We've all seen the viral videos and news segments on the huge crowds that flood retail outlets across the country to take advantage of Black Friday sales. Brick and mortar stores are now trying to simplify everything for everyone, creating a multitude of options that can save you the hassle of elbowing through outlets.
Late last month, Walmart unveiled a variety of upgrades to their stores, website, and app to make the checkout process as painless as it can be. The store will now have workers equipped with mobile checkout devices that allow you to scan your goods, swipe your card, and move everything directly from the shelf to your car. With new and improved store maps that make it easier to find what you need, an upgraded website, and two-day shipping, Walmart is trying to limit Black Friday chaos.
Target has similarly upgraded their stores and website, announcing on November 1 that they, too will have mobile checkout devices placed around their outlets to reduce the size of checkout lines.
"With new convenient ways to buy, we've never been in a better position to help our customers deliver for their families than this holiday season," said Walmart's chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies.
Scott Hilton, the chief revenue officer for Walmart eCommerce added that the new website "and our free, two-day shipping as well as pickup offerings, will make it that much easier for customers to shop Walmart.com this holiday season."
Mobile checkout technology is now widely available at a number of different stores, and larger outlets like Target are taking advantage of their manpower by turning many store workers into personal checkout stations.
"Combined with the unmatched easy ways to shop with us - including new mobile technology that allows guests to skip the line for an even more convenient checkout - we're confident guests will save time and money, and experience the joy of the season by choosing Target," said Target's chief merchandising officer Mark Tritton.
Walmart has nearly 3,000 Supercenters across the US and the holiday season is crucial for most stores, with almost 30 percent of all annual retail sales coming between Black Friday and Christmas. Economists expect $717.5 billion to be spent during the holiday season, which averages out to about $1,000 per shopper.
Stores are already seeing a decline with in-store shopping and last year retailers saw a four percent decrease in attendance compared to 2016's all-time high of 101.7 million shoppers. The decreased attendance coincided with a nearly 20 percent rise in online sales last year, and stores like Walmart and Target are preparing for even more shoppers to ditch the crowds and order from the comfort of their home.
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- Walmart, Target and other retail outlets are ushering in a number of new ways to shop on Black Friday while avoiding crowds and lines.
- With better online shopping options, interactive store maps, and mobile checkout machines, retailers are hoping for a smoother holiday shopping season.
- Use the PayPal app to make purchases in Walmart stores
- Black Friday deal apps
- Walmart's apps help you compare products, find items, and check out faster
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