Black Friday Won’t Be Enough to Lift Merchants Out of the Blues


With Black Week off to a good start, Black Friday is on a positive note for merchants. But the commercial event should not make it possible to increase the annual results of e-merchants.

Black Friday, which takes place on November 25, promises to be a good year for French retailers. 70% of French people want to participate in Black Friday, according to a study by PwC Opinium Research, carried out on a sample of 2,041 people between October 26 and November 1, 2022, one point less than last year. The average budget increased by 8% over a year to €256.

On the Cdiscount side, the teams say they are satisfied with the first results recorded since Friday 18th November and the launch of the Black Week that precedes Black Friday on Friday 25th November 2022. excited, we saw a first wave last Friday and the first elements observed are satisfactory, testifies Hugo Larricq, commercial director of Cdiscount. Black Friday looks positive, we work even more upstream than usual to guarantee volumes at the best price”. customers are waiting for this moment to be delighted”.

Will that be enough to relieve the French merchants? If services and tourism have recovered and are supporting e-commerce growth in general, product sales are at half mast. After recording a 15% drop in the first half of 2022, according to Fevad, they are stabilizing at the level of 2021, with a 2% drop.

No postponement of sales

The online sales platform for Champagne Plus de Bulles already held Cyber ​​​​Monday on November 7, 2022 and recorded a 33% increase in its turnover on the day compared to 2021 and a 45% increase in its number of orders . 🇧🇷 “It is a great one-day success with aggressive promotions. This makes consumers who are looking for bargains react”, confirms Michel de Guilhermier, entrepreneur who is also president of Day One, a startup accelerator. “If Black Friday lives up to the Cyber ​​​​Monday operation that we carry out in Plus de Bulles, it should be a success. But we are not optimistic for Christmas, the end of the year will be less good, there will be no postponement of consumption” . Behind, the sales of the following days suffered with this good result.

Michel de Guillermier is also a shareholder in Alice’s Garden, a home improvement product platform. Again, promotions must be important. “The whole profession is heavily stocked and we expect big sales. Companies will need to destock,” continues the businessman. For him, “the promotions will put pressure on the numbers and prices will fall”. Bulles’ Champagne Plus platform anticipates a drop in sales of 2 to 6% compared to 2021 and 10% in volume.

endangered electronics

If product sales stagnated at -2% in a year in the third quarter of 2022, according to Fevad data, sales of electronic products fell by 15% and approached the level of 2019 (+3%). For Marc Lolivier, general manager of Fevad, the sector is suffering for two reasons: “Consumers were already equipped at the beginning of the Covid pandemic and the category is suffering consumer arbitrage”.

At Cdiscount, Hugo Larricq also sees a 15% withdrawal on technical products. “It’s a difficult market for which the end of the year is a crucial moment,” he adds. On the other hand, Cdiscount is seeing a recovery in picture and sound compared to technical products. “It is difficult to identify whether there is a World Cup effect or not”, warns the commercial director of the French marketplace. And Black Friday is unlikely to boost sales in the electronics category.

The importance of responsible purchasing

Especially because, in this sector, refurbished products occupy more and more space. According to a GFK study published on November 17, 2022, the Internet has become the reference channel for used and refurbished purchases. “Consumers make up to two-thirds of their purchases of smartphones, laptops and tablets on specialized, generalist or private sale-type websites,” notes Christophe Loyer, GFK’s consumer intelligence consultant. For 87% of people interviewed in the Opinium Research study, sustainable development impacts buying behavior during Black Friday. At Cdiscount, responsible purchasing is now taken into account: “Responsible and repairable products represented 12 to 15% of our turnover, this year 20% of our own offer will be dedicated to products with better energy classes. or repairable”.

Back Market, in turn, chose not to offer an additional reduction for Black Friday, because its refurbished products remain cheaper than new ones throughout the year. The company observes a leverage effect in the period. “We’ve seen demand increase around this event over the past two or three years. So far, smartphones primarily, and since 2020, laptops, tablets and headsets are also concerned,” explains Marine Libaud, Senior Global Public Relations Lead at Back .Market.

Black Friday is in full swing, but the end of the year should give way to more melancholy. “If purchases are anticipated during Black Friday, the rest will be more complex, confirms Michel de Guillermier. We are facing a consumption crisis, the customer does not want to consume too much”, he concludes.

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