By Ellie-Rose Davies, Content Executive at IMRG

Happy Black Friday… and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Using data from our index with Capgemini, this blog will take you through IMRG’s initial findings of November’s performance so far. Continue reading to find out about live Black Friday campaigns, revenue, category-specific analysis, and our expectations for Black Friday week itself.

Live Black Friday Campaigns

Each year, IMRG checks in with 305 websites daily throughout November, capturing when their campaigns go live. Have a look at the red bars in Chart A; these present a whopping +78% increase in live campaigns in the first two weeks of November alone compared to 2021. Also, on Monday 21st November this year, there were more Black Friday campaigns active than on Black Friday itself last year, epitomising this growing trend.

The blue bars, demonstrating 2021 data, are noticeably lower than the red, suggesting the growing demand for early deals. Now, this might be the case this year more than ever because the “big ones” (*Amazon Prime days 1 and 2*) are pushing smaller businesses to follow suit. Notwithstanding, we must recognise that while the blue bars look small, they do represent the growing trend in early campaigning compared to pre-pandemic years.

Another reason why there is an appetite for early discounting is that more businesses are being more customer sensitive, understanding that budgets will be the tightest ever this year owing to the rising cost of living, and responding to this by allowing their customers to buy more for less, for longer.

Providing an extended shopping window allows for better budgeting, well-thought-out purchases, and time to make repeat discounted orders. Understanding what a customer needs is important to drive loyalty and respect, especially when loyalty is uncommon in financially turbulent times.

What About Revenue?

As the campaigns are pulled forward, this might make you question, what does this mean for revenue?

 Customers responded well to early deals, and we can see this in Chart B, which shows total market revenue has been in positive territory since the w/c 6th November 2022. Retailers last saw positivity in w/c 10th July, which owed to the summer heatwaves, and subsequently happy shoppers.

In w/c 6th November growth was +1%, and in w/c 13th November, growth was +5.7% (the second highest figure in our 2022 index as of yet), suggesting that, so far, more people are spending at the beginning of the month as compared to November 2021. Also, the increase in weekly revenue implies that as we geared closer to Black Friday itself, more customers were picking up the thrifting momentum, perhaps holding out in anticipation of even bigger discounts.

Thus, while these positive figures are against negative figures last year (w/c 6th – 11%, w/c 13th – 9.9%), it is still growth to be celebrated nonetheless.

Online Retail Category Specificities

In the context of a relatively bad year for most online retail categories, bar clothing which was not as affected by the pandemic, there are many categories that have been performing well this month (see Chart C).

Leading the way we have the beers, wines & spirits category which on the w/c 6th November saw an astonishing +59.3% growth, followed by +48.4% on w/c 13th November. I think most of us will be able to guess what’s causing this merriment, and after all, IMRG did say The World Cup might be a huge Black Friday distractionist this year. Customers are making the most of this event, and perhaps stocking up on alcohol now ready for the quickly commencing festivity of Christmas.

Not far behind we have home & garden and its subcategories furniture and home, revealing that more people have started to care about doing up their homes in time for Christmas frivolity and guests post-pandemic.

As you can see, furniture has been having a great time, at +22.1% w/c 6th November 2022, and +32.9% w/c 13th November 2022. Also, in the words of Andy, IMRG’s Strategy and Insight Director, since August 2022, ‘home has gone from zero to hero’, particularly last week as growth reached new heights for 2022, at +21.7%.

One of the most probable reasons why these categories, alongside health & beauty and electricals, saw positive growth is because home, beauty, and electrical retailers decided to go very early with their campaigns this year. Therefore, Chart C demonstrates customer response to these big discounts.

What Can We Expect For Black Friday Week Itself?

Firstly, let’s recap on IMRG’s Black Friday week predictions:

As many retailers decided to push forward their campaigns, and as numerous customers spent their hard-earned money a lot earlier, we might see a slight or considerable drop in revenue for Black Friday week, w/c 20th November 2022.

Customers might have more distaste for last-minute panic buying, so many retailers might be disappointed as YoY monthly growth might remain negative for the nineteenth month in a row.

We’ll have to wait and see…

If you are eager to find out the results of Black Friday 2022, register for IMRG’s upcoming events here: Events – IMRG

Like what you have read? Then read more of IMRG’s Black Friday orientated blogs here:

Published 25/11/2022

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