Far from the madding crowd – another Black Friday prediction for 2021?

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We blissfully said our farewells to the woes of winter, and the month of September sees us celebrating the season of spring, sun, and even (online) shopping. Yes, it’s almost that time of the year again where consumers get to indulge in the many specials and surprises that is Black Friday.

What’s definitely no surprise is the fact that the global pandemic has altered shopping experiences as we know it, and one Black Friday prediction that we can be sure of is the ongoing effect of COVID-19 across businesses, industries, local customs, and global trends. 2021 will therefore see yet another big shift towards online shopping deals rather than in-store ones.

Black Friday 2021

The official kick-off date for Black Friday 2021 in South Africa, and the rest of the world, is 26 November.

In 2020, many retailers had early-bird Black Friday specials and the simple reason for this was to create opportunities for safer, shopping experiences for consumers due to the global pandemic. As we’re still faced with the various challenges associated with COVID-19, another Black Friday prediction would be that retailers will again follow suit in 2021. 

‘Bleak’ Friday – not likely

According to a report on the South African Government news portal, 2020 saw a decline in Black Friday spending from consumers, as many were hit by the various financial constraints associated with the global pandemic.

Yet so were various businesses and retailers. Another Black Friday prediction would be that businesses will be upping their specials and discounts game this year, eager to make up for previous losses. Consumers can therefore expect a great number of online specials and a significant increase in home-delivery services.

Expect early Black Friday sales and promotions

Retailers will be driving earlier specials in an effort to beat their competitors. The competition will be stiff, so best to start monitoring online and social media platforms.

Possible downtime and connection issues

Businesses across most industries have had to adapt their daily operations and even connectivity, technical systems and equipment due to the pandemic. Although significant progress has been made in keeping businesses and their resources connected and able to work, a definite increase in site traffic on and around Black Friday can be expected. This will cause sites to run slower and could potentially result in inevitable downtime.

Still, technology will be your best friend

With businesses forced to quickly adapt to the global status quo, human ingenuity has secured many technological advances, and these will play a significant role come Black Friday season. Think QR-codes, virtual retail spaces, and user-friendly apps with many cool features and even more so, exclusive online deals!

Here are a few Black Friday shopping tips to assist you with your 2021 planning:

Know what you can afford

An obvious Black Friday prediction is that many consumers are still battling financially, and you should therefore ask yourself what it is that you exactly would like to purchase as part of the various Black Friday offerings. Even better, know what you can budget for and afford, and stick to this plan.

Explore your favourite local retailers’ online platforms

To further assist you in your budgeting endeavours, do the necessary research to find those suppliers and businesses who do offer or sell your much-desired items. A quick Google search will reveal local businesses located in your immediate area, and even nationally. By visiting the various applicable websites as part of your search results, you’ll have the necessary insights to explore business’s product ranges and offerings.  

Sign up for newsletters

Newsletters remain a quick and efficient means for any business to easily share information and to best promote themselves, but even more so to easily spread the word on their local specials and offerings. Having access to this information will assist you in planning (and budgeting) for those must-needed items and products.

Tip for retailers: plan early!

Retailers need to be strategic about their product and promo offerings and ensure smooth logistics and support to consumers.

Get ahead of the game and start planning towards the following:

  • Optimise online presence and user experiences on your website
  • Think mobile-first (with app-only deals)
  • Optimise your e-mail automation
  • Leverage Google Ads to drive qualified traffic to your online store

Black Friday marketing strategy

If you require assistance with a Google Ads strategy or would like to further explore an effective Black Friday strategy for 2021, be sure to contact the team at iLEAD et al. Our Black Friday prediction is that your business will flourish and reap the awards come Black Friday 2021!

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Last modified: 13th Oct 2021

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