Black Friday: Understanding Demand

As the concept of Black Friday matures across marketplaces globally, discounting is no longer a novelty but the norm for retailers in what has become a week-long, frenzy. In the past three years, we’ve seen the majority of discounts spiking increasingly earlier in the week leading up to the event, as retailers seek to shed the shackles of overstock that has plagued the market recently.

Whilst discounting earlier in the week would appear to be the route to get ahead of competition for retailers, long-term this is set to cause negative repercussions in the marketplace. With consumers now seeing discounting as an expectancy, price is no longer a differentiator when it comes to acquisition.

In the US, with Black Friday a more mature event, consumers are more used to the concept of week-long discounting. Out-of-stocks begin to spike on the Tuesday, signifying that demand peaks as a reaction to the first surge of discounts – and locally in preparation for the Thanksgiving weekend – and then peaks again on Black Friday itself.

In the UK, with Black Friday seen as a younger concept by a less accustomed consumer – with no Thanksgiving holiday – demand remains concentrated on the Black Friday weekend itself, despite discounts being available throughout the week.

At WGSN Analytics, we expect the demand peak to flatten as shoppers on both sides of the Atlantic wise up to the availability of week-long discounts in a highly saturated market. So how can retailers stand out in the Back Friday frenzy?

Marketing efforts deserve to be refocused, given that discounting is no longer enough to stand out and capture consumer spend. Where marketing has currently been centered on generating awareness around blanket discounting, strategies now need to be targeted towards core consumers delivering a personalised approach.

Join our Black Friday webinar on Monday 24th September to hear more of our thoughts on why discounting is no longer enough for retailers this Black Friday – Register now

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