Black Friday during a pandemic
Wednesday November 18th, 2020
Black Friday 2020 promises to be a little different than in previous years, thanks largely to the impact of the ongoing global Coronavirus pandemic. Black Friday has traditionally been a vitally important date for in-store sales, with its follow-up Cyber Monday providing more of a focal point for eCommerce.
However, it seems clear that online sales will be the real driver for both events this year. This is due in part to many countries – including the UK – still experiencing widespread restrictions on the opening hours of physical retail locations. Additionally, consumers in many locations are still being asked to avoid non-essential travel, including for shopping, as far as possible.
As a result, more sellers will be doing the vast majority of their Black Friday trade online in November 2020 than ever before. Some physical outlets will be able to implement an approved click-and-collect system that meets with this sudden increase in demand, while those that can’t will inevitably risk missing out to a degree.
Moreover, even where businesses are fully set up to support online shopping, the prospect of Black Friday under COVID conditions presents a number of challenges and opportunities for both retailers and their customers alike.
When is Black Friday?
Black Friday occurs on the fourth Friday in November. This is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of that month. As such, both are ‘moveable feasts’, and their exact dates vary by calendar year. Black Friday 2020 falls on November 27th.
The now-traditional Black Friday shopping bonanza only started to be widely known by that name in relatively recent years. However, the day after Thanksgiving has heralded the start of the Christmas shopping season in the US since the 1950s, and was often marked by a series of early sales.
As such, the day has long been established as an important one in the annual retail calendar. Today, countries all around the world also observe their own versions of Black Friday, and it’s widely considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year for customers and retailers alike.
Tips for Black Friday shopping online
Two key tips for hunting down the best Black Friday deals actually apply at all times of year, although it’s especially important to bear them in mind during the traditional sales rush at the end of November.
- Firstly, make sure you are actually getting a good deal.
- Secondly, don’t get so swept up in the sales hype that you end up spending more at once than you can reasonably afford.
Check year-round prices
In terms of making sure you are in fact getting a ‘deal’, it always pays to check year-round prices for items you’re interested in wherever possible. Many brands and retailers will actually increase the prices of certain goods in the lead-up to Black Friday – particularly ones that they’ve already earmarked as likely to be popular.
Consumer electronics tend to be among the biggest sellers on Black Friday, as well as on the subsequent Monday (commonly referred to as Cyber Monday for this very reason). As a result, these sorts of products may well creep up in price during the weeks prior to any sales starting, in order to give the impression of bigger ‘discounts’ on the day.
Explore finance options to make the most of Black Friday deals
Obviously, the first rule of staying within budget on Black Friday (or during any other sale) is to only shop for things you already wanted or needed, and not to buy excessively just because things appear reduced. Keep a shopping list and a budget in mind, and don’t be tempted to add more to it than you can comfortably manage.
Buyers and sellers alike should also be ready to take advantage of any attractive retail finance options available on Black Friday sales. Financing packages such as 0% Interest and Buy Now, Pay Later can be highly beneficial for both customers and retailers. For buyers, they help spread the cost of larger purchases more evenly throughout the year.
For the eCommerce businesses who often experience a rush to the virtual tills around this time of year, being able to offer a range of flexible retail finance options can significantly increase buyer confidence and dramatically reduce rates of basket abandonment.
The latter is true year-round, but especially so on Black Friday. Around this time of year, online shoppers will tend to browse more widely through various competing product catalogs. Advertising your bespoke finance packages at point of sale can give you a huge boost, especially against competitors that don’t offer any type of flexible payment options.
If you’d like to learn more about how retail finance can help grow your business without impacting on your normal cash flow, you can get in touch with a member of the Duologi team today. It’s quick and easy to set up, repayments are handled by us on your behalf, and we support all our client businesses with comprehensive point-of-sale marketing tools.