Black Friday: Consumer jackpot or clever marketing ploy?

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Every year, millions of eager shoppers flock to ecommerce stores worldwide to nab the very best Black Friday deals.

But is Black Friday really a consumer jackpot, or is it simply clever marketing? Are the discounts real, or is the whole BFCM extended weekend merely a ploy to drum up business during what is typically a quieter shopping period?

Here at Findify, our experts are uniquely positioned to answer this pressing question. Our solutions are trusted by more than 2,000 merchants – meaning on any given week our software touches millions of shoppers. 

In a recent deep dive of data, we crunched the numbers for Black Friday 2020. Across our entire merchant database, we compared differences in product prices in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. 

Overall, we analysed more than 75,000 distinct products. 

Findify data which shows how many out of 75,000 products were discounted, and to what extent. 

The result? In general prices remained the same in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, with price reductions taking place during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday time period.

This behaviour indicates, contrary to the opinion of a number of critics, that the majority of merchants are not inflating their prices in the run up to Black Friday in order to manufacture discounts, nor are they keeping prices static and merely using marketing tactics to make it seem like they are making reductions.  

“It’s always exciting to dig into urban legends with scientific glasses. Interestingly, Black Friday turned out to, in general, hold up to the claim of being a holiday for discounts,” said Findify CCO, Joakim Amadeus Olsson. 

Going one step further, our experts went on to compare last year’s Black Friday pricing data with that of last year’s Christmas sales data. 

Findify data which shows price drift over time – from October to December 2020. 

“Interestingly, we found a large similarity between the BFCM sales and the Christmas sales in regards to the amount of products on sale and the magnitude of the discounts. Additionally, the amount of products which go without any price changes largely remains the same across both time periods,” explained Mr Olsson. 

“This means that while the discounts are tangible for both periods, Black Friday is not necessarily a one-time event. If you miss it, you can get very similar deals on the same items during the Christmas sales.”

This research was conducted by experts at Findify, a leading provider of site search and personalization software. For more information on Findify’s powerful ecommerce tool, which includes solutions such as Personalized Search, Smart Collections, and Recommendations, book a demo here.

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