Will Black Friday ever be the same?

Will Black Friday ever be the same?

Black Friday. One of the most hyped and talked about sales of the year, with a profound reputation as the cheapest time for consumers to buy Christmas presents. Industry calls it ‘the busiest shopping day of the year’, but is consumer behaviour changing?  

The insights from this year’s Black Friday sales would agree. Many shoppers failed to be captivated by the discounts and deals on offer this year, with over 1/3 stating that they were the same as last year. This led to online activity and sales on the 24th November being down by 12%, and in person footfall was down by more than 5%. In comparison, last year’s sales hit a record £9.42 billion, with 61% of these sales being generated online. Further reading on this can be found here.   

It’s evident from these insights that consumer behaviour is continuing to evolve and challenging Black Friday traditions. An article by TechTarget expects that 51.2% of Black Friday purchases will come through a mobile device.  

Why is Black Friday causing this shift?

As the economic climate continues to change and challenge the average UK household, consumers are struggling to cope with higher borrowing costs and rising food and energy prices. Available disposable incomes are becoming smaller, with the BBC reporting an average of a 20% decline per household.  

From these insights, it’s clear that customers are searching for the best deals, whether this is for the festive period, or to save on their energy prices, retailers need to take note of this as an opportunity to cater to customers’ unmet needs. This is where an omnichannel strategy comes into the equation requiring greater flexibility, choice, and convenience to generate customer value.  

Before we delve in, let’s recap on the definition of omnichannel, or which is most recently known to becoming Phygital Retail 

Omnichannel retail allows retailers to engage shoppers through multiple digital and/or physical methods. Whether this is having both an online storefront and a physical store or contacting the customers using multiple touchpoints, omnichannel retail provides a seamless and easily accessible strategy for an organisation. Customers are breaking away from the industry norm and are increasingly looking for a shopping experience and inspiration when browsing or shopping online. They are wanting organisations to generate that inspiration through their marketing strategies and campaigns.  

Read more: Unlocking Omnichannel Excellence Prioritising Customer Value for Sustainable Business Growth  

Case Study: 

An example of an organisation who continue to provide inspiration to its consumers through their use of a multitude of different features and tools is Disney. From the initial experience on the organisation’s website, whether you are planning a trip or watching your favourite movie, to the Magic Band program, in which customers can access their room, store any photos taken at the attractions and order food using wearable technology. Disney continues to excel in captivating moments for their consumers and allows them to access information of their stay or their organisation whenever it is required.  


Now this type of omnichannel experience cannot be provided without the use of data. Data plays a huge role in how businesses shape their marketing and sales strategies towards the ever-evolving customer preferences. Integrating data into a marketing strategy allows organisations to delve deeper into the world of their customer and receive tailored recommendations to target each customer profile. Organisations, like Disney, can stay up to date on their own customer behaviour and target specific campaigns to a tailored profile of customers. This ensures the right customers are receiving the right information at the right time for the business.  

This has proven useful in combating the challenges we currently face in a society. With the cost-of-living crisis and the reduction of available disposable income per household, it’s clear that organisations need to be strategic in how they target their correct customer base. By using data analytics to illustrate shopping patterns and behaviours, organisations can stay ahead of the curve, understand their customers and stay ahead of the competition.  

As we see a shift in shopping behaviour, it’s important to be aware of these trends, and how your business can assess these changes. At Data Clarity, we have worked alongside retailers like Paul Smith to develop ClarityOmnivue, a data management and analytics solution to enable retailers to better understand their customer, provide insights into their business and offer personalised recommendations that will deliver value to your brand image.  

So, what do you think? Are customer preferences and behaviours changing the way that we as organisations view Black Friday? Or do you think Black Friday will always get the attention from shoppers because of its reputation? Let us know.  

At Data Clarity, we are on top of the challenges currently facing the retail industry.  

For more information on how we can help you, contact us.   

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