Black Friday is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. Retailers slash their prices, double their marketing efforts and brace themselves for an influx of orders over the weekend.
Last year, the UK was in a national lockdown throughout November, so bargains could only be bagged online, meaning consumer spend was significantly down compared to 2019.
But what will 2021 bring?
Experts are expecting UK shoppers to spend up to £200m over the course of the next few days, but we could see an entirely different picture. The shops are back open, and while Europe experiences a fourth wave of Covid cases, the success of the vaccine programme in the UK seems to be fending off any threats of another national lockdown (for now). But, inflation has risen to the highest level seen since 2011 – driven in part by a surge in wholesale oil and gas prices – which has also driven up retail energy prices and household bills. The cost of living is rising, and until the Bank of England raises interest rates to curb this rise, households will more than likely be tightening their purse strings.
The events of the last (almost) two years have stung us all – psychologically and emotionally, and we don’t need data to tell us they have also been destabilising for household finances. Millions of people around the country were out of work for huge lengths of time, many more had to leave full time work to care for loved ones, and businesses were forced to shut. So while some people are emerging from the pandemic with surplus cash and a boost to their savings, many are in a very different situation.
While we wait for the data to come in from Black Friday 2021, it’s a good opportunity to think about the role of brands that consumers connect with everyday. As we all know, brands can have a huge influence on consumer behaviour, and as their visibility intensifies in the run up to Christmas, as does this influence. This power could and should be harnessed for good, as well as driving awareness and sales. At Vested we feel particularly passionate about financial literacy. It’s a subject that lots of financial services businesses tackle – some better than others – but right now there’s a greater opportunity to talk about it and an even greater need.
Get in touch if you’d like to chat about the opportunities for your brand.