Black Friday 2022: What ecommerce & marketing trends should you expect?


Predicting Black Friday trends for 2022 conjures up conflicting theories. Some say that the highest inflation rate in 40 years reported midway through the year may cause consumers to pull back on spending on the “nice to haves” while at the same time it may mean that price sensitive shoppers will be taking full advantage of the bargains and special offers that Black Friday brings.

We don’t have a crystal ball at StudioForty9 and even if we did we tend to trust the data more than magic! In helping our clients to plan for Black Friday in 2022 we have taken a look at what the data tells us from last year and this year and weighed it up against the latest innovations in digital marketing and ecommerce to help plan for success this holiday season.

What are the early indicators for Black Friday 2022?

Cash Saving Strategies

  • A survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics found that 28.6% of respondents are only planning to purchase Christmas gifts that are on sale this year.
  • The survey also found that half of consumers are planning to spend less on gifts to save money for the holiday season.

Early Christmas Shopping

  • Research by Salesforce found that 42% more shoppers worldwide plan to start buying gifts earlier this year.

Online Shopping & Price Comparison

  • Mastercard’s Spending Pulse indicates that ecommerce is anticipated to increase as it remains a convenient way for consumers to check prices in real time.

Trending Categories

  • After athleisure and casual dress dominated so much of lockdown, consumers are expected to be extra fashion forward in their purchasing this year. The Mastercard Spending Pulse notes that Clothing (+4.6% YOY/ +25.3% YO3Y) and Luxury (+4.4% YOY/ +29.6% YO3Y) are expected to be hot holiday gift sectors.

Trends in online shopping

  • Earlier this year in a survey of 5,000 US shoppers, Attentive found that fast shipping (83%) and ease of payments (76%) were the most important attributes of online shopping for customers.
  • Wunderman & Thompson’s survey results published in June of this year also indicated 64% of global consumers said they wish brands and retailers would be more innovative in how they use digital technology to improve their experiences. 

What do last year’s metrics reveal?

  • Shopify surveyed 1,899 Shopify merchants from AMER, EMEA & APAC after Black Friday in 2021 and found that businesses who reported a successful Black Friday or holiday sale planned more extensively and started their planning earlier.
  • In 2020 and 2021 many Irish retailers leveraged “Green Friday” as a campaign to encourage shoppers to shop with Irish retailers. The focus appeared to get positive results as Revolut reported 71% of its users shopping with Irish stores or websites in 2021, up from 39% the previous year.

Summary of high level trends

The data indicates that shoppers will be ready for the festive season like never before, they will be planning to leverage the discounts early on in the season and will be willing to shop around for the best deals. Expectations are high too as customers want retailers to deliver convenient and reliable experiences in exchange for their carefully budgeted purchases. After a highly successful year last year in encouraging Irish customers to choose to shop with Irish stores over international retailers, retailers will need to carry the torch to keep shopping domestically front of mind for customers in 2022.

Ecommerce Strategies for Black Friday

Value adds and discount strategies

As retailers attempt to forecast the best balance between discounts and generating revenue this quarter, it’s worth noting that last year the global average discount rate fell from 26% in 2020 to 24% in 2021(Salesforce). There are value add opportunities that could be considered along with traditional discounts. For example, although shoppers are expected to spend less on gifts overall there is an opportunity where price conscious shoppers will be looking to bundle their purchases in one store where they find good deals. Retailers could leverage this by:

  • Incentivising spending over a certain amount to get free shipping 
  • Integrating AI tools to make smart product recommendations
  • Free gifts with purchases
  • Curated ‘get the look’ recommended products

Ensure your checkout is up to standard

Customers who shop online are looking for convenience and flexibility meaning that your checkout page is one of the most important steps in the customer’s journey. Ensure that you are able to offer your customers options such as:

  • Click & Collect
  • Buy Now, Pay Later

Communication

Black Friday and Cyber Monday present such a great opportunity for your brand to nab new customers. A major factor in whether these customers become repeat customers will boil down to the quality of their encounter. Communication is so important to get right to give your new customers every reason to come back in the future. On your online store some of the key areas that will create a positive experience include:

  • Live chat / chatbots features
  • Accurate shipping dates
  • Clear returns policy and information

Digital marketing trends for Black Friday

Every year social media plays a more and more vital role in the world of retail especially for Black Friday and Christmas. Customers are becoming more savvy at using social media to shop, with 65% of 31,000+ consumers across 18 international markets admitting they have already bought through social media platforms (Wunderman + Thompson). Digital marketers have to be smart and agile to adapt strategies to changing technologies and consumer behaviour.

Here are some important digital marketing strategies to consider for peak consumer season this year.

Leverage data

In a highly competitive social media environment data-driven insights are:

  • Cost Effective: spend less time investing in demographic testing and use the data you’re collecting every day without realising
  • Efficient: Your data is at your fingertips, you just need to know where to look
  • Reliable: Data that you have collected compliantly is yours, and you have less of a risk of losing it

Lead Generation

Where many brands can fall down is using Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a singular event where they focus all of their momentum and then leave behind to move onto the next focus in Q1 the following year. By viewing Black Friday as an important lead generation activity and nurturing your leads appropriately you have the potential to create repeat customers and even brand advocates. Some important considerations for your lead generation strategies are:

  • Include lead magnets such as carefully timed pop-ups, competitions on social media or Google ads.
  • Send a welcome email to customers who sign up to introduce and engage them with your brand
  • Reward new customers with future promo codes

Harness Loyalty

For customers who are already on your subscriber list or viewing your online channels in the lead up to Black Friday, give them every opportunity to convert with tactics such as:

  • Members only VIP early access to sales
  • Generate FOMO and anticipation with teasers on your store or online channels
  • Offer access to password-protected products/deals

Get support optimising your omnichannel strategy with StudioForty9

Helping you to evolve your omnichannel strategy is at the core of what we do at StudioForty9. We understand that businesses need to keep up with the constantly changing world of online retail and we can help you to deliver the best possible experience on your online store and other key digital channels.

StudioForty9 is a specialist omnichannel agency supporting many of Ireland’s best known retailers to excel in a dynamic and fast paced online marketplace. We are leading Shopify experts as the first agency to become a Shopify Plus Partner in Ireland.

Contact us to get advice on platform migration, customisation or growth marketing, email info@studioforty9.com for more information. 
View our work with some of Ireland’ top retailers.

Image credits: Image 1 by freestocks on Unsplash | Image 2 by rupixen.com on Unsplash | Image 3 by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Louise Jennings
Louise Jennings |