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Black Friday Weekend, No More?

Posted by Nikki Tabberrah
November 27, 2022

Remember the days when people used to camp out overnight just to snag the best Black Friday deals? We didn’t see much of that this year. But rather, people are sitting still (yet buying) for a bunch of reasons.

Reasons Affecting Consumer Behavior

Soaring Inflation

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Holiday shopping has changed and inflation played a big role in this subdued spending season. With the cost of basic commodities at an all-time high of 7.7%, consumers have become more discerning about where they spend their dollars in. Food and gasoline still top the charts while discretionary goods and services fell lower on an everyday Joe’s list. However, it’s important to note that despite rising prices, data showed a 2.9% increase in Black Friday season spending compared to 2021 according to Adobe analytics.

This push can be attributed to the changing buyer preferences and their mission to find the best deals on accessible and cost-efficient platforms such as websites and shopping apps.


Unique Supply & Demand Dynamics

In 2021, retail brands have lost sales and opportunities due to global supply chain issues and delayed shipments. In order to prevent such circumstances from happening again, retailers took a proactive approach to order their Black Friday sale inventory in advance and get it on their shelves to play catch up on last year’s losses. Unfortunately, inflation rates suddenly soared which shifted customer priorities. Consumers now expect more generous deals from their favorite brands to sway them into making a purchase. But that expectation was met with an underwhelming response since shoppers have noticed that discounts are not as generous as before during the Black Friday weekend. 

Higher labor costs and persistent supply chain issues keep affecting retail margins. So in order to keep up, retail brands have turned Black Friday weekend into a full-blown Black Friday season with deals out since October. The month-long sale season helped brands offload their inventory and satisfy early shoppers in the process, which also took a big chunk of the Black Friday crowds.

Mobile Commerce

People are now glued to their phones more than ever. Especially when retail brands keep them affixed with better deals and customer engagement efforts. Mcommerce platforms like apps provided a safer, more engaging and more convenient way of shopping. 

Customer engagement efforts include:

  • In-app vouchers and upfront discounts: people get excited over online-only promos so many Americans keep an eye out on their inboxes for exclusive offers.
  • Members-only perks: retail apps reward loyalty. By being a loyal customer, irresistible deals may be made available to push repeat business and recapture buyer interest.
  • Building anticipation through push notifications: consumers are prompt through their mobile devices about upcoming deals. 
  • Curbside or pick-up options: with an app, customers can order in advance online and choose to pick their items up at the parking lot or at a dedicated pick-up counter so they don’t have to wait long at the cash register.

Apart from these, online shopping is revered for its massive convenience factor. Not only that it can be done in the comfort of their couches but, they can get their orders mailed to their doorstep without the hassle. Online shopping is still the new norm and has become every consumer’s creature comfort to this day and beyond.


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Change in Consumer Demographics

According to the National Retail Federation’s global survey, 6 out of 10 shoppers take inspiration from apps like TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms. This clearly shows that the new wave of consumers belongs to younger cohorts who are used to using social media to influence their purchasing decisions. 

With a more savvy buyer demographic, and the rise of social media marketplaces, people are more online than in-stores. Hence, shorter lines at the register and more digital foot traffic. 


Related read: 5 Trends That Will Shape the Next Decade

Novelty’s Gone

When everything shifted online, the excitement over the quintessential Black Friday sale experience diminished. It suddenly lost its meaning. People started appreciating the comfort and convenience that online shopping has to offer and have found other ways to spend their holidays together through Zoom or by keeping their activities within the confines of their households. 

Despite these changes, a considerable amount of Americans still find themselves at box stores with friends and family to continue a well-loved tradition. Not for the massive deals but for the purpose of keeping Thanksgiving traditions alive and satisfying the post-pandemic need for human connection. Retail brands see this so, in an effort to get as many people back in-store, businesses have gone omnichannel in an effort to weave digital experiences with physical ones to lure people back in. But never do we see major retail brands bank on in-store experiences alone to survive in this cutthroat economy.

Are you a brick-and-mortar retailer or a service? Consider the benefits of having an app for your brand and get caught in the wave of digital transformation. Let’s talk!