WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It's the most wonderful time of year for shoppers looking to catch a deal.
But Purdue expert Richard Feinberg said shoppers may not have to leave their homes to get the best bang for their buck.
"We're seeing a complete shift to internet retailing," he explained.
Feinberg expects online sales during the holiday season to increase 15 to 17 percent, but that doesn't mean stores won't profit from those online sales.
"A lot of that retail money goes to the brick-and-mortar stores," Feinberg said.
He said in order for brick-and-mortar stores to have the best deals, they must compete with their online competition.
"Consumers now have a way to find out if you're really charging a good price because they take their phone out and they go to Amazon," he added.
According to Feinberg, Amazon has changed the way to look for deals on Black Friday.
"Amazon is the 500-pound gorilla on the fence, and it's continuing to get bigger," said Feinberg. "But it's forcing all the other retailers to do better."
He said because of the pressure from Amazon, brick-and-mortar stores are turning to online sales instead of in store.
However, Feinberg said site to store pickup could entice shoppers to purchase while they're there.
"It's convienent," Feinberg said. "It just makes sense for consumers. It's not dominate yet, but it is increasing significantly."
As for whether people should skip the Black Friday hustle to stay at home and order online, Feinberg said retailers are now more aware than ever of what it takes to make a sale.
"If you're looking at the competition, you're going to have to do what the competition does," Feinberg said. "You have to be where the customer wants you to be when they want you to be."
To save more money this holiday, Feinberg said shoppers should be on the look out for the numerous Cyber Monday specials continuing past the first Monday after Thanksgiving.