UK shoppers are forecast to spend £10bn in the Black Friday sales, nearly 4% higher than last year. So where has this promotion come from and why has it been received which such fervour from the British population?
Black Friday has come over from America, traditionally the day after Thanksgiving and the start of the American shopping period. Americans have Thanksgiving Day off and the next day, so Americans celebrate the holiday with free days to shop. Companies promote Black Friday with special offers and discounts to entice shoppers to spend prior to Christmas.
This idea has now spread to the UK with a dramatic increase over the last years in marketing and promotions to drive awareness and overall hype to consumers. Large retailers including Amazon, Argos and Morrisons use Black Friday to offer great price reductions to shoppers in the lead up to Christmas.
Sales continue to Cyber Monday which is always the first Monday after Black Friday so falling on November 27th this year. Black Friday is online and instore discounts, whereas Cyber Monday is only available for online shopping.
It probably is not surprise that British shoppers love a good deal and Black Friday offers a great opportunity to grab a good discount! It has now become the first major shopping weekend prior to the Christmas count down. So how do brands and retailers harness this shopping phenomenon to their advantage?
Black Friday offers marketers the chance to promote to their existing customer base but also attract new customers.
A sense of urgency – Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer great discounts but for a limited period. This creates a sense of urgency with consumers and motivates them to buy.
Perceived deals – Formerly Black Friday was synonymous with electrical products, but this has now spread to fashion, household and toys. Customers caught up in the excitement of Black Friday potentially purchase products thinking they are a good discount, but, might be the same price elsewhere all year round.
Bargain psychology – shoppers love a bargain, but often we purchase items that we don’t need because we believe it is a good deal!
“When we are excited by a bargain, this interferes with your ability to clearly judge” Dr Dimitri Tsivrikos Consumer psychologist
Retailers can use this occasion to promote to consumers well in advance of Black Friday – in fact these last few weeks I haven’t heard of much else through marketing channels but also discussions amongst friends and fellow co-workers!
For marketers the good news, is that it offers an occasion to promote your brand and get front of mind during the Christmas shopping period, but also for others, provides an opportunity to differentiate themselves by not getting involved. Fat Face are donating £100,000 in exchange for not participating in Black Friday this year.
Black Friday Shopping Stats
Black Friday frenzy in Asda 2013
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