Maybe they should rename Black Friday to Cyber Friday as it was a success for online retailers with Amazon selling six million items on the day. That’s up 500,000 on last year, but the high street and superstores didn’t fair as well. Many opened early and drafted in extra staff and security for the expected hordes which didn’t materialise.
Adsa which championed Black Friday in the UK didn’t participate but did reduce the price of petrol.
So why did it turn into a damp squib for stores? Certainly scenes of carnage and fighting over items in 2014 put many people off, they stayed in the comfort and warmth of their homes and shopped online. Many people have been taking the advice of money saving expert Martin Lewis and only buying things if they need them and not because they are cheap. Finally people are wise to the marketing hype.
Sitting in the comfort of your home you can compare prices across retailers to get the best deal. You can also do this historically and find out if the item on offer is really a bargain or just a ploy to get you to part with your hard earned cash.
I get regular newsletters from several retailers and items that have caught my attention throughout the year were on my mind on Black Friday. Guess what of the items I had looked at only one was cheaper and only by 10%. The others were either the same price or dearer, yet all were advertised as bargains. That’s because for the 14 days running up to Black Friday the price had been hiked up then brought down for the sale. For most of the year the items had been the same as the Black Friday price. Yes there were bargains to be had at all those retailers, but there’s also sleight of hand happening here.
That is probably the single biggest reason people stayed away and shopped on line. Your less likely to make an impulse purchase if you can take your time and compare current and historical prices. You also realise that not everything a retailer tells you is true and this should be a cause for concern for businesses. Many of these practises may be standard industry practises, but they are slightly deceitful and underhand. For businesses trying to build customer loyalty and trust tricking them into thinking they are getting a bargain is not the way to go. It’s not ethical and no matter what the marketing department tell you it’s not clever.
If you say your an ethical business and that’s part of your pitch to potential employees what’s the impact on them and current employees. Why should your employees be loyal, ethical and trustworthy if your perceived as not being?
Maybe Asda realised the negative affect Black Friday could have on a business as well as the short term financial gain. Then decided that short term financial gain was not worth the loss of customer and employee loyalty and trust. Cause and Effect. It will be interesting to see companies approach to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2106.