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What Will a 2020 Black Friday Look Like?

What Will a 2020 Black Friday Look Like?

5 November 2020
Author: Jasmine Waters

Black Friday is a point in the annual calendar retailers simultaneously dread and strategically plan for. More than any other year, brands are at their own peril if they miss out on this day of discounts, within the industry remaining in a state of uncertain disarray. What will Black Friday look like this year, and how can brands best prepare for it?

Will Black Friday still be popular?

In short, a ‘Black Friday’ itself will now no longer suffice. In fact, many brands began their discounting even before Halloween was on the horizon. Taking the current economic climate into consideration, it may be particularly surprising that an average of 60% say they will be continuing to spend the same amount as they have in previous years during the Black Friday period, according to Hearst. To accommodate for the suspected bargain demand, many retailers have expanded the singular day into a weekend – or even further. Some have opted to begin discounting in October, while some are stretching their promotions from November into December. Aside from concerns over personal finances, there is a bigger appetite to have Christmas shopping completed earlier this year – perhaps because there seems very little else to have to look forward to. In order to grab the deals before they are gone, customers are warned to create lists in advance, as we expect to see the biggest popularity in any items that make all forms of ‘nesting’ that little bit easier. 

What can brands implement? 

So how can brands prepare for this? We know that digital spending will continue to make up the bigger portion of sales, but brands can find successful alternatives to bridge the physical Black Friday gap. Local and small businesses are choosing to offer their client base private shopping appointments, with the option to add in food or drink. This works in a similar sense to creating a ‘gift box’ by bringing in outside products to keep the consumer’s eye – the appointment providing an entire experience in itself, so customers need not look anywhere else. Private appointments could also be held virtually, taking the booking fee off at the checkout upon purchase. In the physical sense, widening aisles, adding more registers and limiting shoppers are great ways of ensuring Black Friday security, alongside additional hygiene measures. A popular way to bring digital and physical together is to offer curbside pickups, saving on delivery fees and perfect for heavy items. It can add to the consumer’s need for human interaction, almost as if the entire shopping experience has been completed within the store itself. As e-commerce continues to grow, an extended Black Friday period could well work in the retailer’s favour – even if the outcomes remain unpredictable.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/computer-laptop-sale-on-black-friday-5625002/

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