Monday, December 26, 2011

Thank your god that the shopping season is almost over. Soon no more rushing to stores to find rude people and small quantities of whatever you wanted. Back then a gift was simple and easy. Three wise men gave three gifts to the new born baby Jesus. That was it. Gifts were over with. Now you are getting into a fist fight over the latest $200 Jordan sneakers!
The frenzy of the holiday season never seems to cease from year to year. The battles between customers and retailers and this year like never before , between the online and in store worlds of shopping. Those guys that wrote the bible should have though more about the craziness giving gifts would cause generations later.
It is obvious that the Christmas season has become the retailers Superbowl. According to a financial analyst, Colin Gillis from B.C.G. Financial, notes that America still loves to spend but they all want discounts. So, to entice shoppers, retailers promoted their version of the most important days till Christmas. Kind of a warped present day version of The Twelve Days of Christmas we all sang about.
On November 25 the retailers called it Black Friday. On November 26th there was Small Business Saturday. November 28th was called Cyber Monday. A new one was called Green Monday December 12th. This increases the marketing mania with Free Shipping Friday on December 16th. At this point, we’ve all had enough chasing around for a break in prices. If retailers can all agree on these crazy days then Why can’t they agree on pricing and make life simple? One price for something everywhere!!! They would never do that!
The smart phones were one of the hottest gifts this year and if you already had one, you were in luck to be able to get the best prices on everything. Knowledge is power and you had the power in the palm of your hand this year . Literally! The smart phone has the capability to be a major shopping tool. One third of all Americans already have a smart device through a phone or IPad. These devices are changing the way people buy things.
Before, the price of something was the price. If you were bold, you could call the manager over and haggle with him or her and get a small break. Now, the power is in the hands of the person who holds the smartphone. This makes for a huge economic shift. That is because now you can compare any stores prices with other retailers on the smart phone on the same page of your screen listing the price of the thing at all major stores.
Amazon this year offered special discounts if a customer went into a store compared prices and then bought the thing on their website. Ultimately now, you will walk into a store, see something you want, scan it with your phone, check the price and if you like it, you will pay for it with your phone.
There is a lot of comparison shopping predicted in the future too. There is also an App that tells you what you will probably buy in the future. Yes there are programs that track what you have bought and steer advertising towards your interests. Yes, some sites analyze prices and predict whether they are going to rise or fall. The App analyses the price history of a product and tries to make a prediction of what it will do in the future. It is another level of data sophistication.
Unfortunately, we are all being tracked by our shopping data history. Even at the supermarket the register will spit out coupons that are for products they know you have bought in the past. Every time you even browse for something on your computer, you are being tracked on some data base for marketing purposes. You might get an e-mail from a company that wants you to buy that junk from them.
Believe it or not Christmas Day was the biggest day for selling Apps. Yes, applications to load onto your new device you just got as a gift and opened up. You have just unwrapped your new Tablet or Smart Phone and immediately loaded it up. The biggest shopping season is yet to come in January when you want to redeem all your gift cards and all the junk is marked 70% off.
Here I go again fist fighting for those $200 Jordan sneakers for a lower price. I hate it all!

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