The significance of Black Friday in Nigeria varies depending on who you ask. A recent survey has shed light on intriguing trends and outcomes from the latest Black Friday, underscoring the criticality of preparation for this significant shopping event. Let us delve into the details.
Increased Participation in Black Friday Promotions: The survey showed a rise in shoppers’ intention to participate compared to last year, indicating heightened consumer anticipation for Black Friday deals. There is not a better time for shoppers on a tight budget to grab some fantastic deals.
Balanced Interest in Online and Physical Stores: While interest remains equally split between online and physical marketplaces, a notable shift has occurred: More consumers now prefer online shopping but are not ruling out shopping at physical stores. The discounts available and value for money can change that posture in an instant as we will see later in this article. Conversely, the number intending to visit physical stores, has decreased. This change was influenced by external factors like the removal of fuel subsidies and general inflation, driving people towards more convenient shopping options.
Critical Messaging for Retailers: Retailers with a brick-and-mortar business model expecting increased footfall had to communicate effectively across appropriate channels. This meant providing accurate and timely information about deals, as shoppers explore both offline and online avenues for the best offers.
Shoppers’ Focus on Specific Categories: The challenging economic environment, impacting disposable incomes, has led shoppers to primarily seek deals in clothing, gadgets, and home improvement. These high-involvement categories attracted consumers to physical stores for a firsthand experience, partly due to past frustrations with online shopping, such as incorrect orders or problematic returns. Also, some shoppers wanted to use this opportunity to shop for Christmas and make huge savings in the process.
Key Shopping Decision Factors: Value for money, discounts, and convenience were the top three factors influencing shopping decisions. Notably, there has been a significant shift in shopping decision factors. Value for money surpassed convenience in importance, reflecting a change in consumer priorities this term. Come this Black Friday, shoppers say they will place greater emphasis on the overall worth and quality of their purchases rather than the ease of shopping. As a result, consumers were more inclined to seek out items that offer the best value over those that are simply convenient to purchase.
Retailer Insights from Observations and Interviews: Post-Black Friday analyses and interviews with retailers confirm that shoppers were indeed influenced by these trends. Retailers who prepared meticulously for Black Friday reaped benefits. This preparation encompassed building brand trust, offering genuine discounts, ensuring adequate stock for promotions, and effective merchandising, which not only boosted sales of discounted items but also spurred purchases of non-discounted products.
Strategic Non-Participation by Some Retailers: Interestingly, some retailers chose not to participate in Black Friday, deeming it incongruent with their business strategy or customer interests. They plan to focus on Christmas proper and other seasons or events, avoiding the pitfalls of half-hearted participation.
In conclusion, Black Friday in Lagos, Nigeria, mirrors global retail trends, spotlighting evolving consumer preferences and the imperative for retailers to adapt and prepare. Whether embracing Black Friday’s frenzy or opting for strategic non-participation, understanding consumer behaviour, and aligning business strategies is crucial. For retailers, success hinges not just on participating in Black Friday, but on how well they prepare for and respond to consumer needs and market dynamics.