Looking ahead to Black Friday, which falls on November 29th this year, our new white paper from Dr Tim Denison takes us on a tour of the history of the prominent shopping event, outlines how retailers can best capitalise on the event, sets out new challenges and how retailers can overcome them, as well as thoughts on the future of Black Friday.
Black Friday: Beginnings
From humble beginnings some 50 years ago, Black Friday has now become a popular globalised retail phenomenon, thanks to the media and the internet. The event was originally a one-day bargain bonanza in shops to be held on the day after Thanksgiving Day in America and designed to kick-start the Christmas shopping season.
In 2011, Walmart controversially opened its stores on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, breaking the midnight curfew for the first time. Today, Black Friday is no longer the 24-hour national sprint that it once was, but a multi-day international marathon.
From Spain to Senegal and from Israel to Iceland, shoppers around the globe now enjoy the November bargain-fest.
In 2018, sales on the day around the world were on average 6.6 times greater than a regular Friday. They were highest in Pakistan for the second year running, where shoppers spent more than 115 times as much as a regular Friday, followed by Hungary (97 times) and Italy (45 times). By comparison, US shoppers spent 21 times their typical Friday spend and British shoppers 15 times as much.
The interest in Black Friday has blossomed more over the past 5 years in South Africa, France, Italy and Japan − where it first appeared in 2016.
Footfall on Black Fridays looks to have peaked in more mature markets. The online marketplace is where the progression lies and a chance for retailers to target new customers. In the UK online traffic has risen by 46% year-on-year (Techradar).
With the omni-channel nature of retailing today, the former separation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is no longer relevant, and the promotional period has melded into one.
The tendency towards continuous and further discounting across the peak trading period means that new approaches are required if retailers are to stand out against competitors and continue to profit on this popular retail event.
Each Black Friday brings a new lesson to be learnt to stores, brands and retailers. Knowing that the trend of the day increases each year and expands to more countries, getting it wrong can have serious consequences.
In this whitepaper, we set out seven steps to a successful campaign.
Download your copy of the Black Friday whitepaper here.
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