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Pandemic trends have become the new normal in shopping and marketing

Post-pandemic shopping and marketing trends aren't momentary trends any longer.
Vaidas Bucys
Stock Adobe
Post-pandemic shopping and marketing trends aren't momentary trends any longer.

It seemed like the second Halloween was over, we were bombarded by holiday ads.

As the holiday shopping season seems to start earlier each year, stores have to adapt to remain competitive. Part of this competition includes continuing the pandemic trend of closing up shop on Thanksgiving and extending Black Friday deals in other ways.

While it may seem counterintuitive, this is a wise business strategy affecting other aspects of holiday shopping practices.

Parush Papatla, a marketing professor from UW-Milwaukee, explains the once-temporary procedure of stores closing on Thanksgiving Day is becoming more permanent. Despite the short-term boost in sales, stores began to realize that staying open on Thanksgiving incurred an adverse reaction from many consumers.

"The PR from being open [on Thanksgiving] was not particularly favorable and realized that it's better to get positive PR than to increase sales," Papatla says.

The extended Black Friday deals are another component of recent Holiday shopping trends that were once thought of as momentary measures. Papatla says there are two main reasons for this trend. The first is that many stores are afraid of losing business. So if one store doesn't offer early deals, but other stores around it do, the consumer will purchase elsewhere.

The second reason is the uncertain economic status of the environment. "Given the uncertain economic environment and the effects of inflation, I think retailers feel that it's better to capture sales as soon as you can because you don't know how things are going to change," Papatla says.

Social media has also changed the strategies that stores implement on Black Friday. Referencing the bad PR many stores face from remaining open on Thanksgiving, Papatla says social media can become the main conduit for lousy PR. Many stores are afraid that bad press will quickly become widespread. However, social media can also give marketers the ability to tailor their marketing.

Papatla explains, "If you use social media, they're going to share our preferences, thoughts, desires and all of that becomes the retailer's model to reach the perfect pitch."

Papatla believes that though Black Friday deals are offered for more extended periods, he still advises waiting till Black Friday for bigger, more expensive purchases, while general shopping could be done earlier.


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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