Is Black Friday even relevant in 2020?

Is Black Friday even relevant in 2020?

Everyone, from retailers to consumers, has had a difficult financial year. So is Black Friday really relevant, and can everybody benefit from it? Read this for more.
by Zanthe Agrela
11. 17. 2020

What a year 2020 has been! From consumers saving their available cash, hoping to grab a bargain, to companies dealing with a tough financial year in terms of moving unwanted stock and a decline in almost all verticals since March. So, with both consumers and retailers having equally suffered, how can we meet in the middle? Is Black Friday relevant in 2020 and, if so, how?

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday falling on November 27th and 30th, respectively, these are the changes we predict to see and here’s how retailers can prepare for them:

  • Looking deeper at buyers' behaviour over the past years during Black Friday, no matter how conservative you are with your money, everyone tends to spend a little extra leading up to the festive season and new year. This is also true for shoppers buying on credit.
  • Consumer buying patterns have shown that spending still occurs with a preference being essential goods rather than luxury items. This is quite contradictory to patterns seen in previous years, where black Friday sales mainly spiked in clothing and shoes. This doesn’t mean that there’s no room for festive season spoils, however, as some shoppers may have room for this in their budgets.
  • Getting value for money is another priority this year, with people being more likely to compare prices and wait for them to be at an all-time low before making a purchase. Also, expect to see people shopping earlier this year to allow for more time to compare offers.
  • With the massive uptake in online shopping in SA due to COVID-19, we can expect to see a host of new online shoppers emerge in time for Black Friday this year.
  • More and more small to medium retailers across a multitude of verticals were forced to enable improve their sites and enable them with ecommerce facilities during lockdown, which has equipped them to play with the bigger brands this Black Friday. Prepare for e-commerce shopping deals and competition to be tougher than ever before.
  • Retailers will likely extend their offers for longer than 1 day to as long as two weeks or a month to ensure that they cater for the additional site traffic and avoid overcrowding in-store while COVID-19 prevention measures are in place. Retailers will obviously not be pushing consumers to shop in-store in their masses, as this will be expensive and difficult to manage.
  • All in all, with the financial effects of the pandemic, we don’t predict the record-breaking sales we’ve seen in previous years this Black Friday. 

So, is it still relevant?

While the above insights certainly do make the outcome look pretty grim, challenges like these always present an opportunity for innovation. Yes, 2020 has been a tough financial year, but I do still think there is a place for Black Friday in South Africa as an opportunity for people to save a lot of money by focusing more on essential goods, like school uniforms, stationery and possibly even a higher expenditure in home and garden, home appliance, and household goods. 

What’s next?

If you are a small business owner and feeling the pressure of your first Black Friday and unsure of how to scale up your marketing efforts for this occasion, or if you are a big retailer who’s wondering how to shift gears to focus more on e-commerce and make that a bigger driving force this year, you need an experienced marketing agency. With the increased competition, you’ll want to ensure that no matter the size of your retail outlet or business, your email marketing drives newsletter signups fast and you can create hype and awareness that will drive new business and Black Friday sales. An experienced digital marketing agency can help you do just that. 

For more information on marketing for Black Friday you can contact us at You can also follow Arc Interactive on FacebookTwitter or on Instagram.

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