Blog Post - Patrick Munden, Dec 4 2018

Black Friday 2018 - What did we learn?

Black Friday 2018 - What did we learn?

Black Friday is an annual event that has grown increasingly important to consumers. However, the way that shoppers access deals has changed significantly in 2018, with much more of the buying happening online. This year, the in-store traffic for Black Friday fell as much as 9% in comparison to 2017.

the appeal of online

Research has shown that around 48% of consumers said they planned to do their Black Friday buying online this year. Just 28% of those interviewed indicated that they would be looking for bargains in-store. Here are a number of reasons why customers had been looking to shop digitally from their favourite brands when it comes to this epic shopping event:

  • A perception that many of the best Black Friday deals are actually to be found online.
  • An unwillingness to deal with the physical nature of in-store bargain grabbing. Many people are choosing to go online this year to avoid the crowds that can be involved in shopping on the high street on Black Friday.
  • A lack of time. Consumers are going online in larger numbers this year because they believe that they can find the best bargains in the shortest space of time. Plus, most simply don't feel like they have enough spare time to hit the high street stores.
  • Ease of purchase. As well as requiring less time, shopping online for Black Friday deals is also perceived to require considerably less effort and be the easier option. It's worth noting that, for older shoppers in particular, the comfort of being able to access Black Friday seals from their own homes is very appealing.

the expansion of black friday has sent shoppers online

It's perhaps not surprising that consumers are making their experience of the Black Friday sales swifter and simpler. While Black Friday began as a single event, it has now grown into multiple days. Some stores begin their Black Friday sale days, or even weeks, in advance. Others have committed to 'Black Friday Week,' as opposed to just a single day. As a result, customers don't feel the same urgency to ensure that they are in-store on Black Friday, and many want to find easier shopping options to avoid buyer's fatigue.

is black friday failing?

The definitive answer has to be no. Black Friday might be changing, as retailers adapt to consumer needs and look for more opportunities to be competitive, but it's certainly not failing. In fact, the volume of sales from Black Friday 2018 has grown substantially. Consumer electronics and appliances sales rose 6.4% and, while apparel sales rose 5.4%, this has the best Black Friday growth since 2011.

Black Friday 2018 was as lucrative an event for brands as it has proven to be in years gone by. The appeal of this sales event has not changed - what has altered is the way consumers looked to access it.

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