The unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. In the past, shoppers would make their way to brick-and-mortar locations on the Friday following Thanksgiving. While this practice still remains, it’s evident that there is a shift going on in the way shoppers are researching and buying, as well as the way stores are advertising. Better Business Bureau shared the following information and trends during last year’s Black Friday shopping.
- Total Sales: Black Friday 2016 was the first day to generate more than a billion dollars in online sales from mobile devices, according to Adobe.
- Online Sales: Black Friday set a record 3.05B in single-day online sales.
- Mobile: Smartphones accounted for 45 percent of page visits and 24 percent of sales on Black Friday.
- Retail Traffic: 99 million people went to stores on Black Friday.
- Conversation Rate: 1.9 percent conversions for smartphones (over the 1.3 percent average); 3.7 percent conversions for tablet (over the 2.9 percent average); and 4.3 percent conversions for desktop (over the 3.2 percent average.
BBB shared these tips on how to have a fun and safe holiday shopping season beginning with this shopping this Black Friday.
- Gift Receipts: Always ask for a gift receipt. This way the recipient can return or exchange a gift if it’s not just right.
- Warranty Information: Inquire about the store’s return policy before purchasing. Also, be sure to pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to the person who will use the item.
- Research: Read product reviews, check BBB.org for Business Profiles, look at the sales flyers and ads, compare prices, look for early promotions and “flash sales.” For tips on searching online, check out BBB Digital IQ.
- Mobile Security: With so many shoppers using their mobile devices to research and make purchases, it’s important to have a secure device. Be sure you’re using the recently updated version of apps and operating system on the phone. Also, actively manage your location services, Bluetooth, microphone and camera – make sure apps use them appropriately.
- Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi is vulnerable to thieves and fraudsters looking to steal your info. When in stores or restaurants, avoid using banking or other apps that access sensitive personal information.
- Email Phishing: With all the promotional emails received during the holidays, scammers will be out in full force. It’s best not to click on links from senders you don’t recognize. You can also hover your mouse over links without clicking to see if the address is really taking you to where it says it is. Also, check the reply email address. The address should be on a company domain. Watch for look-alike domains.
- Interest-Based Advertising: As you browse the web or use your favorite store’s app, you might notice ads personalized to you, sometimes based on your previous web searches. This is called Interest-Based Advertising, which is often signaled by Ad Choices in the corners of ads. If you want to opt out of receiving this type of advertising, download the AppChoices app or visit youradchoices.com/.
- Back up Your Data: Have an online backup option in case your device is attacked by hackers. You do not want to lose all your family’s information and memories.
- Look Out for Scams: If you suspect a scam, check out BBB Scam Tips to learn more (bbb.org/scamtips) or report scams to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).
- Charity Disclosure: Check out give.org to find BBB Accredited Charities that have fully disclosed information to BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Although participation is voluntary, you may want to be cautious of charities that don’t disclose requested information to BBB.
- What’s In a Name: Be on the lookout for name similarities. Dubious charities often pick a name that sounds like a more famous charity. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity you want to support. Learn more about charitable giving at give.org.
- Give a Guide: Request a free Holiday issue of the BBB Wise Giving Guide to be sent to a friend or family member this giving season! The guide features evaluation results for thousands of charities. Simply email Guide@give.org with “Free Guide” in the subject line, and a name and address of where you’d like the guide to be sent.