Can you tell who will get a good Black Friday deal?
-Don’t worry. You’ll certainly know. Wives tell each other!”
This was just a joke spread in 2019. Yet, the facts on the ground (or online!) in 2020 show that the scene is going to be dramatically different.
The Global “Black Friday”
Not only is it the day after Thanksgiving, but Black Friday has also been progressively turning into an omnipresent part of the year for countries across the globe. The day – that began as a US shopping spree – is now dramatically going global!
Black Friday is no longer just the largest shopping day of the year. Rather, it has turned into a week-long shopping spree in the United States and many other countries all over the world. The reason is that retail businesses usually start their sales on Thanksgiving Day, Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve), and as early as Monday. With this, the actual sales on Friday get divided between several days, so that the number of Black Friday sales nowadays include sales of Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving Day, and Black Friday ─ combined.
In the USA, Black Friday is a public holiday in over 20 states and is regarded as the start of the US Christmas shopping season.
Often called the “bargaining day”, millions of Americans of all ages, ethnic origins, and social backgrounds use the day to start shopping for the Christmas season. Also, thousands of stores give special offers and lower their prices on many goods. Moreover, the Monday after Black Friday is called “Cyber Monday”, when online retailers and e-commerce sites do the same sales offers and price cuts.
Since about thirty percent of retail sales take place in the period from Black Friday to Christmas [https://spendmenot.com/blog/black-friday-sales-statistics/], retail businesses all over America pay attention to Black Friday as one of the largest shopping events all round the year.
In Latin America, Black Friday, originally a USA event, has been spreading from one country to another, but without the turkey!
Every year Latin American versions of Black Friday take place on different scales throughout the continent ─ from Chile to Ecuador, Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, and Honduras.
Let’s take Brazil as an example. Every year, megastores ─ Walmart and its Brazilian stores ─ announce great sales that usually attract thousands of buyers.
In Argentina, middle-class Argentine consumers usually rush for deals on Black Friday to beat the country’s high inflation.
In Mexico, major cities, including the capital Mexico City, usually witness a large increase in Black Friday sales every year.
What Happened on Black Friday 2019?
Thank God, it took place on Friday, November 29, about two months before the World Health Organization WHO [https://www.who.int/] declared COVID-19 a global health emergency on 30 January 2020!
On a global scale, about 94 million buyers from about 130 countries across the globe took part in Black Friday, meaning that it’s no longer a USA event. Outside the United States, the top 5 countries for Black Friday revenue were the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Russia.
In the USA, shoppers spent USD 11.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday, which is Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics [https://www.adobe.com/experience-cloud/digital-insights/holiday-shopping-report.html].
What to Expect on Black Friday 2020?
It’ll be different, totally different, and the signs were already there in 2019, 2018, and the preceding years. Shall I remind you? Okay, let’s take 2019 as an example.
Back in 2019, Shoppers continued to lose interest in going to brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday, with the in-person store shopping falling tremendously as more and more buyers were making their purchases online. Further megaretailers, such as Macy’s (M) and Nordstrom (JWN), have been boosting their online pickup options for clients who wish to avoid crowded stores but don’t want to wait for delivery.
On Black Friday 2020, due to COVID-19, it’s unlikely that we’ll be witnessing shoppers crowding stores and lining up in the dark.
This year, many retail businesses ─ including Kohl’s, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target ─ have already said they will keep their stores closed on Thanksgiving.
What’s more, we expect this year that the Black Friday sales and the pre-Black Friday sales will arrive earlier. Many US retail companies are now launching deals far ahead of Thanksgiving and will have them available through the end of 2020.
As for “in-store only” deals, forget about them ─ which means that all of those door crasher deals will be available online.
Yet, we still need to check why most observers keep saying that the key to this year’s success is localization.
Localization and The New Scene in 2020
COVID-19 is a fact of life in 2020. People all across the globe are staying at home away from crowds and observing social distancing rules. Yet, this doesn’t mean they are static! Rather, they still want to buy and sell. Man is a “Shopping Animal”, don’t forget.
So what? We’ve got a few questions. First, where will people go shopping on Black Friday and the whole holiday season 2020? The Internet?! Okay.
Second, what does this mean for retailers? They need, and have, to localize? Okay.
It’s logical. More than at any time before, shopping is becoming more and more online. So, as Black Friday (and the entire holiday season) is drawing near, it’s becoming vital for retail businesses in the USA, Latin America, and everywhere else to pay attention to localizing their websites and other online properties.
Okay, but is this trending? Certainly. According to Shopify Plus [https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/global-ecommerce-statistics], it’s projected that eCommerce sales will hit USD 4.5 trillion by 2021.
So, what does this mean to you as a retailer in the USA or anywhere across Latin America?
It’s a mixed blessing. On the one hand, on Black Friday 2020 (and on every and each Black Friday forever), you’ll find yourself competing with other retailers from every corner of the planet.
Yet, the good news is that if you localize, you’ll have access to audiences you could never reach before. Localization is, therefore, the open sesame to huge sales on Black Friday and the during the entire holiday season.
Let’s admit it. If the coronavirus epidemic has evolved into a “Paradise Lost” for retail shoppers, localization in general, and website localization in particular, is your pathway to a “Paradise Regained”!
Contact us to discuss how we can localize your website