be available for around $399 and $449 respectively.
Many of the site’s visitors who responded to the Black Friday survey predicted that some of the hottest items this year will be toys. Some of the most frequently mentioned items were the new LeapPad 2 from LeapFrog along with other designed-for-
GottaDeal.com is dedicated to save consumers money in all aspects of their daily lives. In addition to a year-round online deals site and a large, active community forum, each year GottaDeal.com has a dedicated Black Friday site focused on providing advanced looks at the Black Friday sale ads from national retailers as well as the hottest online holiday sales.
GottaDeal.com has been covered by hundreds of national and local media outlets, including USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, The CBS Early Show and many others. Media kits are available, as are interviews. For more information on Black Friday or online shopping, or to schedule an interview with someone at GottaDeal.com, please visit Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com or e-mail media(at)gottadeal(