Black Friday: demand without supply?

  • December 6, 2018
593 330 eNet

Once again, Black Friday marks the beginning of what could be the most exciting period of the year in commerce. The special offers in stores and webshops are preceded by months of planning and preparation. But how ready is the other side, i.e. customers, this year? Research by eNET about Black Friday shopping plans indicates that Hungarian internet users are less enthusiastic than last year, but they could still spend up to HUF 110 billion (~EUR 340 million) if they found the right products at good prices.

Black Friday hype over?

This year’s Black Friday is coming with less fanfare than in previous years. The media used to reverberate from special offers and advertisements, but this year physical stores and webshops are more subdued. Adult internet users also exhibit moderate enthusiasm: while the largest group (47%) plan to purchase goods on Black Friday, three out of ten people are rather unsure, i.e. they could not yet decide if they wanted to take advantage of the special offers.

Does the high level of uncertainty mean that the hype over Black Friday is gone? Last year, eNET’s research showed that half of all shoppers, whether in physical stores or webshops, found limited discounts, and one-tenth, in fact, indicated negligibly lower prices. What’s more, a seven-percent minority claimed that the discounts were not based on the latest prices but on previous (higher) prices. These experiences could have dampened customers’ interest in Black Friday.

Black Friday lost amongst special offers?

Besides the negative experiences, another factor that could have made customers less sanguine is that buyers may have brought year-end purchases even further forward in order to avoid the late delivery of goods ordered online. (About 27% of those who had received their parcels late at the end of last year indicated that they would do their shopping earlier next time.) Also, people have took advantage of previous significant discounts. October and November bring a multitude of special offers: Crazy Days, VAT waivers, Glamour Days, Joy Days etc. More and more physical stores and webshops join these latter two campaigns; and those who don’t are likely to announce their own “coupon days”. So buyers don’t have to wait for Black Friday if they want discounts, and don’t have to fret about the late delivery of items to be put under the Christmas tree, provided that they ordered them at the end of November.

Planned spending exceeds the actual amount

Naturally, this does not herald the end of Black Friday in Hungary. Even though fewer people have definite shopping intentions on Black Friday than before, they plan to spend more money. The average budget earmarked for these occasions was HUF 36,000 (~EUR 112) in 2017, this year’s projected cart value is HUF 42,000 (~EUR 130). This average spending could result in a total turnover of HUF 110-112 billion (~EUR 340 – 350 million), i.e. fewer people plan to spend almost as much as last year’s bigger group (when this amount was HUF 120 billion (~EUR 390 million). eNET’s measurements indicated last year that only half of the planned trade volume was actually realised, but Black Friday offers still attract lively attention, and it’s mostly up to the shops how much of the needs they can satisfy. There is a clear demand for these special offers; the question is whether shops are willing to lower their prices to the extent desired by customers.

Large online and offline stores to gain most from Black Friday

The findings of eNET’s representative survey conducted among adult internet users show the following top five webshops where the respondents intend(ed) to shop on Black Friday: eMAG, MediaMarkt, Extreme Digital, Euronics, and Tesco (in this order). Compared to last year, eMAG, Euronics and Tesco gained popularity among Black Friday deal hunters, while Mall.hu, last year’s fourth, is now out of the top five.

Notably, “hard-core” shoppers still consider Black Friday to be an online affair, despite the challenging (and sometimes adventurous) delivery issues. Almost half of those who plan to shop on Black Friday visit both online and physical shops, but four out of 10 plan to buy goods online only. (Last year, one-third of those planning to shop wanted to do so over the Internet only.)

Half of those who plan to buy goods are real bargain hunters who carefully prepare for Black Friday and are often ready to jump at the desired products right at the start of the special offer period.

Webshops and stores compete fiercely to maximise their share of the cake. That is why Black Friday in Hungary has evolved from single-day discounts into a series of special offers that may last for several weeks instead of only one day.

eNET

About the survey: eNET interviewed 915 members (internet users older than 18 years) of the online research community VeVa.hu between 13 and 18 November 2018. The results are representative of the views of adult Hungarian internet users by gender, age and region.

Press releases about eNET’s previous research related to Black Friday: