Last year Black Friday fell on 23rd November. A day earlier than the previous year, the main difference was certain markets catching up with those countries where Black Friday was firmly entrenched. Growth was muted but still the big day was monolothic in its dominance over peak trading.
But this year there are some unknowns that make 29th November 2019, like the current UK General Election, a tricky one to call.
Firstly we forget that it is only really in the last four or five years that, outside of the US, Black Friday has become the phenomenon that we know it. For certain large ecommerce economies like Germany, The Netherlands and France, 2016 was the breakthrough year.
29th November is the latest that Black Friday can fall, therefore, what impact will this have given that the growth these markets have seen has been up to six days prior to the big day? Also, for many Black Friday 2019 falls on payday, not just before the end of the working month when budgets may have been blown. Will this provide a welcome boost for struggling retailers?
And for the US, 2019 could be the year that Black Friday usurps Cyber Monday for the first time.
Will peak move closer to Christmas?
With brands keen to steal a march on competitors and with Black Friday 2018 occurring on November 23rd, this meant 'cyber week' kicked off on 19th last year. That pushed peak earlier and led to a pretty subdued following month. This year half of cyber weekend falls in December and will probably lead to a more even spread of revenue.
Given Black Friday has become synonymous with both gifting as well as buying presents for ourselves, does this year's lateness focus our minds more on what to buy our nearest and dearest, and will this alter the complexion of what we buy away from the more mundance goods and services that we've seen succeed in previous years?
Bigger trends at play
What also of the macro factors at play? Many column inches have been written over the past six months about the fear of recessions in 2020. Germany narrowly avoided falling into negative growth and there are wider concerns about the impact on consumer spending. For the UK, the never ending saga of Brexit could play out, but we've heard that one before.
And then there's the backlash. As well as brands eshewing Black Friday and its inevitable association with heavy discounting, our minds have been sharply focused in 2019 on the environmental impact of our buying habits.
In this article, The Washington Post, points to a new threat for retailers, consumers 'conspicuously skipping consumption'. In the past some of the more high profile brand boycotts were seen as the exception, but could 2019 be the year when shoppers choose to keep their credit cards in their wallets in order to help save the planet?
So Black Friday 2019 is a difficult one to call. With Singles' Day notching up a 49% increase in Awin Global sales year-on-year, it could yet prove to be a record breaker. But what is clear is that with every year that goes by, so Black Friday in the affiliate marketing world helps to build a better picture of wider shopping trends.
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