The impact of COVID-19 on Black Friday

Autor: Affilired

This year everything is different. Get ready for the impact of the new normal on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday and COVID-19

The pandemic has definitely changed the consumer behaviour and the way they shop. It is obvious that the online purchase trend is sharply increasing as shown by the e-commerce figures during the confinement. Online shopping has moved from being an act of comfort to an act of health, since avoiding physical stores reduces exposure to the virus and possible contagion.

This trend is also noticeable in the online sales for the Travel industry where, as a consequence of the flexibility in the booking cancellation policies in both hotel chains and airline companies, so far we have observed a moderate brake on the plummeting of the bookings.

Yes, the travel business scenario right now it is not at its best moment, as flights bookings and night reservations dropped down drastically. Yet, the truth is that people still dream of being able to escape from their daily routine and are still looking for flexible offers that allow them to book a getaway without the fear of possible mobility restrictions that imply the emergence of the second wave in some geographical areas….and why not take the advantage of the Black Friday or Cyber Monday popular dates to showcase your audience with interesting offers and deals.

What is Black Friday?

As we have mentioned in previous posts in this blog, Black Friday is now known in almost all Western countries as the first day of the Christmas shopping season.
Retailers aim to motivate shopping by offering special offers to users. In its origins, Black Friday deals were only offered in-store and it lasted for 24h. All stores remained open filled by a crowd of people looking for the best bargains.

Cyber Monday was born with the establishment of e-commerce and extends the Black Friday offers throughout the weekend. The great success of these campaigns has caused a Pre-Black Friday season, as stores are now heating up the famous date by offering in crescendo discounts until Black Friday arrives or even the Cyber Week, which is the extension of the Cyber Monday offer for a week.

Black Friday has also a LATAM version best known as Buen Fin” and that is particularly known in Mexico, although dates and duration are slightly different to the original Black Friday.

When is Black Friday?

As a US tradition event, Black Friday always falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, this is, the last Friday of the month. So, save the date as this 2020 Black Friday will take place on 27th November and Cyber Monday will fall on 30th November.

The “New Normal”

If we look at the retail business in this “new normal” reality we are facing, Black Friday must be marked in their marketing calendar with a big red circle. In-stores are suffering many closures and some cities are still facing restricted mobility in certain urban areas.

In essence, this 2020 Black Friday will become an online event. Frantic crowds in shops are not to be seen yet it is expected that online sales will burst figures compared to previous years.

However, the Travel industry is slightly different as it is facing some challenges which all companies must consider and include in their plans to be able to face an ever-changing situation that may affect their sales.

In the past, Summer Holidays or Bank Holidays were booked in advance and Black offer deals have always been a good claim to attract users to their websites. However, the situation of constant uncertainty we are now living has caused a gradual shift in the consumers’ behaviour towards travel, and Last Minute bookings have climbed positions in these Travel trends. Consumers react and buy as the “new normal” allows them to.

Nevertheless, this does not mean by all means that the travel industry should stop carrying out special offers or campaigns for Black Friday, but on the contrary.
Airlines are cutting fares and slashing fees so, right now flying to most of the European main destinations is affordable for a great audience. They’ve also relaxed reimbursement policies and increased health and safety measures on aircraft.
On the hospitality side, Hotel chains have strained to offer Free-COVID facilities, creating even Seals of Guarantees and Cancellations and Modifications policies have become more flexible than ever before.
And more importantly, searches of travel offers and deals have boosted globally. In sum, there’s a demand and there’s an offer. Now the question is if the Travel sector can emphasise these guarantees combined with a great offer to attract consumers to their brand and obtain those so desired sales.

So, if you want to learn more about BlackFriday and Cyber Monday, you can have a look in some of our posts created in the past, such as the Tips to get the best of this very consumer event.