Black Friday 2022 – Three important new retail holiday trends

Retailers should ensure their Black Friday promotions are up to date.

Black Friday is an annual event, but not a static one.

As retailers make final preparations for Black Friday, they should check that their solutions and strategies are aligned with the most current developments in how customers are shopping for the holidays. Here are three major trends to keep in mind:

It’s already here

“Black Friday” has evolved over time from the Friday after Thanksgiving to a general concept covering holiday sales occurring from the beginning of October through Thanksgiving weekend. This transition is supported by Adobe Analytics data indicating consumers spent $72.2 billion online in October 2022, up 10.9% from the previous month and on par with the $72.4 billion they spent online in October 2021.

Numerous Tier I retailers have already adjusted to this shift in consumer mindset and are well into early Black Friday and holiday promotions. For example, Amazon hosted its second annual “Holiday Beauty Haul” promotion from Monday, Oct. 24 – Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. As part of the event, Amazon hosted “Live Festival” livestream shopping promotions.

Another major Amazon holiday initiative was the recent debut of the Prime Early Access Sale, a new two-day global shopping event exclusive to Prime members, which ran in October.

Meanwhile, chief Amazon rival Walmart started its third annual “Black Friday Deals for Days” promotion on Monday, Nov. 7. In addition, Target got an early start to the holiday season with its annual Target Deal Days promotion at the beginning of October, as well as a kickoff of its daily and weekly Black Friday deals on Monday, Oct. 10.

Mind the store

Black Friday shoppers are returning to brick-and-mortar in a big way this year, but are looking for a connected in-store experience. More than six in 10 (63%) surveyed U.S. consumers consider in-store Black Friday shopping a tradition and 42% said in-store Black Friday shopping holds more importance for them than it did before the pandemic, according to a survey from UserTesting.

The study, conducted by OnePoll, also revealed that consumers who prefer to shop in-store do so for a variety of reasons, with instant gratification a top motivator (33%), followed by having better sales or deals in person (26%), having better deals in-store than online (26%), and being able to secure items ahead of time (23%).

When asked what online shopping features they wished they could bring into a store with them, respondents said they’d like to see where items are located in-store (51%) and use promo codes/digital coupons (47%).

Unwrap innovation

Some retailers are giving the Black Friday tradition a next-gen twist by including metaverse and TikTok elements in their promotional efforts. For example, Kohl’s is providing a metaverse Black Friday experience for Facebook and Instagram users, who can use a gamified augmented reality (AR) lens to choose items to purchase with Kohl’s Cash.

The retailer’s campaign utilizes several social media networks, including the TikTok short video platform. To highlight Kohl’s and Sephora deals during the Black Friday timeframe, the department store chain will leverage a new TikTok interactive add-on with its TopView ads which appear at the top of customers’ TikTok feeds, prompting users to shake their phone to reveal a surprise deal.

In another example, through Black Friday, American Eagle will serve as an exclusive fashion retailer in immersive virtual gaming platform Roblox’s most popular virtual destination, “Mount Crescent,” with a branded holiday market. The holiday market will be filled with American Eagle digital clothing and accessories for Roblox players.

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