The Black Friday Barometer 2020

A study of consumer and marketer plans and expectations for this peak season

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Demystifying the most unpredictable Black Friday yet

Huge consumer migration online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns, growing uncertainty about the economic outlook, and the very real prospect of discount fatigue from extended summer promotions are all looming large – and this Black Friday is set to be difficult to plan for marketers, who’ll find themselves in the hot seat.

With so much uncertainty about, we wanted to demystify the coming Black Friday for DTC brands, so we decided to go out and speak to both marketers and consumers alike about their plans for the big weekend.

300 retail marketers
We wanted to get the lowdown from retail marketers about their plans, so we spoke to 300 senior marketing decision-makers at well-known retailers to understand the key areas they’re focusing on as well.
4,000 consumers
We set out to get consumers’ perspectives on how they’re planning to shop this Black Friday and the kinds of offers that would incentivise them to part with their holiday dollars, so we spoke to 4,000 of them about their attitudes towards the upcoming sales showdown.

The research findings

Understanding communication channels and marketing preferences.

Are consumers and marketers on the same wavelength this Black Friday? We wanted to find out whether retailers were seeking to communicate with prospective shoppers on their preferred channels – or whether they’re simply adding to the marketing noise.

Consumers
How do consumers like to hear about Black Friday offers from retailers?
Email
60%
Ads on Facebook
21%
Direct mail (post)
20%
Ads on Instagram
13%
Text message (SMS)
13%
Marketers
What channels will retailers be prioritising this Black Friday?
Promoted posts with influencers on social media
31%
Email – broadcast
30%
Push notifications from retailers' apps on my phone
30%
Text message (SMS)
30%
Email – automation (e.g., cart and browse abandonment)
29%

Is Black Friday an acquisition or retention event?

Discovering new places to shop versus purchasing where you’ve shopped before – we wanted to see whether consumers and marketers were aligned in their efforts this coming Black Friday.

Consumers
How do consumers plan to shop this Black Friday?
use Black Friday to shop with brands they’ve shopped with before
66%
use Black Friday to discover new brands to shop with
27%
Retailers
Where are retailers prioritising this Black Friday?
Existing customer engagement
35%
Increased brand awareness and new customer acquisition
62%

Is Black Friday an acquisition or retention event?

Discovering new places to shop versus purchasing where you’ve shopped before – we wanted to see whether consumers and marketers were aligned in their efforts this coming Black Friday.

September
24%
October
27%
November
30%
The Black Friday weekend (27 Nov)
18%
Not running festive promotions
1%
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