Black Friday: Good deals or marketing gimmicks
The price slash is amazing and the packaging draws you in. You probably would see an ad that tells why you should not let such an amazing opportunity pass you by. And the truth is: when Black Friday comes knocking (forget how ominous that sounds, anyway), retailers, e-commerce sites and manufacturers give you more than a thousand reasons to buy what you may not even need.
Black Friday started in the United States and it is usually the Friday after Thanksgiving Day – the fourth Thursday in November. Since 1932, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early and offer promotional sales.
Black Friday has, however, become a worldwide phenomenon driven largely by giant e-commerce platforms, tapping into online shoppers’ penchant for bargain hunting.
Leading Nigerian online shopping site, Jumia, said its record for 2015 Black Friday was the biggest in the country’s history of the day. Jumia said its 2015 success was “leveraged [on] mobile to provide the best possible shopping experience for buyers, and to create a bigger marketplace for its vendors.”
Data provided by the company in December 2015 showed that it recorded about 900% sales increase in Africa when compared to 2014. This was driven by over 2 million visit to the e-commerce site through mobile site and mobile phone app.
Jumia’s biggest competitor in Nigeria, Konga, also does Black Friday sales but under a more localised banner called Yakata. Tomiwa Akande, Konga’s Head of Public Relations and Brand Management, said the company recorded over N1 billion in sales with over 79, 000 orders recorded in 2015.
For Yakata 2016, “60,000 merchants are mobilised and ready to sell their stock at super-heavily discounted prices to our one million plus customers throughout Nigeria, said Shola Adekoya, Konga CEO, in a statement .
But not everyone is enamoured with Black Friday discounted deals.
“It’s a very successful retail marketing gimmick, a US retail ploy invented in 1932 to get people to go shopping when their accounts were in the black,” said Mike Cullis, CEO of Soul, told telegraph.co.uk.
“It’s been a great way for retailers to get people shopping early — the point being that the longer you can extend the shopping period, the more people will spend overall during that period.”
Regardless of Cullis’ misgivings, some Nigerians still see Black Friday as a must-shop day. Moreso when the naira is seeing red.
“Considering how much the naira exchanges for in the forex market, I think Black Friday is an option that I have to take seriously, Deola, a digital analyst in Lagos, Nigeria said. “It is an opportunity for me to conserve money.