Black Friday 2019 is nearly upon us. Despite the fact that Black Friday falls on the 29th of November, many retailers have cut their prices as early as mid-November to gain shoppers attention. It has also been suggested that retailers may increase their discount period for two weeks.
What shopping behaviours should retailers expect:
Consumers are cautious to spend, but it is expected they will spend more than last year.
Many consumers claim that they are over Black Friday – 29% claim that the deals aren’t exciting and 20% believe that deals aren’t genuine, while others have their attention on Cyber Monday and Boxing Day. However, there is no doubt this year’s Black Friday will be a success as customers are expected to spend £2.53bn, 3.4% increase from 2018. Those who are interested in Black Friday are expected to spend more (up to £224) on average than they spent last year. Periscope Solutions 2019 research found that millennials and Gen Z are showing the greatest desire to increase their budgets.
“Black Friday falls slightly later in November this year, so there’s a possibility this will create a greater sense of urgency among shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done over the deal-filled weekend.”
Shoppers will gravitate towards online but there is an advantage for offline retailers
Originally, Black Friday happened in stores. However, with the growth of online retail, many shoppers are moving away from queuing and crowds to a more convenient solution. In 2018, Amazon sold 100,000 toys and 60,000 beauty products in the UK by mid-morning on Black Friday. According to research from PWC 2019, it is expected that this year, online shopping will become a dominance force (77% in the UK and 63% in Ireland). Consumers also expect Black Friday emails from retailers (31% UK) and increasingly use deals websites (29% UK, 37% Ireland).
Last year many online retailers suffered a loss due to website crashes as they were not prepared for a large amount of traffic, They also had shoppers queuing to get in, which led to many expressing their frustration on social media. Hopefully retailers learnt from Black Friday 2018 and have prepared better by ensuring that their websites are able to manage the increased traffic.
“Not having the proper infrastructure in place to cope with an influx of traffic is the number one mistake that retailers make at this time of year and there’s always someone that gets caught out.” – Lawrence Jones
The remaining shoppers are expected to shop for bargains in-store, presenting great opportunities for brick & mortar stores to ensure they are ready for Black Friday and drive footfall. Many retailers can also integrate their online and offline presence by offering a shop online and pick-up in-store service. For example, For Black Friday in 2018, more than a million customers visited Argos stores and 71% of customers visited via a mobile device.
Mobile shopping is on the rise
Many consumers are shopping on their phone making Black Friday becoming a mobile shopping event. Therefore, it is important that retailers are mobile-friendly. Research from Adobe Digital Insight (ADI) 2019 found that in November and December 2018 51.4% traffic to retailers came from smartphones. This shows the importance of understanding how customers shop. For example, online retailer AliExpress offer lower prices to customers who purchase on their mobile app.
Gender and products
According to PWC 2019, men are more interested in Black Friday. 77% of men are expected to shop for themselves, and 62% for their family, while 67% of women intent to buy for themselves and 67% are shopping for their family. In addition, men are more interested in electrical (67%) while women are interested in Christmas stocking fillers (29%), toys (23%) and health and beauty (23%).
This year it is expected that consumers will focus more on toys, children’s clothing and beauty.
What do you think?