COVID-19 is Changing This Year’s Black Friday

Black Friday is one of the most important days of shopping worldwide. Started in the US as far back as 1961, it has grown to include Cyber Monday and offers discounts of up to 70% from stores and online retailers.

This year, Black Friday will take place on November 27–but how will it look in the middle of a pandemic?

How will it look?

We are only a few days away from entering the 2020 holiday shopping season, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast doubt on the success of big shopping days like Black Friday. Obviously, large crowds will be discouraged as countries across the globe enforce strict social distancing and lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Black Friday’s impact will also depend on the economic situation in specific countries as each country adopts different monetary strategies to deal with the lockdown.

Retail during COVID

It has become clear that this year’s Black Friday will most benefit online retailers. In the UK, IMRG Capgemini reported that online retail sales rocketed upwards, 39% year-over-year, according to their latest online retail index.

Mobile sales also saw a huge spike, up 110% year-over-year. There is also evidence that consumers are buying in bulk–the average basket value (ABV) is £98, compared to £75 in 2019.

Every time individuals or companies buy online they are engaging in e-commerce. A Black Friday during the pandemic has helped the e-commerce industry grow more profitable and powerful. Experts predict that retail e-commerce sales will reach $4.13 trillion in 2020, and it is expected that 95% of all purchases will be made via e-commerce by 2040.

Those businesses that are expecting in-person customers must comply with strict safety rules. Businesses must: frequently disinfect surfaces, remove product testers, close dressing rooms, maintain social distancing, adhere to occupancy levels, test body temperature, provide disposable gloves, offer contactless payment, and, most importantly, require face masks. These regulations represent a far cry from the crowded chaos we have come to expect from Black Friday.

The customer journey

We are all adapting to a new normal–we are more aware of our personal space, cleaning our hands often, and using face masks to protect ourselves in public spaces. Today’s at-home lifestyle means more people are buying stuff on the couch as they scroll through their computers or phones or react to what they see on TV. These recent shifts in consumer behavior have forced many e-commerce retailers to rethink their strategies, and Black Friday is no exception.

With more time spent in front of the TV, businesses looking to attract consumers for this year’s socially distanced Black Friday can turn to TV advertisements. TV ads help build brand awareness and reach an audience that has fewer opportunities for exposure to your brand.

If you’re stuck and need inspiration, here is a list of the 10 best Black Friday ads of all time.

And if you want help organizing your TV campaigns from a team with years of experience in media planning and offline advertising, feel free to reach out–we are eager to help!