What does Black Friday day mean?

Graph depicting the decline in Black Friday and Cyber Week spending in 2022 compared to previous years due to economic factors.

The last two years have dramatically changed the traditional Black Friday landscape. What does this mean for this year's Black Friday? Here are some thoughts on what the most important shopping day of the year might look like.

Black Friday 2022 will probably be a big challenge for every merchant. High inflation across Europe, rising prices and the risk of a global recession will probably cause consumers to look more cautiously at this year's spending this coming holiday season.

According to BlackFriday.com, this year's receipts during the so-called Cyber Week (from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) in the United States will be lower, by as much as 7.4% compared to 2021. That's as much as $1 billion less in earnings for retailers. Here's a look at the spending numbers from 2017.

Regardless of global trends, every retailer can employ various sales strategies to strengthen its competitiveness during this period.

1. Great promotional offers well before Black Friday-Cyber Monday.

Consumer buying patterns changed significantly during the pandemic. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the actual pre-Christmas shopping rush was in the last 30 days. Supply chain disruptions caused customers to start shopping much earlier to be sure of receiving products. This year, in addition to logistical problems, inflation has added to the problem; every week of delay in purchases can mean a higher price on the shelf.

So it will be good practice to organize various kinds of "temporary windows" with bargains to keep consumers' attention right here and now. Phrases such as "buy now," "limited-time offer," or "limited quantities" will be important to gain attention.

2. Marketplaces will play up the market

Growing in strength, marketplaces will compete hard for customer attention. Even for strong brands, they will not be indifferent. This will cause the typical e-tailer to have to consider which costs are higher those associated with being present in the marketplaces' promotional campaigns, or those associated with generating traffic and acquiring orders on their own. Arguably, platforms will push even harder (similar to previous years) to join various membership programs like Amazon Prime, Allegro Smart, Walmart and offer additional discounts to selected customer segments.

So how do you compete for customers in such an environment:

  • provide excellent customer service, which will translate into a positive buying experience
  • increase stocking on relevant and promoted products - nothing will convince to purchase more than the fact that the product will be delivered to the buyer in the shortest possible time after purchase
  • offer more, but for selected segments - additional discounts for Amazon Prime users, or additional "virtual coins" in Allegro Smart are just some of the possibilities. Marketplaces offer many customer segmentation programs that allow you to target your offerings brilliantly (Amazon Prime, Amazon Mom, Allegro Smart, Walmart+, etc.).
  • catch the eye with attractive visual identity - although many platforms insist on the standardization of product photography, you can always try to prepare specially tailored contextual "hero images" and other additional photo-gallery tiles.
  • invest in contextual product descriptions - this will set you apart from the competition and make the viewer feel that the seller has taken care of every element of the promoted offer (details will surely play a big role)

3. Digital transformation one year ahead

The pandemic has not only changed the shopping habits of consumers, but above all pushed the entire market towards digitalization, this will make the competition grow stronger. Well-prepared players will be equipped with tools to help fight for customers. Solutions for efficient product information & content management will prove to be very significant, allowing the entire content of an offer to be adapted to sales requirements in a much shorter period of time across different channels and in a short period of time. Centralized data management will therefore be key in order not to get lost in data distribution, as customers are not forgiving of mistakes.

4. Consumers will choose balanced options

Research conducted by Sprout Social shows that nearly 72% of shoppers want brands to make a positive contribution to society. After evaluating the treatment of employees and the quality of customer service, a company's sustainability practices are the most important factor influencing purchasing decisions. Climate change, rising energy prices and a paradigm shift related to energy sources are turbo-charging such behavior. If there is a value mismatch consumers will not choose a given offering. Transparency and authenticity are needed, and product content should include information about sustainable production and the carbon footprint generated by transportation to the customer.

5. "Buy now, pay later" payment options will grow in popularity

With rising inflation driving up product prices and less purchasing power, it is expected that more and more shoppers will try these payment programs. Last year, CNBC reported that the use of "buy now, pay later" payment methods increased 29% year-on-year during Cyber Week 2021 worldwide, according to Salesforce.

Thanks for reading!


The Digital Shelf Insights is a monthly newsletter with digital transformation, commerce innovations and PIM insights, created by Marcin Piwowarczyk, CEO and Founder of Ergonode.

Next step

Start your journey with
Ergonode PIM

Get rid of the product data mess, once and for now!