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US News: Black Friday: Sales only online

Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday: 12 tips for successful promotions for retailers

 Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday: 12 tips for successful promotions for retailers There are many indications that Black Friday will again be a day of records for German and international online retailing this year. How retailers optimally prepare for this and where there could be bottlenecks. © Shutterstock Black Friday. Black Friday and the corresponding weekend in November last year produced 3.1 billion euros in sales and a good 23.9 billion US dollars in sales came together in the USA.

All around Black Friday, retailers try to encourage customers to buy with discounts. But retailers in particular who urgently need sales in times of Corona will probably go away empty-handed.

Was waren das für Zeiten, vor der Pandemie © Reuters / P. Whitaker What were those times, before the pandemic

The good news first: This year retailers in Germany will probably generate even more sales than last year around the big discount days "Black Friday" and "Cyber ​​Monday" (see grafic). At least that is what the retail association HDE believes, based on a consumer survey by the Cologne Institute for Retail Research.

The bad news: Those traders who are particularly hard hit by the corona lockdowns do not benefit from it. Above all, the shops in the city centers currently earn little because many customers stay at home because of Corona and do their shopping online.

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"We are very concerned that the companies that have not digitized themselves will have a much more difficult time in the pandemic, that is, those that are stationary and active online," says Stephan Tromp from the retail association to DW.

40 percent drop in sales

According to the HDE, retailers in the inner cities also made a third less sales in the third week of November than a year ago. In fashion and shoe stores, the minus was even 40 percent.

The expected increase in sales around Black Friday can only be achieved if online trade can grow at an above-average rate.

"Black Friday traditionally belongs to online trading in Germany," says Tromp. "In the meantime, many stationary retailers are also making their customers special Black Friday offers. But the vast majority of sales take place online."

Amazon postpones Black Friday in France

 Amazon postpones Black Friday in France After calls for a boycott by French politicians and retailers because of the nationwide shutdown, Amazon shows its understanding. The Black Friday discount day is postponed to December 4th in France. © Photo: Amazon Amazon does not blow the bargain hunt in France at the end of November In France, only essential products are allowed to be sold in stores during lockdown. However, everything is still available online.

Black Friday in the USA is the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is celebrated there on the fourth Thursday in November. Those who take Friday off have a long weekend - and often use it for shopping. As early as the 1960s, some shopping malls are said to have been black with people that day. However, it has not been proven whether the term comes from this or simply from the black numbers that many traders write.

From Black Friday to Singles' Day

The marketing term did not become internationally successful until the 2000s, particularly through US companies such as Apple and Amazon . At this time Cyber ​​Monday came into being, which promised further discounts for the following Monday.

Since then, the boundaries between the individual shopping holidays have become increasingly blurred. There has long been talk of "Black Week" and "Cyber ​​Week", the electronics chain Mediamarkt / Saturn is even talking about "Black November".

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And July is somehow "black" too. Many retailers advertise even bigger discounts during a "Black Friday in July" than in November so as not to leave the bargain hunters to Amazon without a fight. The online retailer has been holding its own "Prime Day" discount campaign since 2015.

The Chinese drive it even wilder. On "Singles' Day", the supposedly lucky 11.11. is celebrated, online retailers like Alibaba make record sales every year, which even overshadow Black Friday. The Internet made this day popular in other Asian countries, but the breakthrough in Europe has not yet been achieved.

Der stationäre Einzelhandel führt einen verzweifelten Kampf gegen das Online-Shopping © picture-alliance / imageBroker Stationary retailers are waging a desperate battle against online shopping

Buttoned retailers

When asked about their expectations for the upcoming Black Friday, retailers surveyed by DW keep a low profile. Amazon announced that "generally no sales forecasts" would be published, and "no information" would be given on the volume of special offers.

The same goes for the electronics chain Mediamarkt / Saturn. A company spokesman also pointed out that "in the 'hot' phase of the 'Black Month'" there was little time for press inquiries anyway.

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Zalando does not give any figures either, but says that Cyber ​​Week, including Black Friday, has "developed into a major growth driver". In addition, the discount campaign is "an important opportunity to strengthen relationships with our customers and to offer our brand partners additional sales opportunities," the online fashion retailer added.

part of the holiday season

Market researchers disagree about how customers will react to the special offers. While the trade association HDE and the marketing agency Gall expect sales increases of between 16 and 18 percent, the management consultancy Simon Kucher & Partners is more cautious. Fewer customers than last year are planning Black Friday purchases, and there is also less money available, namely an average of 205 euros compared to 242 euros in the previous year.

However, everyone agrees that most of the money is spent online. In addition, Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday should not be seen in isolation from the Christmas business, says Tromp from HDE. "Over 50 percent of consumers who buy something on Black Friday want to give the product away for Christmas."

For this year's Christmas business, the association expects an overall increase in sales of 1.2 percent. But for this actually good news, the restriction from above applies: Shops without online trading will not benefit from this and can say they are lucky if they survive the pandemic.

Author: Andreas Becker

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