HOW WILL BLACK FRIDAY PLAY OUT THIS YEAR? AND STRATEGIES USED BY STORES (BLACK FRIDAY SALES AND COVID-19)

HOW WILL BLACK FRIDAY PLAY OUT THIS YEAR? AND STRATEGIES USED BY STORES (BLACK FRIDAY SALES AND COVID-19)

Black Friday sales & Covid-19

Experts predict that during this year’s Black Friday, in-store Black Friday deals will be pushed online, Black Friday will start earlier, consumers will use mobile devices for shopping, consumers will use contactless pickup/curbside pickup, and consumers will spend the same as they did last year.

1. In-store Black Friday Deals Pushed Online

  • According to a Yahoo article, “stores will be closed on Thanksgiving and in-store Black Friday deals pushed online.” This is because consumers will not want to shop in-store due to the fear of catching COVID-19.
  • A study done by Visa shows that only 20% of consumers from the United States plan to shop in-store, while about one-third of them plan to shop online.
  • Another survey conducted by SurveyGizmo found that about 56% of the respondents were planning to primarily shop online.
  • According to Forbes, “retailers are moving the deals online so that fewer consumers feel the need to be in crushing crowds on Black Friday.” Black Friday is renowned for “shopping deals and crowds in stores.”
  • Experts expect retailers to push Black Friday deals online more than ever.

2. Black Friday will Start Earlier

  • According to a prediction made by Salesforce, “holiday demand will be pulled earlier in the shopping season.” This is because of the effects of the Prime Day deals and consumers’ “concerns about personal safety, delivery delays, and product availability.”
  • Traditionally, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. It is renowned for “shopping deals and crowds in stores.”
  • According to Salesforce, the ongoing delays experienced by customers for the majority of the year will push consumers to “purchase and hold gifts to avoid the stress of not receiving packages in time.”
  • A survey conducted by Survey Gizmo and BlackFriday.com also shows that one in three consumers “will start their holiday shopping earlier this year.”

3. Use of Mobile Devices

  • According to Yotpo, the use of mobile devices for shopping will continue during this Black Friday season. The use of mobile devices has “increased considerably during the pandemic.”
  • A consumer survey done by Yotpo shows that “time spent on mobile phones increased by 30%, and approximately 72% of online consumers are using mobile devices to shop.”
  • Consumer sentiment for the traditional Black Fridays has always been that best deals are for those who make a trip to the store. This notion has been upturned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Curbside/Contactless Pickup

  • A survey conducted by Survey Gizmo and BlackFriday.com shows that consumers plan to use contactless pickup/curbside pickup.
  • According to the survey that polled about 4,500 consumers in the United States, half of the consumers said that they will use a curbside pickup.
  • According to BlackFriday.com, the COVID-19 has boosted curbside pickup. This is because it has been promoted by retailers as a safer alternative to in-store shopping.
  • Consumer sentiment for the traditional Black Fridays has always been that best deals are for those who make a trip to the store. This notion has been upturned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

5. Consumers Will Spend the Same as Last Year

  • A survey conducted by Survey Gizmo and BlackFriday.com shows that consumers plan to spend the same as they did last year.
  • According to the survey, about 60% of the respondents say they will spend the same. Most of the respondents indicated that they will spend less than $800.
  • About 31% of the respondents indicated that they will spend between $410 to $800. Only 14% indicated that they will spend more than $1,200.
  • Deloitte predicts that “this year’s retail holiday sales are likely to be muted, with growth of 1% to 1.5% from last year.” Deloitte attributes the low projected growth to the state of the economy.

Stores Strategies

Reducing crowds and spreading out deals and reaching new audiences through partnerships are examples of strategies that stores are using for Black Friday in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Reducing Crowds and Spreading Out Deals

  • According to Forbes, retailers are starting the deals earlier and spreading them out so that customers who “want to shop in-store won’t be in a crowd” and “to attract consumers early to maintain market share, giving them the residual effects of Black Friday where consumers shop more at the retailer that gets to them first.”
  • Traditional Black Friday is renowned for “shopping deals and crowds in stores.”
  • Examples of well-known stores utilizing the strategy include retailers such as Home Depot and Target.
  • Home Depot and Target are offering early Black Friday Deals to reduce crowds.

2. Reaching New Audience Through Partnerships

  • According to Yotpo, brands that have the same target customer are partnering up to reach new audiences. Traditionally, individual stores “would roll out a variety of in-store deals” on Black Fridays.
  • According to the CEO of Sharma Brands, Nik Sharma, “Black Friday is an opportunity for prospecting” for e-commerce businesses.
  • According to Sharma, “the lowest hanging fruit for brands this Black Friday will be to cross-sell to a partner’s audience or include partner products in their holiday offerings. The latter can act as a value add for shoppers that also exposes them to new brands.”
  • Examples of well-known stores utilizing the strategy include retailers such as Shopkick and Fashwire who have partnered to create the 10.10 Shopping Festival. The festival is aimed at incentivizing early holiday shopping and increasing consumer engagement.

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