Iain Moss
Iain Moss
Posted 28 October 2021

What Fashion retailers need to know about Black Friday 2021

Topics: Black Friday

Fashion is not immune to the focus on Black Friday and the Cyber Weekend in general, but it has an uneven impact across different verticals. A period of intense discounting does not suit most luxury fashion retailers who place a high value, and price, on their products. Whereas for brands who are more comfortable with discounting, it represents a huge opportunity. 

This opportunity manifests itself in attracting new consumers, rewarding loyalty, and enticing former customers back to the fold. 

2020 saw Black Friday sales across retail in general hit $9 billion, a 22% increase from 2019. While footfall to bricks-and-mortar stores was lower than in previous years, Cyber Monday ended up being the biggest online shopping day in US history, increasing by 15% year on year. So what will happen in 2021?

We recently asked 2,000 fashion consumers about their spending habits and attitudes to fashion retail, and in particular, we also asked them about Black Friday. We also surveyed 300 marketers from across fashion brands to get their opinions on what Black Friday would mean for their brand. 

Consumers are planning to spend more on fashion in 2021 

56% of our surveyed consumers plan to spend the same or more on Black Friday than in previous years. 

If we exclude the quarter of consumers who claim never to shop for fashion items on Black Friday, nearly a third (31%) of consumers plan to spend more compared to 22% who plan to spend less, suggesting a net growth. 

Of the highest spenders, those who shop at least once a month, the amount who plan to spend more rises further to 52%.

If this planned increase in spending translates into actual spending then 2021 could be a bigger year for Fashion than ever. Brands therefore have a challenge to cut through the noise and reach their target customers with a compelling call to action. 

Retailers are split on their goals for Black Friday

We also wanted to know what retailers’ goals were for Black Friday – customer acquisition, brand awareness, or custom retention. As you can see from the graph below there was an almost even split across the three main aims, with customer acquisition taking the lead. 

What, if anything, are you prioritizing in your Black Friday strategy?

However, Black Friday really needs to be seen as both an acquisition and a retention event. The cost of customer acquisition is rising steadily, and many brands are choosing to opt out of traditional discounting. Instead many brands are looking at Black Friday as an opportunity to engage existing customers and to drive further sales.

To find out more about the attitudes of fashion consumers and marketers, and to discover whether your competitors are discounting more in 2021 than previous years (spoiler alert: they are), download our Fashion Forward research. It has everything you need to know about Fashion Retail Marketing in 2021.

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