Importance of Black Friday diminished

Importance of Black Friday diminished

After two extraordinary years of growth, this year’s Peak shopping period will not just be flatter, it’s also likely to see the importance of Black Friday diminished as retailers continue the trend of elongating the entire promotional event. This is the forecast of James Brooke, CEO at Amplience.

Black Friday diminished and stretched

The world has changed dramatically in the post-pandemic slump and like-for-like sales for online retailers look terrible. Peak is being extended to push promotions out earlier, and I can see Black Friday being just a heightened period of trading rather than the much-anticipated and exciting shopping extravaganza it has been previously.

– James Brooke, CEO at Amplience

Seeing the importance of Black Friday diminished is not the only change that Amplience is predicting as the retail sector’s growth trajectory reverts to pre-pandemic levels. The company has seen investment priorities – which once focused on personalisation then shifted to digitalisation as shoppers moved online – now move back to omnichannel as stores seek to provide complementary retail services.

Integrating the physical and online store and orchestrating the consumer experience is top of the agenda for retailers now. But also important is investment in core technology that can help to evolve retail infrastructure. Headless and composable commerce are finding favour because they allow retailers to respond to changing customer demands with a level of agility that really moves the needle, particularly during Peak trading. They can also be implemented in modules which makes it easier to realise a fast ROI.

– James Brooke, CEO at Amplience

The economic environment is another factor that is influencing the ecommerce market. Amplience anticipates that while retailers are moving from a ‘growth at all costs’ model to one more focused on customer retention, they are still likely to stop offering features such as free returns in an effort to cut costs. The New Year will also see consumers seeking more bargains, potentially on marketplaces, while there will be a boost in the second-hand online retail sector.

The downturn, depending on its severity, will drive new innovations from across the eCommerce spectrum. We will see new entrants optimising the talent from tech layoffs and new models being introduced that will shake up the sector. We will also see an emerging Metaverse. It’s small but growing, and retailers will start to dabble, learn and understand how they can work in a virtual universe. There’s work to do to build real-time systems and automation, so this will present some challenges for IT infrastructure.

– James Brooke, CEO at Amplience
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Wait, you're telling me that something that didn't even exist in this country til a few years ago has lost it's meaning? I have always said Black Friday is NOT a thing to most people in the UK despite how hard it is forced on us. November has always been peak season. Maybe next year, Black "Friday" should start in June! And really, had Asda not been bought (then sold) by Wal-Mart, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

Mike • 23rd November 2022 • Reply to Mike

Black Friday has been around in this country at least a couple of decades. Was taking advantage of it for much increased selling 20 years ago! May not be a thing for your family, its a thing for a lot of other people these days. Got one of my wedding anniversary presents on amazon half price thanks to BF. My peak season for 20 years has always been December. The three (and a bit) weeks from Black Friday to just before Christmas last postal day cut off I could do half my annual turnover at one time.

Mac • 23rd November 2022 • Reply to Mac

Well, perhaps you are from USA, in which case I will give you a pass! As you know, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when retailers in the USA want to drum up business and get people spending again for Christmas. As we don't have Thanksgiving in the UK, being it's a purely USA-specific occasion, then we can't have Black Friday! It would be like having Boxing Day without Christmas. It makes no logical sense. It only appeared on our shores a few years ago as a cynical attempt by ASDA's then-new owners, Wal-Mart, to exploit an as-yet-untapped commercial opportunity. But if you insist we have Black Friday, then at least keep it to the actual day. Otherwise it is just meaningless marketing babble.

Mike • 23rd November 2022 • Reply to Mike

No, from UK. And we have Black Friday in the same way we have Christmas, Easter, Jubilees and so on. Because we choose to. You may choose to ignore it. Plenty of sellers who should not ignore it. Starting it early is rather like starting Christmas selling early. Advantages to those who do it. Tell you what, on your site have whatever holiday or promotion you want. And the rest of us will do the same. Buyers will of course make their own minds up based on what they see and hear.

Mac • 23rd November 2022 • Reply to Mac

Well, that's very odd! Out of curiosity I did a search on Google Trends. I searched the term Black Friday (in the category of shopping), interest over time from 2004 to present, UK only. The results show that prior to 2014 there was virtually zero interest in Black Friday, and then a big spike that November, when ASDA's parent company Wal-Mart began pushing it heavily in the UK. So to say that you have been doing Black Friday in the UK for 20 years, you would be in a very small minority it seems!

Mike • 24th November 2022 • Reply to Mike

I used to work the markets, also did distance selling for years. Black Friday was a thing for many years. Should research better. A few seconds work looking for particular years at random gave me this. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/nov/23/black-friday-shopping-rush

Mac • 26th November 2022 • Reply to Mac

This is good if people are starting to use a bit of common sense. Forget the obsession with COVID this means nothing fed up of hearing about it. We used to have a belting 3 month of trading for years that was diminished by people hanging on for Black Friday the last 4 years. This definitely changed this year and both October and November have been good again which is good as December would be hard with all the strikes. I think also people are broke these days and are spreading the spend. I have most the kids stuff and the wife's latest new phone already. Most the Black Friday sales are manufactured and fake anyway. Now if we could just get back in the EU and trading properly again ( dreaming )

SAM • 24th November 2022 • Reply to SAM