Black Friday: Overconsumption or golden opportunity?!

Black Friday: Overconsumption or golden opportunity?!

Black Friday takes place every year on the last Friday of November, just after Thanksgiving. On this occasion, the big brands as well as the smaller ones take the opportunity to boost their sales.

Although this event is unanimous in the United States, has had a hard time reaching Belgium. The first Google results for Black Friday in Belgium date back to less than ten years ago and it was only in 2016 that the concept really started to be adopted. It only took three years for this phenomenon to become commonplace. Today, Europe is second only to North America when it comes to Black Friday.

Why do we celebrate that particular Friday?

It will come as no surprise to hear that Black Friday originated in the USA and is linked to Thanksgiving. Initially, it was the Americans’ first Christmas shopping day. The name “Black Friday” allegedly comes from the Philadelphia law enforcement corps which called it that way because of the traffic jams observed.

However, Black Friday took another shape in the digital era characterised by the rise of e-commerce. Even though Black Friday still occurs in physical shops, its online predominance cannot be underestimated. Close to 90 % of the consumers make online purchases during this period, while only 50 % of consumers do so in regular stores.

Black Friday trick to fool the consumer or not-to-be-missed event?

One cannot deny the appeal: Would one really say no to a 60% rebate on a given device, or to an offer such as “two for the price of one”? Nobody is going to blame you, but please bear in mind that it also has consequences. These marketing strategies lead to overconsumption. Black Friday (actually the entire week) is filled with irresistible offers. It is also a sales peak from a logistical point of view. Most warehouses of large American companies run in full swing during this event. This also leads to lost merchandise and delays for long-haul shipments. There is an alternative: one can opt for Belgian e-retailers. The distribution centres are well spread, and the market size is limited. Bad surprises are unlikely, and the environmental footprint is mitigated by such sustainable behaviour.

Some French brands feature a counterstrategy with the “Make Friday Green Again” movement. It is a joint venture gathering 1300 brands that want to raise the consumers’ awareness for the drawbacks of overconsumption in the long-term. These brands boycott Black Friday altogether.

So how to make the most of Black Friday? What is the best marketing strategy to adopt? What are the trends you should not miss or those you should avoid? With Universal Insights, discover all the data you need in real time to take advantage of this event.

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