Ah, Black Friday. As an American firmly living in Australia, I have recollections of waking up early and battling the crowd to get the best deals in stores on that prolific day. Marked in every clever shopper’s calendar, Black Friday is all about online and physical retailers offering huge savings across all categories. It may have originated in the U.S., but it has swept across the globe for several years now. According to National Australia Bank, in the four days over Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021, Australians spent an estimated $8 billion. Having lived in Australia for several years now and working for CX agency Cheil Australia, I’ve noticed a few trends impacting this holiday locally and globally. Here are my top three takes retailers should definitely consider about Black Friday this year:
- Consumers are spending less and saving more.
“Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.” - Karl Lagerfeld
With uncertainties in the global economies, a recent survey states nearly half of consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia are consciously spending less due to cost-of-living concerns. Some are even going so far as to curb their trips to the shopping centres and preventing themselves from perusing their favourite retailer websites. Keeping this in mind, people are on the lookout for discounts on must-have items, those that excite them and are less likely to click the “buy now” button. In terms of where they think they will get the better bargain, 64% think that online deals will be better than in-person deals. With increasing interest rates and cost of living skyrocketing, the Black Friday sales in coveted categories of electronics, beauty, home and fashion will be highly-anticipated now more than ever. Retailers, digital and physical, should be sure their discounts are easy to find and used to push those cautious consumers to complete their purchases. And don’t forget to offer BNPL (buy now, pay later)!
- Black Friday sales are starting sooner.
“Treat Yo’ Self” - Tom and Donna, Parks and Recreation
Once upon a time December was when retail sales hit the roof, but November has quickly stepped into the shopping spotlight. To capture more sales and to have a first mover advantage, retailers are moving forward their communications and sales events to earlier in Q4, to account for pre-planning. Some businesses are even having their Black Friday sales start days ahead of the official date. Similarweb has noted that visits to ecommerce sites commence about five days prior to Black Friday, with online traffic accelerating earlier year-on-year. Additionally, 55% of Australians are happy to simply have a browse during Black Friday, even if they don’t need anything. Retailers should take note and invest in customer experience and multichannel content to maximise visibility and build demand well-before the final Friday in November.
- Digital and omnichannel is a must.
“Shopping is my cardio.” - Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and The City
Since the pandemic Australian consumers are now flexing and shopping both in-store and online, and omnichannel shoppers are known to be bigger spenders in comparison to single-channel shoppers. People are shopping more online than instore; more on mobile than on desktop, so there is definitely a need to have a digital presence that is mobile-friendly.
Omnichannel retailers have a massive opportunity to leverage the distinctive perks of in-store shopping, by leveraging technologies that help customers connect their online and offline shopping experiences. Try and enhance the basic offerings of click and collect, endless aisle, and self-service tech, by implementing unique experiences through great customer experiences.
For example, Cheil Australia, a key Online to Offline retail partner, worked with Samsung to launch their customisable BESPOKE Refrigerator, by developing an app to act as a self-service concierge for customers to design their own custom refrigerators. Anam Malik, Digital Director at Cheil adds, “Our objective was to create a symphony between digital and retail. Samsung has truly taken the combination of advanced tech, personalisation and aspirational design to a whole new level.”
What will happen this year? Even with the increasing cost of living, records will once again be broken for retailers as consumers seek out to purchase amazing deals, both instore and online.
In conclusion, as Black Friday continues to evolve the winning retailers will be those who successfully invite their consumers into both their physical and digital stores, maximising technology to deliver convenient, enjoyable and memorable shopping experiences.