Black Friday is an element of American shopping culture, but in the process of globalization, it has become a worldwide trend. Traditionally, this is the name of the day following Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday in the United States, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November. At this time, the season of winter promotions begins in American stores. Vendors open early, close later, and set huge discounts.
In Russia, the Black Friday sale began to gain popularity in the past decade, when this trend of North American culture became known to the wide circles of Russians. For the first few years, only individual stores joined it, but now sales in the last days of autumn suit most sellers.
Black Friday is not only Friday: dates
In 2020, the fourth Thursday of November falls on the 26th, so the date of the discount marathon is the 27th. It is on this day that grand sales begin in most stores, although some start earlier. There is no clear time frame for this “trade holiday”.
The Black Friday sale most often takes place during the weekend following Thanksgiving. Some sellers run long-term campaigns, extending discounts until stocks of promotional items are exhausted or until the next holiday. But the peak of turnover in US retail chains is fixed on Friday.
With them and with us: Black Friday in the USA and Russia
For Americans, the Black Friday sale is a day not to be missed. According to statistics, in 2019 they spent about $7.5 billion, and the average check was about $400. In preparation for the start of the sale, shops open earlier (sometimes at 4, 5 or 6 am), and some of them begin to receive visitors from Thursday evening.
The most attractive discount offers are valid until the end of the week, covering Saturday and Sunday. Then, when most Americans have had their fill of traditional shopping, online sales take over. Online stores set discounts lasting from several days to several weeks. Then Black Friday in the US smoothly flows into Christmas and New Year promotions that run until January. According to statistics, the month between Black Friday and Christmas in the United States accounts for about 20% of annual retail turnover.
In Russia, Black Friday is a relatively new phenomenon. For the first time, sales under this name took place in early December 2013, they were carried out mainly online, and the discount sizes were much lower than the American ones. But already 5 years later, the promotion gained a much greater scope, and in 2018 the daily online turnover reached 15 billion rubles, and in 2019 it exceeded 22 billion. In 2020, many offline and online stores in the Russian Federation prepared discount offers.
As in the US, stocks are not limited to one day. Depending on the seller, they last all weekend, a week or longer. Then they smoothly flow into the pre-New Year sales, and the sellers are trying to increase the turnover as much as possible in the pre-holiday period.
What’s the point? Benefits for stores and customers
Black Friday is the day when sellers set a discount on almost the entire range, and discounts on individual items reach 90%. It may seem that lowering prices does not contribute to the growth of store earnings, but this is not so. It brings many benefits:
- Revenue from turnover. Carrying out a large-scale promotion, sellers significantly increase their turnover. Even if the margin on the product has to be reduced to a minimum, sales growth contributes to the growth of store income.
- Elimination of residues. By setting maximum discounts, sellers get rid of the remnants of goods that are losing popularity, slow-moving models and other items that are not easy to sell quickly without a discount.
- Attraction of new clients. Through a massive campaign, independently supported by unrelated retailers, more potential customers are able to engage and incentivize them to shop during the discount period.
- Stimulation of additional sales. In the midst of shopping, when a person is in the mood for shopping and sees discounts, it is easier to encourage him to make more purchases.
For buyers, the benefits that Black Friday promises are obvious: it is better to buy the right thing with a discount than without. But at the same time, it is important to be smart about shopping, find real deals and buy only what you really need.
Sales everywhere: features of the marathon
During the promotional period, discounts are set by both traditional offline stores and sellers on the Internet, but these sales differ in nature.
Features of special offers in offline stores
Large retailers with retail outlets usually duplicate special offers available online. But they can set a smaller discount percentage for them. For smaller sellers, everything is individual and depends on the direction of trade, the general price level, the size of the outlet and other factors. The most attractive sales are arranged by sellers of clothes, shoes and electronics.
Features of special offers on the Internet
On the Internet, where competition is high and offers from different sellers can be quickly compared, Black Friday is especially noticeable. On the eve of it, sellers actively buy advertising to attract new customers, send reminder mailings to regular customers and increase discounts.
Promo codes as a way to get even more discounts
To get big discounts on the Internet, you can combine special offers. Using promotional codes and combining several types of discounts in one order, you can reduce the cost of pre-holiday purchases. Sometimes the final discounts reach 90% or more, and sellers give gifts to attract customers, organize free delivery or accrue more bonuses as part of a loyalty program.
Popular questions about Black Friday
When is Black Friday?
Unlike the United States, in Russia there is no strict link to Thanksgiving Day, as it is a purely American holiday. Retailers start organizing sales and increasing discounts at the end of November, smoothly continuing the promotional period until the New Year holidays.
Which sellers are participating in the sales?
Discount marathons under the banner of Black Friday are arranged by most large stores like M.Video and international marketplaces like AliExpress. Offline sellers are less likely to run large-scale discount campaigns, but they also join the holiday so as not to lose customers. Retailers are especially active in Moscow and other million-plus cities.
Which products have the best discounts?
Discount offers that allow you to reduce the amount in the check by 50% or more are most often valid when buying: shoes and clothes; household appliances and electronics; sporting goods; cosmetics and perfumery.
Products from last year’s collections, slow-moving sizes (large or small), as well as obsolete models are available at the maximum discount. But this is not an exhaustive list, you can get a discount on other purchases.
What about payment and delivery?
The rules for payment and delivery of orders on pre-holiday days do not differ from those at other times. Most stores accept card payments online and support cash on delivery purchases. They deliver by local (in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other large cities), federal and international courier services. The only thing to consider is the possibility of longer processing and dispatch of orders due to an increase in their number.
How to distinguish real shares from fake ones?
Unscrupulous marketers of some stores sometimes raise prices before the holidays, in order to lower them a little later and announce a grandiose price reduction, which does not exist in reality. Price tracking services and price aggregators will help you identify such sellers and avoid falling for their tricks. Browser extensions like LetyShops or Otsledit allow you to view changes in price tags for a selected product, and services like Yandex.Market allow you to find sellers with the best discount.