Black Friday Insights
2017 is an important year for digital marketing. With ad spend predicted to surpass TV for the first time, digital advertising is poised to become every marketers top priority. (Warc, 2017).
The question how will people shop this year, and what will they expect from retailers carries its weight.
Personally speaking, I don’t find this year’s Black Friday as enjoyable as I imagined it to be. I feel pressure to spend and I find myself being very confused where to look at as I’m being bombarded from every single corner and device. To save myself from spending my salary I decided to stay at home and look further into Black Friday as an opportunity and not as a chore.
Digital marketing sphere
With the digital marketing sphere as complex as ever, brands are turning to a handful of tactics to engage with the changing landscape. From new administrations to new technologies, marketers are tasked with balancing communicating and reacting in real time as online communities expect immediacy and demand brands align themselves with a point of view.
The radical convenience of online shopping and the rise of on-demand apps, coupled with a new-found desire for experiences over products, has led to rapidly evolving consumer behavior.
Shoppers today are a challenging mix of better informed, more tech-savvy, less brand loyal, more impatient, less interested in owning items and more invested in experiences and ideas than ever before. These new shopper behaviors are rapidly changing the retail landscape, and traditional methods of engagement no longer apply.
Personally, my favorite and really interesting age group to research are 25-49 year-olds aka. today’s bargain hunters. They are cost conscious, savvy shoppers who use technology to help them find the best price. As shoppers have come to expect frequent mark-downs and promotions, they are buying less and less at full price. Volatile and lacking in brand loyalty, these shoppers know that lower-priced options can be found just a click away. This consumer also likes to research what they want first and wait for it to get marked down before buying and buys from a broader number of retailers than ever before, based on where they can get the best deal.
As well as webrooming (looking at products online to find the cheapest place to buy them in-store) and showrooming (checking out a product in-store, then going home and buying it online at a better price), more than ever shoppers are seeking out bargains around events such as Black Friday.
To put it in perspective, this age group itself spent a record-breaking £3.4 bn online on Black Friday, which is a 12.1% more than the previous year. (Adobe, 2016)
Bargain or not this is a lot of money…
Back in the day when I was working at a fashion magazine, I remember requesting and shipping clothes all over the world for shoots. Frequently, packages were either stuck in customs or never arrived on time, which cost the company a lot of money.
Being a poor little student I just couldn’t understand why and how is that even possible. But then the editor told me, money spent is money earned, which weirdly calmed me down a little bit.
However, at the moment I’m not too sure if I’m 100% okay with that. Because hey, what does money spent is money earned, mean for our planet?
I found this really nice initiative which is used in practice by my favorite adventure brand Patagonia.
They are opting out and taking a stand against the Black Friday by donating all sales to environmental causes. They are very well known for creating Brandstanding initiatives that support its strong environmental agenda, such as protecting the biodiversity of the Great Plains or helping to restore the Snake River, in its latest campaign it is putting its money where its mouth is.
They have run previous anti-Black Friday schemes, encouraging consumers not to buy its products in 2011 and as their CEO Rose Marcario said ‘During a difficult and divisive time, we felt it was important to go further and connect more of our customers, who love wild places, with those who are fighting tirelessly to protect them.’
Unfortunately ‘opting out’ of Black Friday is not an option for mass market retailers, but other companies have garnered success by not discounting Black Friday. Outdoorwear retailer REI snatched headlines last year when it said it would not open or discount on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, encouraging shoppers to “opt outside”. This led to an online sales increase of 10% on Thanksgiving and 26% on Black Friday over the prior year. (LSN, 2017)