We have all seen the news reports from previous years; huge crowds gathering outside stores, eagerly anticipating the opening doors and bracing themselves for a highly competitive (and usually stressful) shopping experience. There is no denying Black Friday is a landmark day for the retail industry. But as with all cultural phenomena, it’s steadily evolving. We see this as Black Friday moves away from physical stores and goes digital.

1. Is This Going to Be a Lasting Trend?

It seems so. There’s a noticeable shift for both customers and retailers to move away from doing any physical shopping over the holidays. It starts as early as Thanksgiving Day, which is the day before Black Friday. This year, almost 60 retailers in the US alone have vowed to remain closed over the holiday, citing dwindling sales numbers as the reason to skip the shopping tradition.

The marketing solutions firm Market Track has carried out several surveys that reveal only 40% of all shoppers queried are brave enough to face the cold. The chief reason – the crowds. What happens when hundreds of people compete for a limited number of products? Chaos. Tension. Stress. It’s not worth the effort, when consumers can easily avoid this and purchase from the comfort of their own homes.

Another study suggests that close to 30% of shoppers are going to do their holiday purchases online exclusively. This is indication enough that there’s a large shift in consumer behaviour.

2. Online is Yet Again the New Frontier

The digitalisation of Black Friday opens the borders to international customers. Everyone can now participate in the American retail culture. Isn’t that the dream of a unified world? One where borders don’t mean a thing and international shipping lets you rock your Chanel suit in Eastern Europe without paying a small fortune. A shift to online Black Friday promotions brings you an influx of customers from all around the globe. This is the chance to diversify your customer base and establish a more lasting presence in foreign markets. All achieved organically.

Second, and more importantly: you gather valuable insights into consumer behaviour. What are the items that fly off the shelf? What items are popular in which regions? Do certain items pair well? How many purchases does a single buyer make?

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A targeted online Black Friday campaign allows you to boost your sales and get your hands on more valuable information concerning your target audience’s behaviour. Benamic can create a simple, targeted and effective email campaign. Customers can receive limited Black Friday coupons for exclusive discounts and deals that can’t be found elsewhere, in exchange for completing a short questionnaire. As experts in the promotional management and fulfilment industry, we help you identify the right questions to ask and support you throughout the entire process; from concept planning and delivery, to customer service and post-campaign analysis. It’s as easy as that.

Black Friday is not what it used to be…and that’s something you can certainly use to your advantage.