Consumers Embrace Technology to Adopt New Holiday Traditions

With more retailers deciding to close their doors on Thanksgiving Day, consumers are also deciding to stay away from Black Friday lines and crowds.

sequence and black friday

More than 80 percent of consumers expressed frustration with smartphones at the holiday dinner table, but 31 percent of consumers say it’s acceptable to take and share photos only, according to a survey by Sequence.

Consumers also appear to be drawing the lines when it comes to commercial intrusion on holiday traditions, according to the survey of more than 1,000 consumers.

With more major retailers deciding to close their doors on Thanksgiving Day, consumers are also deciding to stay away from Black Friday lines and crowds.

The study found that 65 percent of consumers said they would never stand in line for Black Friday deals, while 36 percent of consumers said that instead of making them shop on Black Friday, retailers should give loyal customers the same deals, but let them buy at their convenience, for example, online.

"Our findings showed that time with family enjoying holiday traditions is still very important, even with the distractions of our technology," Jojo Roy, CEO of Sequence, told eWEEK. "For example, 50 percent of consumers say they watch holiday specials like ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,’ ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and, 44 percent play traditional board games or other games together after the holiday meal with their family."

However, even with the growing influence of technology, consumers are yearning for more social interaction, Roy noted, pointing out that 40 percent of consumers said they would prefer to play digital games on a mobile device with friends and family that involve more socializing and playing as a group.

In addition, new holiday traditions are emerging, with 28 percent of consumers saying they binge-watch TV or movies on Netflix as a family during the holidays.

"The steady growth of digital information and tools will influence how we choose, prepare and eat food—at Thanksgiving and other times of the year," Roy said. "Imagine having deep insight into how agricultural products have been raised and transported; a broad variety of purchasing options for prepared and delivered meals; sophisticated digital recipe tools; and clear visibility into how many calories you are consuming. All of these things will change the way we plan, prepare and consume our holiday meals over the next 10 years."

Roy also said the results indicate people are drawing boundaries when it comes to time-honored family holiday traditions.

"Even the interesting finding for Black Friday possibly implies that people are trying to reclaim time otherwise spent in line for other things they'd rather do during the holiday season," Roy said. "Retailers should take note of this as they think about their omni-channel offerings. People still want to shop and get great deals—but on their terms."