Black Friday 2021 cancelled by many retailers

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With 100 days to go until Black Friday 2021, almost half of marketers globally are considering cancelling their in-store sales due to ongoing uncertainties around Covid-19. That’s according to new research from omnichannel customer engagement company, Emarsys.

The survey of global retail marketers also reveals that over four-fifths are planning to actively encourage customers to shop online for Black Friday 2021, rather than in-store, as a precaution. However, worryingly, only 13% have finished their Black Friday 2021 preparations, with just over a quarter admitting that their company is yet to start planning at all. These statistics come from preliminary data released by Emarsys ahead of its upcoming Black Friday Bootcamp report.

At the same time, however, consumer demand for in-store experiences remains high. Additional data from 2,000 UK consumers shows that 74% missed elements of the in-store experience during various lockdowns and a further 30% missed being able to try things on in physical shops.

“With just 100 days until Black Friday, it’s clear that many marketers are less prepared than they should be for the annual retail event. However, while uncertainties around in-store activities are understandable, given the last 18 months, this is a key event in the calendar — and the time for finalising plans is now.

While the last year and a half has been disruptive, there is still time to effectively plan for any eventuality, whether sales go ahead in-store or businesses are once again forced to pivot to online-only. At the same time, it’s worth remembering that while Black Friday is a big priority for this quarter, it’s not just about the biggest discounts or securing the most sign-ups from new customers. Instead, retailers should see the event as an opportunity to attract loyal, repeat customers that will come back time and time again. Retail marketers across the globe will need to work hard to ensure that they are ready for both the big day and the long term, no matter what the future holds.”
– Payal Hindocha, Director Customer Engagement Solutions GTM, Emarsys

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