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If the stress of getting your discounts and inventory ready for Black Friday is driving you mad, here’s some news that will help you breathe: Consumers are not as into it as you might think.

Although the National Retail Federation forecasts consumers will spend more than ever this holiday season, with online sales increasing between 7 percent and 10 percent over last year, a new survey shows this shopping holiday is losing some of its luster.

The second annual JDA Consumer Survey of 1,000 shopper puts the spotlight on a trend that began in earnest last year: the decline in Black Friday shopping: 

  • 47 percent of respondents said they plan to skip the shopping day altogether.
  • 34 percent of respondents who went shopping on Black Friday last year have no such plans this season.

And here’s a nugget of information that proves it’s your long-term sales strategy that really matters:

  • 73 percent of respondents prefer to do their holiday shopping outside of the holiday season whenever attractive e-commerce deals pop up.

Jim Prewitt, vice president of retail industry strategy at JDA Software, explains the results:

“Consumers continue to be less influenced by the Black Friday holiday deals and are expecting retailers to provide them with more personalized options throughout the year. Amazon Prime Day was a hit this summer, it’s interesting to see how much of an impact it had on our survey respondents and their holiday shopping plans. Its popularity will cause many retailers to not only revisit their holiday sales strategy but how they compete throughout the year."

With so many choices and discounts available online at any given moment, shoppers are believed to feel less inclined to rush out for a deal, especially since the advertised items may sell out in minutes, require mail-in rebates, or come with fine print that makes the deal mute. In fact, brick and mortar sales on this shopping holiday fell by $1 billion, from $11.6 billion in 2014 to $10.4 billion in 2015.

Too many shopping disappointments have taught consumers that they might as well sit it out and turn their focus online. Retail experts also say the advent of Thanksgiving shopping essentially “killed the goose that laid the golden egg once and for all.”

So what does it mean to you? If you can truly offer eye-catching discounts on Black Friday, there’s no reason to hold back. Simply beware of promising too much or setting the customer up for disappointment. As the survey proves, shoppers are constantly searching for deals, giving you an opportunity to draw them in with targeted promotions at any time.

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