Oct 25, 20193 min read

Black Friday 2019: A Year of Record Or Boycott?

Vivika Söderbäck headshot

by Viveka Söderbäck

It’s that time of the year again! Holiday season is getting closer, and to kick it off with a bang we have the holy shopping day of Black Friday coming up. I bet you as an online retailer are all set for the big day, but what about consumers? Will there be another shopping record set this year, or are more shoppers boycotting the event?

Last year, many retailers made a statement by not participating in Black Friday. While we all worry about providing our children with a sustainable future and Greta Thunberg is traveling the world on a sailing boat, you might ask yourself if the hysteria around Black Friday is decreasing as well.

Well in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Klarna has done a survey* asking shoppers about their plans for Black Friday, and our prediction is that the event will be even bigger (again) this year. Shoppers even have a thorough plan for the event and will stay up late just to be the first to the bargains.

As Consumer Insights Manager at Klarna, here’s my forecast for Black Friday 2019.

Planning is key

As many as 62 percent of the shoppers we surveyed are planning to shop on Black Friday and three out of four of these will buy Christmas presents (73 percent). 84 percent have planned what they will buy, and 86 percent have even decided how much money they will spend.

These numbers truly show how established the shopping event has become since a majority are planning to shop on Black Friday and even have a specific plan for it. This also means that it’s not just about impulse buying whatever is going cheap. It’s more about waiting to buy things you were going to buy anyway, in the hope that you’ll get them at a lower price during this event. In other words, people are budgeting in a smart way and making purchases that they’ve already planned for, at the lowest price possible.

The early bird catches the worm

Of those who are planning to shop on Black Friday, 60 percent say that they will shop mostly online, whereas only 20 percent are planning to buy mostly in physical stores. And shoppers are very dedicated to getting what they want this year, with 38 percent planning to stay awake until midnight and shop the moment Black Friday starts.

You could say that Black Friday has almost become some sort of nighttime event, where shoppers are waiting in line at online shops to get the best deals.

Shoppers want to be sustainable, but how?

Even though consumers don’t seem to want to stop shopping anytime soon, the desire for it to be sustainable is increasing. As many as 61 percent think that it is important that the goods they buy or receive are produced in a sustainable way. And there’s no doubt that we’re seeing a Greta Thunberg effect in this, as 9 out of 10 state that sustainability has become more important to them in the past year.

This eco-friendly mindset has penetrated Black Friday shoppers too, with 51 percent saying that environmental factors will influence their buying behavior this year. However, there seems to be some confusion around the best way to approach sustainable shopping. Some people plan to buy less, some will look for eco-friendly products, and others for products that are longer-lasting. Shoppers also seem to be divided over the question of whether it’s more sustainable to shop online or in brick-and-mortar stores.

The conclusion

Even if it was an innovative marketing strategy for companies to boycott Black Friday last year, consumers still seem to be craving those low-priced bargains. But they’re looking for more than just big discounts this year; to give your customers exactly what they want, you’ll need to be both cheap and sustainable.

Get your store ready for the Holiday season. Get in touch with Klarna here.

*1066 Swedish shoppers participated in Klarna’s survey on Black Friday shopping behavior in November 2019.