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Chloe Stout 20.11.2020 In the News

Black Friday 2020 is Cancelled

With COVID reducing in-store footfall on Black Friday this year, is it finally time to put an end to this questionable tradition?

The popularity of the Thanksgiving tradition is on the decline, with lower discounts available and more conscious shoppers on the high street. The latter want more people to shop small and shop environmentally-friendly.

So, is Black Friday finally cancelled?

 

The Slow Decline of Black Friday

You don’t need to be an eCommerce specialist to know that this is the busiest time of year for shopping. So much so, that it’s become known as the Golden Quarter!

Black Friday began in 1950 as an American shopping tradition to follow Thanksgiving, but has slowly made it’s way around the world.

While the day has been globally celebrated in the past, are we now seeing a decline in its popularity?

Firstly, the tradition is well-known for its heavily-discounted sales. But the deals have slowly been getting worse and worse, disappointing customers everywhere. Something that has never been truer in 2020 when companies are struggling to make the same amount of money as last year.

Secondly, there are SOOO many days now!

  • Singles’ Day
  • Black Friday
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Giving Tuesday

It’s overwhelming, confusing and kind of boring.

My inbox at the moment is full to the brim of bright, loud and flashing infographics begging me to look at their deals. It’s been that way since the start of November and I haven’t opened any of them. They’re all the same!

If anything needs to change, it has to be this abrasive marketing technique. The anticipation and build up to the “Big Day” are lost amongst all the advertising and “Black Friday previews”. Let’s go back to one day of the year?

 

The Alternative

Burger King was on the cusp of greatness when they put out this infamous statement:

Burger King Statement

Many were awed by the selfless act of… *checks notes* giving free promotion to other large, multi-million corporations. Yep.

Unfortunately, while they briefly mention “the other independent food outlets”, it’s simply not enough. The headline is focused on McDonalds, a competitor sure, but one who also has a huge online presence and following. They don’t need the free advertising.

But small businesses do.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this year, the big businesses put down their Black Friday marketing campaigns and, in light of COVID and community, advocated for Small Business Saturday? Or is that just wishful thinking?

They could shine a light on some local/small businesses in their industries that need a little extra help this year.

You might think that this wouldn’t boost sales in the same way that Black Friday does, however small business owners are used to helping others out and would certainly return the favour. Furthermore, people LOVED the above Burger King campaign. Consumers will always react positively to self-sacrificing/charitable acts. The big names that do this are held in higher regard.

 

Do people care?

“But what about the deals?” I hear you cry.

Consumers don’t just care about great offers anymore. They care about sustainability. And thanks to COVID, neighbourhood sustainability is at the top of their priority list.

Last year, Americans spent $19.6 billion on Small Business Saturday. Imagine how much bigger that figure would be if the event went global.

However, Small Business Saturday is about far more than just profits. It’s about awareness, which for many small businesses is more important than earning money. Getting your brand and business out there is far more difficult for small businesses with small marketing budgets, which is why they value this day so much!

American Express originated Small Business Saturday in 2010, in which they gave their customers rewards for shopping small.

Now we finally see other companies following in their footsteps, with Penguin launching Bookshop in November 2020. A site that supports independent booksellers by giving independents 30% commission to sales generated via the site and if customers opt in, their contact details will be shared with the independent bookseller for marketing purposes.

All other sales give 10% to an earnings pool that is evenly distributed to stores every six months. Plus, if customers aren’t affiliated with a bookshop, their receipt will inform them of bookshops nearby.

This information was found, here.

An excellent example of how the big names can support smaller businesses, especially in this difficult period.

 

Be Aware!

Obviously, it’s unlikely that Black Friday will be cancelled.

Or at least not this year with the number of promotional adverts that’s invaded our e-mails, social media and TVs since the start of November. But it’s important to be aware of what consumers think of the event.

Many are now branding Black Friday as a big polluter, thanks to the damaging effect that consumerism has on the environment. Black Friday encourages consumers to over-spend and purchase items that they don’t need but want because of its cheap price. This leads to an increase in manufacturing and landfill use when these items are no longer wanted.

The conscious shopper is concerned of the effect that these unnecessary purchases have on our environment, which is why there are now multiple campaigns against Black Friday.

**

3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, strategy & transformation, and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at www.3search.co.uk

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