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Black Friday in 2020

It is projected the holiday period will drive $51.1bn in global sales* this year, but debate rages around its existence more than ever.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday - or Cyber Week as they're increasingly known as now - are being heavily examined this year. It might be one of retail's toughest years in recent history, but is such a period tone deaf when it comes to the challenge of the pandemic not to mention sustainability? Is it a relic of retail history that should have had its death in the much-touted "reset" of 2020? ⁣

We gathered members from brands large and small to discuss the balance between survival in the year of COVID-19 versus whether consumerism should even be pushed to such an extent given the climate crisis. Here are some highlights:⁣


Online is the new flagship after this year's enforced lockdown closures. E-commerce is driving consumer savvy and hunger for deals. There have been undeniable success stories of lockdown but every brand is facing challenges and for some, Black Friday is part of a survival strategy. The challenge then is doing this without seeming insensitive, encouraging spending while acknowledging the balance of missing friends, family and more. ⁣


An empathetic, authentic tone of voice pays dividends, which many have had to revise their approach to this year. Community and giving are the retail buzzwords for 2020, which ties neatly to a sustainable underpinning. The strongest marketing initiatives will thus tap into this rather than broad, big discounting, which merely offer short-term gains on the bottom line but risks devaluing the brand and alienating the customer. ⁣


Markdowns aren't of course the only option. An increasing number of brands are focusing on special, one-off experiences to engage on a deeper level or reach new customers. Others are supporting environmental and social initiatives. Just like the discussions we had on Brand Purpose (visit our IGTV!), "going quiet" isn't wise - what’s important either way is to take a stance over the period so as to join the conversation when consumers are actively online.⁣

FashMash Focus is sponsored by Klaviyo. (*data courtesy of Klaviyo)


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