From cool couches to top of the line electronics, pressies for the holiday season and pool accessories as summer waves at us, Black Friday (BF) 2021 looks set to be a biggie as shoppers return to malls to take advantage of some serious specials, while post-pandemic ‘professional’ online fundi’s get to grips with exploring and scoring.
Following the pandemic, as restrictions ease around in-store visits and global supply chain issues become less of a problem, the buzz is already humming. Retailers are launching teasers promising an extended format with “deals throughout November” instead of the usual three to five-day focus towards month end, instead offering specials released each week. While the anticipation of incredible deals around the latest innovation and tech are sure to capture many a purse string.
This takes preparation and focus and like any pre-match countdown shoppers need to limber up, do their homework and plan a strategy around getting ‘Friday Fit’ to be ahead of the game and out of the starting blocks when the whistle blows. “And Mike is away getting a good start as Thembi whips around the homeware aisle and with incredible dexterity loads a TV effortlessly into her trolley.” There is undoubtedly an element of fun as there is nothing quite like the high when it comes to saving money and getting a great deal at the same time.
That said, consider these FIVE general tips:
Get your ducks in a row as soon as possible by checking out retailers’ sites, following them on social media and downloading their apps to track their deals. Note store opening times and in-store/online restrictions and how long they intend advertising deals for. [www.outdoorphoto.co.za].
Prioritise your must-have items. Don’t shop on impulse, only buy what you can afford. Think before you spend. Just because it’s BF doesn’t mean that all shops have the same discount for items you are looking for so compare prices [IOL Black Friday Guide].
Plan your physical routes first by store and then by product importance as well as considering the increased traffic and putting your safety first. Heads up, IOL reported that in 2019, the busiest shopping times were between 9am and 10am. Alternatively shop online and create your shopping accounts in advance storing your shopping details, cards and contact information, making checking out easier [www.dc1.co.za].
Research pre-BF pricing and use online price comparison tools as not everything is really the deal it pretends to be [www.outdoorphoto.co.za].
IOL reports that this time of year can be more lucrative for criminals than it is for consumers with cyber-crime sneaking into the gaps, taking advantage of unwary shoppers. Make sure you have anti-virus software; buy only from reputable retailers and don’t let a “great” deal trump your common sense.
#we’lljustleavethishere! – IOL reported that the most expensive on-line transaction recorded last year on BF was for a hospitality purchase of over R10m.
Here are FIVE tips from retailers to prepare you for bagging your bargain:
Retailers who are on top of their game, will anticipate that with a surge in sales that they may struggle to fulfil orders. Check out their expected delivery dates on their product pages so that you are aware of potential delays before you check-out [www.themediaonline.co.za].
Check out whether your chosen retailer has trust badges on their website, for example a Google reviews rating is great. It could be because they offer free shipping or money-back guarantees. These badges instil trust at checkout and before the time [www.themediaonline.co.za].
In times where shoppers may be feeling a cash flow pinch – check out if any of your chosen retailers offer a payment platform that allows you to pay off goods over a period of time.
Search online for sites that put you front and centre of the moment giving you a heads-up as to niche brands as well as SA’s mega brand and their participation in BF sales across categories both online and in-store – such as beauty and grooming, general retailers, health and wellness, pets, sneakers, and footwear [www.nichemarket.co.za].
BF is about discounted products but its also a perfect time for retailers to go beyond discounts and offer more benefits such as free shipping, returns, free gifts, points added to loyalty programs or bonuses. Take the time to check out who is going beyond [www.sleeknote.com].
Undeniably BF triggers urgency and scarcity – so don’t panic. Getting out and in-store with pandemic protocols in place or taking your time to shop the best deal online no hassle no fuss, is what it’s all about. Enjoy the ride.