Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 66352
Beyond Black Friday: The Value of Collaborative Research on Seasonal Shopping Events and Behavior

Authors: Jasmin H. Kwon , Thomas M. Brinthaupt

Abstract:

There is a general lack of consumer behavior research on seasonal shopping events. Studying these kinds of events is interesting and important for several reasons. First, global shopping opportunities have implications for cross-cultural shopping events and effects on seasonal events in other countries. Second, seasonal shopping events are subject to economic conditions and may wane in popularity, especially with e-commerce options. Third, retailers can expand the success of their seasonal shopping events by taking advantage of cross-cultural opportunities. Fourth, it is interesting to consider how consumers from other countries might take advantage of different countries’ seasonal shopping events. Many countries have seasonal shopping events such as Black Friday. Research on these kinds of events can lead to the identification of cross-cultural similarities and differences in consumer behavior. We compared shopping motivations of college students who did (n=36) and did not (n=81) shop on Cyber Monday. The results showed that the groups did not differ significantly on any of the shopping motivation subscales. The Cyber Monday shoppers reported being significantly more likely to agree than disagree that their online shopping experience was enjoyable and exciting. They were more likely to disagree than agree that their experience was overwhelming. In addition, they agreed that they shopped only for deals, purchased the exact items they wanted, and thought that their efforts were worth it. Finally, they intended to shop again at next year’s Cyber Monday. It appears that there are many positive aspects to online seasonal shopping, independent of one’s typical shopping motivations. Different countries have seasonal events similar to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holiday (e.g., Boxing Day, Fukubukuro, China’s Singles Day). In Korea, there is increasing interest in taking advantage of U.S. Black Friday and Cyber Monday opportunities. Government officials are interested in adapting the U.S. holiday to Korean retailers, essentially recreating the Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday there. Similarly, the Japanese Fukubukuro ('Lucky Bag') holiday is being adapted by other countries such as Korea and the U.S. International shipping support companies are also emerging that help customers to identify and receive products from other countries. U.S. department stores also provide free shipping on international orders for certain items. As these structural changes are occurring and new options for global shopping emerge, the need to understand the role of shoppers’ motivations becomes even more important. For example, the Cyber Monday results are particularly relevant to the new landscape with e-commerce and cross-cultural opportunities, since many of these events involve e-commerce. Within today’s global market, physical location of a retail store is no longer a limitation to growing one’s market share. From a consumer perspective, it is important to investigate how shopping motivations are related to e-commerce seasonal events. From a retail perspective, understanding the shopping motivations of international customers would help retailers to expand and better tailor their seasonal shopping events beyond the boundaries of their own countries. From a collaborative perspective, research on this topic can include interdisciplinary researchers, including those from fashion merchandising, marketing, retailing, and psychology.

Keywords: Black Friday, cross-cultural research, Cyber Monday, seasonal shopping behavior

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