Black Friday is coming and has now taken over from Boxing Day as the biggest shopping day of the year as retailers fight to attract customers to spend their money ahead of Christmas but what can we expect to see from this year’s extravaganza.
Well, before looking at 2017, it’s worth considering how this phenomenon has evolved over the last few years and the lessons learnt which will influence what we will see this time around.
2014 was the first time we really saw an impact in the UK and many people still equate Black Friday with the images all over the news that year of adults literally fighting each other in supermarkets to get their hands on cheap televisions. Websites crashed and retailers who weren’t prepared suffered as customers headed for bargains elsewhere.
In 2015, everyone was better organised. Consumers quickly worked out that they didn’t need to risk their lives in a supermarket aisle when they could get the same bargain from the comfort of their armchair and much of the action moved online. Retailers knew what to expect and their servers and websites were better prepared.
2016 saw online rule again and the High Street stay relatively quiet. It also saw discounts extend from the traditional Black Friday products like games consoles, electronics and gadgets to flights, fashion and household goods. Retailers also tried to spread the discount period over several days to try and nab eager consumers early and take the pressure off their systems on Black Friday itself.
Consumers also knew to wait and retail sales in October and early November were poor in places as people waited for the discounts which they knew would arrive.
Black Friday 2017
So, what can we expect from 2017? Well, retailers will have been planning for this for a long time and they should all have their strategies in place already.
With an avalanche of deals expected on the day itself, expect retailers to start their advertising campaign and promotions even earlier to try and stand out from the crowd. Last year, discounts were available on the Monday before Black Friday and it’s likely we may see some even earlier this year.
Whilst there will still be bargains to be had, the sales will be better planned and will likely focus on products where retailers can still make a good profit even if they cut prices.
Online sales will be key again and it’s likely we’ll see even more activity in the midnight to 6am session on the day itself as savvy consumers get up early or pull an all-nighter to try to get the best possible deals before they expire.
New trends will emerge and retailers will need to be quick to adapt to changing consumer sales patterns.
With so much money likely to be spent, it could well be the most frenzied and interesting Black Friday yet!