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Market Pulse: Sales don't just mean discounts

Market Pulse: Sales don't just mean discounts

Sale season is here, with brands across the globe jumping on board with limited offers and discounts. But with almost every brand shouting about their latest deal, how do you stand out from the bustling crowd? We’ve collated some insights from our Market Pulse newsletter to give you some vital insights on Black Friday, Singles’ Day, and El Buen Fin, to help you understand what consumers really care about this month.

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Is Black Friday a new “season”?

An early gift

This week confirmed that Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving in the US known for major consumer deals, is no longer just a November event. Following last year, retailers like Walmart and Best Buy leaked their Black Friday deals early this year, offering exclusive pre-Black Friday deals and prices on certain items. Consumers around the world are happy about this, with 27% positive sentiment in the US, and growing positive sentiment across Europe, especially in Italy, the UK, and Germany.

Black Friday sentiment drivers

Consumers are happy about early Black Friday deals, especially because of the wide product variety, low prices, and free shipping.

Customer expectations

Consumers are showing their eagerness around Black Friday deals, with a desire to take advantage of the low prices, and wide variety of products, but there is growing concern around the global supply chain. The issues (mostly due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19) are a big reason for brands to start their Black Friday deals early, as they prepare for the potential impact on their order fulfillment and shipping times, and customers buy before products run out. Brands should also keep this consumer concern in mind when planning their Black Friday marketing campaigns, to better connect with shoppers through their storytelling.

Black Friday Conversation Clusters

Customers are planning ahead and creating their wish lists, with tech products at the top, as the worries of microchips and the supply chain continue.

A season of seasons

So, is Black Friday another new marketing “season”? While much of the origin for early Black Friday deals for the past two years may be due to global supply chain issues, the trend of extending Black Friday beyond its original day (after Thanksgiving) has been happening for some time. Similar to “spooky season,” brands today need to create more touchpoints with customers given past complaints of one-day sales events and listen to their concerns around product shortages, to ensure customer satisfaction and a successful campaign.

See how brands are leveraging online conversations for e-commerce success

A bigger, sustainable and socially responsible Singles’ Day


November 11 in China is known as “Singles’ Day.” When written numerically (11.11) the four digits evoke “bare branches”, a Chinese expression for the unattached. Starting in the ‘90s on university campuses, this day has since evolved into both a celebration of being single, as well as a massive global shopping event, with Alibaba and setting new sales records last week with $139 billion generated on Singles’ Day.

Singles Day Conversation Clusters

Albums, beauty & skincare, home appliances & tech gear continue to be leading purchases on 11.11.

A new day

Within the 2.5M mentions of Singles’ Day this year, there was a notable new theme taking over - social causes. China recently launched a “common prosperity” push to bolster new efforts for environmental sustainability and social equality, inspiring initiatives like being a “conscious consumer” and economically uplifting businesses across the APAC region.

Singles Day visual insights

Consumers used social media on Singles’ Day to show how, what, and with whom they were shopping.

Deals for donations

This Singles’ Day, Alibaba also pushed for sustainability and for a smaller carbon footprint, pledging to donate 1 yuan when Singles’ Day shoppers purchase certain items and post on social media, as well as issuing “green vouchers” to encourage environmentally friendly purchases. Among the top images for this year’s shopping event, malls, consumers with shopping carts, and discounts were shared the most. With sales continuing to climb, Singles’ Day this year has taken a new path, opening up opportunities for new philanthropic brand partnerships.

Launch your brand in new markets, with new audiences

El Buen Fin, but not all is as good as expected

The good end

Lasting from November 10-16, El Buen Fin (The Good End) is Mexico’s equivalent of Black Friday shopping. This year, alongside discussions of best discounts, and the expansion of online sales channels, one of the most popular topics was advice for safe purchases and how to avoid phishing scams.

El Buen Fin Conversation Clusters

Finding the best deals, avoiding scams, and staying safe while making online and in-store purchases were popular topics for this year’s Buen Fin.

Too good of a deal?

The National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users (CONDUSEF) in Mexico shared that in the first half of 2021 (January - June), there were 3.9M claims and complaints of consumer fraud, 70% of which were on digital transactions. As a result, this year, the Mexican government launched their “Escudo Coordinado,” a coordinated operation to help keep shoppers safe and prevent crime.

El Buen Fin word cloud

Fraud was the biggest concern for shoppers this year, causing consumer protection agencies like PROFECO to get involved.

To provide shoppers with peace of mind, hybrid physical and digital (phygital) shopping experiences with major safety protocols were heavily encouraged during El Buen Fin this year. For this reason, it is important to create marketing campaigns that educate customers on potential threats and guide them through the shopping process. This will help create brand trust and provide customers with an optimal shopping experience.

How to protect your brand and keep your customers

Keep your finger on the pulse…

This is just a flavor of what you’ll find in our free weekly Market Pulse newsletter. Each one is packed with the latest trends, consumer insights, and the brands that are causing a stir online. Straight to your inbox every Wednesday. If you fancy some of that, just sign up below.

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