Another Black Friday has come and gone. Maybe you got a bargain, probably you didn’t. That doesn’t matter, the not-so-subtle social manipulation is over for a few more weeks. It’s entirely possible that the massive psychological experiment that is Black Friday is becoming less effective, though.
Like every popular IP Activision has made popular in the last decade, the late-November shopping day may be oversaturated. In other words, folks are spending less on the shopping holiday.
A black day for Black Friday?
At least, that’s the word according to Adobe Analytics. For the very first time ever, (American) sales totals have declined. It’s not by much. Last year, American shoppers spent $9 billion online on the day. This year, they managed a measly $8.9 billion.
It’s probably not the worst news for online retailers, though. Adobe reckons the cause of the fall is increased spending in the days prior to the big event. Like Christmas, Black Friday starts earlier and earlier, to the point where some stores began their specials in October this year. That’s a long enough time to get tired of emails advertising wishlist items on special.
South Africa, on the other hand, had no such issues this year. First National Bank reports a substantial increase in spending in SA for the day, charting a 15% rise in cash spent. FNB card holders alone chucked more than R2.5 billion at various stores around the country on 26 November.
FNB CEO Jacques Celliers said, “Our stats also show heightened shopping activity beyond Black Friday, with transactions for the month of November up 25% compared to the same month in 2020.” This indicates that SA’s online and regular retailers are also getting in on the trend of punting November as a prime shopping month.”
Now we just need to navigate Cyber Monday and brace for the festive season shopping experience immediately afterward. Ah, capitalism.