19th November 2021
Black Friday seems to hold even more importance this year than in previous years, with global worries about supply chains ahead of Christmas and people looking for relief from the anxiety and pressure of the pandemic and lockdown suggesting it could be the biggest ever. Here’s the trend predictions for next week.
Consumers are expected to spend big this year, but it is likely to be over a longer period of time rather than just the one shopping weekend. This is a trend we have seen in recent years, but it seems to be extending this year to start even earlier. Amazon for example started its sales at the beginning of October. Many brands are spreading their promotions over the course of a few weeks rather than big discounts on one day. One of the catalysts for this trend could be the supply chain issues, so retailers are trying to match consumer worries by providing more distance between sales and the holiday season.
In-store shopping has returned this year but with consumers wanting options to shop both online and offline. Mindshare’s New Normal Tracker reveals that 1 in 2 adults globally agree that online shopping is now their preferred way of buying goods but at the same time, 47% of adults agree that they cannot wait to go physically shopping without having to worry about the pandemic and hitting the shops is the most popular post lockdown activity globally. Black Friday this year then is likely to still be a majority online affair with some physical experiences popping up for those who want to go.
With the rise in social commerce, Gen Z is expected to be a big market for brands this year too. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have all introduced multiple commerce options this year which given the platforms demographics will cater to a predominantly younger audience than the overall sales period. According to Shopify, in the US 21% of younger shoppers are more likely to purchase through social commerce, with this sitting at 22% in the UK, 20% in the Netherlands, 27% in Australia and 25% in New Zealand.
Mindshare’s New Normal Tracker shows that alongside changing shopping habits between offline and online, there is also a growing awareness of the environmental impact of sales, with 62% of adults agreeing that they will continue to use more environmentally friendly products post pandemic. This may see the ‘trend’ of sustainability translate into a more measured approach from brands this year as they seek to align their products and services with this rising consumer values.
This was a big trend at the Double 11 shopping event that happened in China last week, the largest global shopping event that happens every year on 11th November (read more in this POV). There was a more low-key approach with the shopping festival shifting towards sustainable development and inclusiveness for the first time. One example was Alibaba’s Tmall platform which had a dedicated vertical for eco-friendly brands and 100 million RMB worth of green shopping vouchers which were given away.
Black Friday headlines always features long queues, how quickly items sell out and headline sales figures…and this year will be no different. Beyond the usual headlines, also look out for the rise of social commerce, the extent to which sales are balanced with sustainability messages or offers by brands and how both these things things play a role in consumer purchases.