Black Friday: Do Your Homework

With North America’s biggest shopping period rapidly approaching, retailers and their marketers focus on demographies and how to best attract them. Millennials always seem to be at the forefront of these efforts as one of the most desirable consumer groups. Some research provided by Influenster gives us insight into their potential Black Friday behavior. Perhaps surprisingly, many plan to visit an actual store to participate in Black Friday festivities. Of the 93% of millennials that plan to shop over the holiday weekend, only 26% said they would be shopping more on Cyber Monday. The fact that many in this group are physically hitting the stores is also eye-opening considering their digital-heavy lifestyles.

Many savvy bargain shoppers will say that Black Friday doesn’t even host the best deals of the holiday season, other than a few select “doorbuster” items that stores always run out of. There are also many millennial-friendly premium and lifestyle brands (REI, Pier 1, Patagonia, etc.) who have announced they would not participate in the Thanksgiving sales stampede, hinting at a growing industry trend. Taking into account the millennial acuity for social causes and cultural awareness, some might say it’s in their generational DNA to avoid the weekend’s gross display of rabid consumerism, but maybe even these 18-34 year-olds can’t pass up a monster bargain.

This data is a prime example of how research and consumer intelligence are critical to advertising. Instead of basing marketing decisions on assumptions and profiling a demographic, look at the numbers to be sure they align with your strategy, even if you’re “sure.” This should hold true for Black Friday as well as all the other Fridays of the year.