BBB Tips to Kick-Off Holiday Shopping
Columbus, OH (November 15, 2018) – When the day after Thanksgiving hits, the holiday shopping season will have officially begun. Following Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and the ramping up of holiday sales everywhere. This year, BBB has found a shift in the way shoppers are researching and buying, and has tips to make your holiday shopping experience enjoyable.
Trends: In 2017, the number of shoppers visiting stores in person on Black Friday dropped 4%, but total sales climbed. Online sales rose 18%, with 40% of these purchases being made from mobile phones. Shoppers spent a record $5 billion on Black Friday, a 17% increase from 2016.
According to the National Retail Federation, in 2017, shoppers spent on average $967 and total spending topped out at $682 billion.
- Gift Receipts: Always ask for a gift receipt. This way, the recipient can return or exchange a gift if needed.
- Warranty Information: Inquire about the store’s return policy and warranty information before purchasing. Also, be sure to pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs and warranties to the person who will be receiving the item as a gift.
- Research: If you’re making a big purchase, research before you buy. Read product reviews, check bbb.org for Business Profiles, look at the sales flyers and ads, compare prices, and look for early promotions and “flash sales.”
Small Business Saturday
Trends: In 2017, 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at a locally-owned business on Small Business Saturday.
According to American Express, in 2017, 90% of consumers surveyed about Small Business Saturday said the event had a positive impact on their local community.
- Stay local: Check the Small Business Saturday website for a list of shops in your area that are participating.
- Invite friends and family: Supporting local businesses can be turned in to a great event by sharing the experience.
- Many communities will hold events on Saturday, November 24 in honor of Small Business Saturday. To see a list of 2018’s Neighborhood Champions, visit the official website.
Trends: The holiday shopping weekend, Black Friday through Cyber Monday, accounts for 20% of all online shopping.
In 2017, online transactions on Cyber Monday reached a record $6.59 billion, a 16.8 percent increase over the previous year. For the first time, mobile sales reached $2 billion over a 24-hour period.
- Parental control: There is software you can install on your kids’ and teens’ computers and mobile devices to limit the websites they can access. This is something to consider for retail websites the younger shoppers in your household may access.
- Hackers like kids’ IDs: Since kids and teens have not established a credit history or have no blemishes on their credit report, hackers are always on the lookout for their information. Hackers can obtain credit cards, loans and more in your child’s name. Talk to your family about the importance of not giving out personal information in soliciting emails or on social media.
- Email phishing: Teach your teens and young adults about how to catch phishing emails.
- Looking out for scams: People tend to shop based on what peers and celebrities are wearing or using. Scammers will try to lure them to click on links such as “free Kylie products,” “free concerts,” “free games” and more. If it seems too good to be true, do not click.
- HTTP and HTTPS: Before sending any personal and sensitive information over the Internet, make sure the website has “https://” at the beginning of its web address. The “S” at the end of HTTPS indicates that the website is secure and your information is encrypted, which makes it safe to enter credit card number or other personal information.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and 11,000 Charity Reports, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which serves 21 counties.