End-of-year sales... let's go!

While last year's health crisis and lockdowns had an impact on shop traffic, Black Friday 2020 was not a bad year. Despite the fact that shoppers have moved away from physical outlets, online sales have reached a new record, with an estimated 20% increase. While 2021 is still showing good growth, how can we envision this major commercial event that is decisive for end-of-year purchases?

Black Friday is already here, and the end of year celebrations will be here soon!

Black Friday, or Black Friday online only?

For several years now, the world has been following the example of Black Friday, following the Americans by inviting consumers to take advantage of exceptional promotional offers and to start buying gifts for the end of the year as early as late November. 

A trend that has continued in 2020 despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, the associated lockdown measures and even, as in France, shops being closed unlit December 4. 

Shoppers who are reluctant to shop in physical stores have shifted their purchases to online stores, generating a 20% increase in sales. 

For the 2021 edition, the experts are not yet decided. Some envision a big comeback in stores, while others suggest a continuation of the new uses of online shopping.

Bargains or a shopping festival?

While Black Friday is synonymous with huge discounts in the US and Europe, on the other side of the Pacific, Singles' Day is developing a more festive approach, which is particularly likely to appeal to the major luxury players.

If the big party that celebrates singles takes place annually on November 11, the Chinese open the festivities on October 21 with pre-orders!

The commercial event displays ever more phenomenal figures each year, broadcast live by the media. Last year, the e-commerce giant Alibaba, which sold 250,000 brands to 800 million customers, announced a turnover of 74.1 billion dollars, with an increase in sales of 93% compared to 2019.

These record amounts can also be explained by the nature of this commercial event, which is not only based on discount offers, but also on festive events such as concerts, in-store appearances made by celebrities and influencers, exclusive presentations of luxury products.. Need we go on?

How long does Black Friday last?

This big commercial highlight, which has now become part of shopping habits, encourages consumers to prepare for it. Thus, according to a Criteo study, Internet users consult the catalogs produced between two weeks in the United States and 34 days before in Japan. In Europe, this period would be estimated at 15 days in the United Kingdom, 18 days in France and 24 days in Germany.

Sales tend to spread over the last weekend of November, or even encroach on the week following Black Friday. Relayed by private sales, promotions sometimes even extend until the holidays.

What are the sales forecasts for 2021?

Even if consumers find their way back to the streets and shopping malls, the digital revolution is here to stay. Online sales continue to grow and now account for 19% of global retail trade (13% in France). The use of the cell phone is also a must for almost all orders. As we approach the last quarter, which is decisive for annual sales, e-commerce needs to remain attractive, whether for preparing purchases, making wishlists, comparing, getting information... New behaviors that are leading to an omnichannel experience.

How to make Black Friday a huge success for your store

More and more seasoned at Black Friday, consumers are increasing their level of requirements to which merchants will have to be attentive. To enable them to prepare their purchases, you can, for example, offer them a wish list in which they can add the products of their choice while waiting to come back on D-day to finalize their orders.

You will also have to think about the basics: home delivery, deadlines, the possibility of returning purchases for free and simple payment processes.

Finally, let's not forget that nearly 40% of online shoppers prefer it when retailers reward their loyalty and 20% would like to receive personalized offers. 

Once again this year, Black Friday remains an essential business event. However, the health crisis has given rise to new trends.

In their study on innovation, KPMG and FEVAD report an environmental awareness of online shoppers. 70% say they favor sites that promote an eco-responsible approach; 53% now take environmental, responsible or ethical elements into account when shopping online.

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