Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Look Back: Holiday Pricing Trends

This past holiday shopping season, about a quarter of holiday shoppers said they waited until December to buy the majority of their gifts so they could get the best deal, according the NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey. So did their procrastination pay off? As with most things in modern times, it turns out that it depends.

With bargains scattered from Black Friday to Super Saturday and beyond, whether shoppers found deals actually depended on what, when, and where they were buying. This season, more than ever, shoppers were empowered with access to the latest prices and promotions across retailers online and in-stores, and merchants were less predictable as they competed to attract shoppers throughout November and December.

Taking a look at the top trending products on Smoopa (out of 70 million+ in our system), Black Friday held true as the single best day to find holiday bargains on popular gifts. Fitbit, Chromecast, and XBox One were all cheapest on Black Friday. However, the iPad Mini saw its lowest price on seemingly random days scattered throughout November and December. And one of the top trending products this season - the Sony Playstation 4 - hit its lowest price on Christmas Eve. Of the 17 major national retailers we track, Walmart had the lowest prices of the season on 4 out of the top 5 trending gifts. 

The chart below details the top trending products on Smoopa this holiday season with when and where shoppers got the best deals.
Best Prices for the Top Holiday Gifts Source: Smoopa, November 1 - December 24, 2014
Product
Best Price(s) w/ shipping
Retailer(s)
Date(s)
$69.99
Walmart
Amazon
Black Friday
Black Friday
$199.00
$199.99
Walmart
Best Buy
Nov. 7, Dec. 13
Cyber Monday
$23.99
Best Buy
Black Friday
$329
Walmart
Amazon
Target
Ratuken
Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday
Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Black Friday
Nov. 30 - Dec. 3
$329
$349.99
Walmart
Best Buy
Christmas Eve In-store
Christmas Eve Online
$38.99
Amazon
Dec. 21-24, Nov. 3

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette

$47.98
Rakuten
Black Friday
$4.87
Amazon
Nov. 13
$12.99
Amazon
Nov. 1 - Dec. 24
$179.99
Best Buy
Nov. 11 - Dec. 24
As this illustrates, retailers offered great deals on a wide variety of products throughout the holiday shopping season rather than just focusing on one or two crazy days. That said, Black Friday is still in first place when it comes to the single best holiday shopping day for low prices on popular, higher value gift items. 

Given all the fluctuations in prices across products throughout the holiday season, the technology available to shoppers today makes it possible to keep up with the latest bargains from anywhere. This, in turn, makes it more cost-effective for retailers to offer promotions on particular products on a variety of days because they don’t have to do an expensive TV or print ad blitz for shoppers to discover their deals. With all this flexibility comes tremendous opportunity for empowered shoppers to get everyone on their lists the perfect gifts without breaking the bank.

- Mendel Chuang, CEO of Smoopa, currently collecting to Tech Gadgets

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