Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Ethics, sustainability and loyalty: what matters to Black Friday shoppers

By Courtney Wylie, VP of Product & Marketing, Mention Me

Arriving at the tail-end of the second UK lockdown, Black Friday 2020 is set to be the biggest yet. As many retailers recover from a challenging year, the weekend represents a critical opportunity to drive sales, boost revenue, and acquire new customers.

It’s not just retailers eagerly anticipating 27th November. The tough economic climate makes getting a good deal a priority for many cost-conscious consumers. 70% plan to shop Black Friday sales this year (+9% year-on-year). 25% have held off big purchases in the last two months. 14% even plan to do their Christmas shopping over the promotional weekend.

But with so many retailers taking part in Black Friday, a challenge remains. How can brands cut through the noise to reach target consumers?

Firstly, by providing social proof. This continues to be a major influence on consumer buying decisions. Consumers are actively seeking out guidance on the brands to shop with, especially as they can no longer enjoy everyday conversations in the office.

28% are heavily influenced by online reviews; 18% make buying decisions based on the recommendations of friends and family. This is especially true among millennials and Gen Z. For the third year running, a friend or family member’s recommendation is the top discovery method for 18 to 44 year old Black Friday shoppers (29%).

Secondly, by presenting an ethical brand. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact of their buying decisions, on both the environment and others. Fast fashion, cheap supply chains and poor working conditions are under intense scrutiny. One in ten consumers plans to make Black Friday purchases guided by brand ethics. It’s a topic of particular importance to men, with 40% more men than women influenced by a brand’s ethics and 28% by sustainability.

Lastly, by serving a seamless online experience. With the lockdown closing brick-and-mortar stores, Black Friday 2020 will be entirely online. To turn the spike in traffic into long-term customers, brands must effectively engage with customers to nurture their loyalty.

The events of 2020 have made Black Friday an even bigger deal. But price isn’t all that matters to consumers. To drive repeat purchases, brands must meaningfully interact with Black Friday shoppers. This means presenting an authentic brand purpose, operating with transparency and opening up two-way channels of communication.

Businesses that put their customers at the centre of everything they do will reap the rewards – on Black Friday, throughout the festive period, and well into 2021.


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