The coronavirus has caused a sharp decline in the economies of Europe and the United States this year. In particular, the blockade caused by the pandemic has closed many stores, and the retail industry has suffered an unprecedented blow.
To revive the economy and stimulate the shopping, European and American businesses have high hopes for Black Friday, the traditional year-end shopping peak in Europe and the United States. The concept of the Chinese Double Eleven shopping festival was used on a large scale by European and American merchants for the first time this year.
Europe: Can’t let Americans make all the money
Facing the reality that the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus remains high, American businesses have chosen to learn from China’s Double Eleven approach, using online as the main battlefield two or three weeks before the official Black Friday.
In the past, one month before the arrival of the Black Friday, Americans began to receive coupons stuffed into mailboxes by various businesses, but this year they almost disappeared.
If you walk into Macy’s, you won’t see the Black Friday crowds and ads like in previous years. Why? Because the store did not print many coupons and ads this year, hoping to seize the opportunity of selling online.
“The pandemic cannot stop Black Friday shopping!” The German Economic Weekly reported that this year’s Black Friday is November 27. Still, German merchants have learned from Chinese merchants’ Double Eleven practice and started to enter Black Friday and Cyber Week right now.
To prevent Americans from making all the Black Friday money, European media widely reported that Black Friday is not Amazon’s patent. Instead, Europeans should have their own Black Friday and create profits for their own European companies. In France, the government stopped Amazon’s Black Friday advertising. The EU is also investigating Amazon for alleged monopoly.
According to EU surveys, in France and Germany, Amazon has become a monopoly on e-commerce. Especially during this year’s pandemic, more than half of active French and German e-commerce consumers have placed orders on Amazon. Many heads of French retail companies believe that the disease has made Amazon a huge beneficiary. At the same time, the European retail industry is on the verge of bankruptcy. Many European governments have also made it clear that they hope that people will support local businesses more.
The Pandemic-themed Shopping List
Due to the pandemic, many Europeans are temporarily unemployed, and their economic conditions are not as good as in previous years. Besides, the epidemic has made it impossible to hold large gatherings. Many European media predict that there will be a high probability that various prevention measures will be implemented this Christmas. Therefore, the cost of people buying large quantities of wine and refined tableware may also significantly decrease. But what’s interesting is that this year’s Christmas tree sales are particularly good. People hope to eliminate the negative emotions caused by the lockdown by buying Christmas trees.
Jeanna is a retired woman. She told reporters that she still remembers the panic buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer in March. “It was crazy. Two months after the panic buying, I never saw toilet paper in the supermarket. And hand sanitizer. If there are discounts on toilet paper and hand sanitizer this year, I plan to stock up more.”
Joseph is a plumber. He told reporters: “I am going to buy an electric hair clipper. The pandemic has closed the barbershop. My girlfriend is now learning how to cut various hairstyles online. When she buys the hair clipper, she can cut my hair.”
But some people plan to save money during this Black Friday. Hannah loves travelling very much, but she told reporters, “In previous years, I would spend tens of thousands of dollars on Black Friday to book several trips throughout the year. But now I don’t want to spend this money. In case I become unemployed or ill someday, I should reduce my expenses in case of an emergency.”
A survey published by the McKinsey shows that 80% of consumers still feel a little unsafe due to the virus and plan to reduce spending during the upcoming holidays.
The Changing Shopping Behaviour in Europe and the US
The pandemic has accelerated Americans’ embrace of the Internet, and China’s Double Eleven has been successfully held many times, which has also made American businesses no longer hesitate. Apps and websites are full of Black Friday promotions all over, as merchants don’t want to miss the online business opportunities.
In the past, thousands of consumers were attracted to the city centre by numerous promotional activities to purchase large quantities of fashion supplies, shoes and cosmetics. This year, on the contrary, consumers are focusing more on purchasing home and office products, especially furniture, computers, washing machines, cleaning products and fitness equipment. People’s buying intention has changed from “I want it” to “I must have it”.