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This year the 26th of November is The Day when a season of Big Hunting begins.

Many customers have been waiting for this moment the whole year. All fans of discounts, promotions, or other low-price occasions will search and count on dreamed items. They saved for months, and now they are ready to spend a pretty amount of money in brick & mortar, but also on the Internet. Sounds optimistic?

However, in this post, we want to focus on more complex aspects by comparing Black Friday 2021 predictions versus 2020 performance and serve you a set of essential statistics with valuable tips and thoughts about Black Friday 2021.

 The origins of Black Friday

“Black Friday” term comes from the United States and refers to the day (Friday) after U.S. Thanksgiving. It was used first time in 1961 by the police in Philadelphia to describe heavy traffic and crowds that occurred after Thanksgiving Day. Such traffic is already a tradition until today.

In the 2000s, the day after Thanksgiving was the busiest shopping day of the year, initiating a Christmas shopping season with various bulk discounts and promotions in brick & mortar stores and malls. Nowadays, Black Friday means shopping celebration no matter if it is an offline or online shop, in most regions of the world, especially North America.

Black Firday 2020 – overview

United States

According to statistics from Adobe, which analyzed website transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers, spending online on Black Friday last year increased 21.6% to establish a new record, as the Covid pandemic forced more people to shop from home to avoid crowded stores.  U.S. consumers spent $9 billion on the Internet the day after Thanksgiving. That made Black Friday 2020 the second-largest online shopping day in history in the United States, right behind Cyber Monday in 2019.

Hot items on Black Friday included Apple AirPods, smartwatches, electronic devices, and TVs as consumers penetrated the web for things to entertain themselves and their families. Online grocery shopping skyrocketed 397% compared with October daily averages, and personal care products madly increased 556%.

Poland

In Poland, Black Friday is not yet a one-day shopping hunting craziness like in the United States, but rather a week with promotions and discounts. In 2020, due to the prevailing pandemic restrictions and closed shopping malls, Black Friday moved mainly to the Internet, statistics confirm. According to data from Blue Media, the number of transactions performed, compared to the Black Week in the previous year, increased 91.5%, with 91% of Poles hunting for bargains, which compared to 61% in 2019 was a huge jump! The value of turnover increased almost 100% compared to other November Fridays in Poland. Moreover, the increase in sales hit the record during the entire week ending with Cyber Monday.

During Black Friday 2020, Poles spent an average of PLN 663. The total online and offline spendings were around PLN 2.3 billion nationwide.

Each year, the value of transactions during Black Friday in Poland increases by an average of 4.2%. On the other hand, the average price reductions are still symbolic in relation to dizzying discounts in the U.S. In 2020, prices were reduced in Poland by only 3.4% compared to 4% in 2019. However, taking into account inflation around 3.42%, there were practically no noticeable discounts.

Worldwide

Although many retailers suffered greatly because of the pandemic, especially physical stores, the online store sales increased by 21% when traffic for physical stores was down between 42.3% and 49% compared to 2019. Customers moving to online stores looks like a trend that tends to stay longer with us than for one season or two.

Black Friday 2021 – forecast 

United States

Based on Adobe data – the analysis embeds over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites and 100 million SKUs – analysts expect U.S. sales online to reach $207 billion from November to the end of December, setting a new record. It means a 10% jump from 2020, a sharp growth rate after a year where the pandemic made e-commerce the most needful service.

However, as more U.S. consumers get the vaccine and the number of coronavirus cases declines, shoppers turn back to brick & mortars and shift their spending from e-commerce sites.

Poland

In Poland, 60% of entrepreneurs plan to introduce promotional campaigns in their stores on November 26-29 (from Friday to Monday), and 20% on Black Week, which is November 22-28. There are also 10% who want to spend the entire November on promotional campaigns and sales. Even more, 90% of sellers declare to lower their prices, and 30% free delivery, while 20% intend to offer free, additional perks, products, or services. Unfortunately, due to inflation, the cuts may be much lower than a year ago. Therefore, 10% of entrepreneurs are not planning price discounts at all. Pity!

When asked what attention they pay before the launch of the Black Friday sales campaign, entrepreneurs point with almost one voice the marketing activities, 70% plan activities related to SEO and SEM, and 60% to gain supplies and customer services.

When it comes to buyers, 40% of Poles plan online shopping this year to spend mainly on clothing and footwear – 73%, cosmetics – 36%, and electronics and household appliances – 36%.
According to forecasts, the holiday traffic in Polish e-commerce (November – December) will grow by an average of 60% year-over-year.

Worldwide

Globally online spending could hit even $910 billion this season. That is an 11% growth year-over-year. Analysts expect over $4 trillion to be spent worldwide in all of 2021 — another dreamed milestone for e-commerce!

What should you be careful about
during Black Friday and Black Week in 2021?

The answer seems obvious. Prices!

However, the scenario for Black Friday 2021 looks different than in the previous year.

Retailers and manufacturers are overordering because of the supply chain breakdown as a result of transport services impediments globally. It means that manufacturers, brands, and retailers must be ready for unusual dynamics in prices like never before. It may lead to inflated consumers’ expectations and disappointments that would reflect in ratings and reviews too. To avoid reputation threats all promotional activities should be analyzed and implemented carefully, wisely, and – do not be afraid to name it – honestly.

It is also a time when distributors or marketplaces may feel tempted to omit the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to attract more buyers and gain sales records. However, what is profitable for sellers, not necessarily is positive for brands. Any violation of suggested prices could be risky to the brand’s image. Many products are not the cheapest on Black Friday, as the ads claim. This practice can confuse loyal customers.

Brands that want to stay ahead with their reputation and credibility need to leverage the knowledge about their trademark performance during the shopping season. It is the same with retailers who want to gain full potential of sales. Without deep insight into data about your own pricing and market pricing trends, your opportunities for the best possible reaction to season dynamics will be lost. To avoid that:

  • measure ratings and reviews accordingly with optimal discounts for each product,
  • be aware of price discrimination types to use in sales promotions to attract more customers,
  • create accurate simulations of various price scenarios based on the previous history of pricing. It will help you set an optimal pricing strategy,
  • use price monitoring automation to react immediately to sudden pricing moves among competitors
  • leverage your knowledge and stay informed to exploit the full margin potential of your business during the upcoming shopping season of 2021.

You do not know how to start monitoring prices, banners, stock or competitors? Do not hesitate to contact us. We will show you a tool that lifts your business to the next level.

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