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Retail Trends Black Friday for Australian retailers – How much of a deal is it really? 

November 19, 2018   By: Sara Ellis-Jack

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, or in the desert in the middle of the country and haven’t heard of Black Friday; it’s one of the biggest shopping events in the world. Not quite the spending spree of the most recent Single’s Day – Black Friday was worth $5billion to American retailers, whereas Single’s Day is over 6 times this.  

Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. The Black Friday concept dates back to the late 60’s, but wasn’t officially called this until the late 80’s. In line with retail trends, Black Friday is swiftly becoming an omnichannel retail experience.  Online retailers like Amazon (who reportedly have the best sales, shoppers!) are shifting deals online and shoppers capitalise on this with Cyber Monday. 

In 2017, online sales increased 18% according to Adobe and in 2018 it is expected that sales will continue to move to online channels. Cyber Monday was launched originally separately to Black Friday, around 2005 and catered to shoppers looking for clothing and accessories, whereas Black Friday focuses more on consumer electronics.  

Black Friday sales are now prominent across the globe, with sales taking place in Canada, the UK, Mexico, Sweden, South Africa, Ireland and right here Down Under.  

Black Friday Down Under 

According to TechRadar, Black Friday is the biggest event in retail outside of the Boxing Day Sales. 34% of shoppers for Black Friday come from Sydney alone and are still heading in store to snap up a good deal. More retailers are jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon and offering sales. With Amazon’s presence in Australia, Black Friday is definitely going to be big this year. Major retailers like JB Hifi, Kogan, Dan Murphy’s Harvey Norman and Ted’s Cameras are among the leaders pioneering Black Friday.  

According to McCrindle, 40% of Australians don’t believe it happens in Australia, 39% don’t know and 54% don’t know whether it’s online or instore only. So if you’re going to take advantage of the global Black Friday hype, make sure you’re marketing it well, which brings us to… 

Marketing Black Friday 

Shoppers are showing signs that they start early, and informed shoppers look for deals online before they start. Starting early with marketing Black Friday sales will enhance hype and attract more customers.  

According to the RetailMeNot Consumer Holiday Insights report, 90% of retailers will use Facebook, 76% Instagram, 53% Pinterest and 50% Snapchat to market their products. There is also a rise of influencers – 45% will use fashion and beauty influencers, 29% celebrity influencers and 39% vloggers. This aligns with a trend growing in Australian retailers and show a great way to market your products and cut through noise with influencers. 

Go online to manage in-store traffic 

Whilst Black Friday is moving increasingly toward online sales, the in-store presence can still be overwhelming to manage, especially on top of Christmas traffic. Last Black Friday in the US, 70% of online retailers offered shipping either completely free or with a low minimum order. What you may miss out in shipping, you’ll likely make up in higher spend as consumers don’t have to brave queues instore.  

If you haven’t already jumped on board the Black Friday bandwagon, it’s not too late to offer some limited opportunity discounts – always a great way to incentivise shoppers and bring in great sales – and utilise your social channels to let your consumers know what’s coming. 

Black Friday isn’t just coming; it’s here in Australia and is only set to get bigger. Good luck and we’ll see you in February when you’ve had a break! (At New Retail ’19 of course!).

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