Study on Black Friday and Christmas 2020

Undampened anticipation for Black Friday and Christmas shopping.

12 November 2020

The desire for gifts, for oneself and others, remains strong despite Coronavirus restrictions. What is changing is the place and time of the purchase, as the Black Friday study by Profital, the Swiss brochure app, shows. Consumers continue to shop in-store, but are relying more on online shopping than before. In addition, they are also attracted by promotions when it comes to Christmas gifts. This bodes well for retailers who introduce carefully selected offers at the right time.

                Black Friday sign in a shop
Consumers want to benefit from special offers on Black Friday

Black Friday 2020 is eagerly awaited by many consumers despite - or perhaps because of - the exceptional situation. This is shown by the Switzerland-wide and representative survey of around 3,500 users of Profital, the app for digital brochures and promotions. Half of the respondents firmly expect to take advantage of special offers on 27 November. Another 30% can only be motivated spontaneously at best. The following applies: the younger you are, the greater your interest in Black Friday. Offers in the area of fashion and electronics are highly popular, with over 50% of respondents wanting to benefit from them. Furniture and cosmetics bargains are also in demand.

Profital combines the offers of more than 100 retailers in the app of the same name so that consumers do not lose track. “We want to help consumers find the best deals for themselves - on Black Friday and throughout the year. At the same time, Black Friday provides retailers with a good opportunity to place their offers in our app”, says Profital Managing Director Raphael Thommen.

Black Friday - defying Coronavirus

Fears that Coronavirus could have a negative impact on purchasing behaviour are unfounded. The impact of the pandemic can be seen elsewhere: one in five people feel uncomfortable in shops - as recently as October, it was one in ten. A trend that Profital Managing Director, Raphael Thommen, had expected. However, the retail expert knows: "So that the streams of visitors can move alongside each other in the best possible way, many of the offers will not only be available on Black Friday, but throughout “Black Week” from 23 November”. A big rush is expected this year not only in the shops, but also on the internet: 43% of respondents say they shop online more because of Coronavirus.

Swiss buy Christmas presents early

Things also look promising for this year's Christmas business: an average of six gifts will be exchanged. On average, women give 1.2 more gifts than men, although they spend more per gift. Another finding: Christmas presents are not bought at the last minute. 47% of people start in November or even earlier and only 7% buy presents in the last few days before Christmas. The study results show that price also plays an important role when buying gifts: 32% of respondents wait until the desired product is on offer. 34% are attracted by promotions for a gift. Only 18% buy gifts regardless of the promotions.

Information on Black Friday

The history of Black Friday dates back to the 1930s. It was introduced in the US at the end of Thanksgiving by traders who wanted to revive the economy after the Great Depression. Black Friday has also become a major shopping day in Switzerland and marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in many places.

About the study

Profital's study examines consumer behaviour on Black Friday and in the run-up to Christmas, as well as the influence of COVID-19. For the study, 3,471 users of the Profital app were surveyed throughout Switzerland, of which 2,369 were in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, 735 in the West and 367 in the Ticino. The representative consumer survey took place between 2 and 5 November 2020.

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