Black Friday 2020: an edition like no other

28 December 2020

The 2020 edition of Black Friday was strongly marked by the restrictions linked to COVID-19, on the one hand by the reconfiguration which led to an increase in internet purchases and, on the other hand, by the reopening of non-essential shops and its drive-to store actions. Contrary to neighbouring countries and after negotiations with the retail, trade and e-commerce sectors, the French government finally postponed its date by one week in order to reopen all shops assoon as possible. While some international players such as SKLUM have maintained their promotions on the initial date, others have agreed to postpone their offers by a week, notably Amazon.

Despite an increasingly visible Green Friday movement, this annual event was eagerly awaited, motivated by Christmas shopping and high expectations regarding discounts. Here is the state of play with Feed Manager.

Black Friday disrupted by the health situation

In order not to penalise small physical shops that are closed due to the lockdown, the date of Black Friday has been shifted in our country. Initially scheduled for 27 November, it has been pushed back to 4 December. While some retailers such as Carrefour, Auchan, Leclerc or Amazon France have accepted this changeHowever, some retailers have maintained their offers by renaming them and launching campaigns to attract visitors to their sites .

For their part, consumers responded throughout the duration of these promotions and on Black Friday, sales were up 11% on 2019, according to a study by Criteo.

The postponement of the date, a government decision

A compromise between health and economy, this postponement of the date was based in particular on the implementation of a reinforced sanitary protocol. The Minister for the Economy stated in a joint communiqué This unanimous agreement had been reached in order to allow the shops to reopen soon under conditions of maximum health safety'. By following the government's recommendations and postponing its Black Friday, Amazon France, the online retail giant, also facilitated the reopening process of "non-essential" physical shops.

Black Friday confusion for consumers and merchants

The confusion generated by these last-minute changes in the minds of Internet users has also had an impact on the organisation of retailers, particularly with regard to the activation of their ads and offers.
"Blue Friday", "Design Christmas", "Beauty Days"... whether it is a disguised Black Friday or offers on the fringes of this commercial operation, this change of designation, which is not without recalling that the same phenomenon had already occurred during the 2015 attacks, once again leads to questioning the legitimacy of Black Friday in France.

Analysis: figures and trends

The figures collected over the last three years show that Black Friday and Black Week are now a great time for online sales, especially for Christmas shopping. According to pre-event forecastsE-commerce sales, boosted by the health situation, would gain further ground this year compared to in-store sales.

We have decided to share with you some of the results of our client panel (all sectors).

If we analyse the 4-day period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (Friday 4 December to Monday 7 December 2020) and compare it to last year (Friday 29 November to Monday 2 December 2019), we see an average growth of 102% in turnover.

If we focus only on the "official day", Friday:
+21% traffic
+17% conversions
+25% turnover

Even though many advertisers had launched promotions on the previous Friday, this postponed Black Friday was obviously highly anticipated by Internet users.

Conclusion

As these results and the Google Trends analysis show, this key date continues to attract consumer interest. According to a Strategy&PwC study reported by Le Figaro, 36% of them had planned their purchases before the promotional operation and 35% of purchase intentions concerned Christmas gifts.

Even if it is contested and stigmatised for encouraging excessive consumption, Black Friday still has a bright future ahead of it because "the French, marked by the economic crisis, are "evolving towards a more pragmatic form of consumption that gives pride of place to the price of products over ecological or societal expectations".

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