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Online Trends

Published November 27th 2019

Is Green the New Black Friday?

Are consumers turning away from the celebration of consumption? We analyze conversations around Black Friday and the alternatives being discussed online.

It appears the global news agenda could see a shortage of clips of people frantically grabbing goods and fighting each other in stores this Black Friday.

Analyzing a representative sample of public online mentions about Black Friday from 1 November to 25 November 2019, we looked at:

  • The reasons why some consumers are turning away from Black Friday
  • How men and women are approaching the shopping holiday differently
  • The campaigns that are doing well
  • How Black Friday trends change according to geographic location

(We excluded chatter around ads, giveaways, and competitions to remove some of the noise from the conversation we were analyzing.)

Shoppers are looking for sustainable alternatives

Instead of the usual ‘festivities’, our research picked up on many consumers demanding a more sustainable approach to Black Friday.

The most successful hashtag about the day is being led by the US outdoor co-operative brand REI. #OptOutside had 7.6 times more impressions than #BlackFriday. The company’s ‘Opt Outside’ hashtag encourages shoppers to ditch the sales, and enjoy the outdoors.

Gender breakdown

Despite the fact men interact more with the post-Thanksgiving shopping event online (around 56% of Black Friday conversations comes from male authors), we found that women were leading the discussion on sustainable shopping trends.

In the States, the large majority of mentions referring to ‘Opt to Act’ were from women. The hashtag is from the same ‘OptOutside’ campaign by REI, but it encourages consumers to enjoy the outdoors and clean up nature a little, for the greater good.

In Britain, 84% of Indie Week mentions were from women. The week long campaign – fueled by JustaCard online – encourages shoppers to hit their local shops, and spend their cash there instead of in the limited sales.

Sentiment analysis

The most used negative terms in relation to Black Friday were, ‘useless’, ‘fuck’, and ‘trample.’ Clearly the traditional issues surrounding Black Friday still bother shoppers, as well as the sustainability issues.

Looking at positive and negative categorized Black Friday posts, we found that 32% of the conversation online was negative – that’s a large chunk of consumers voicing their displeasure.

But 68% was positive, especially in discussions around savings and deals, so we should still see plenty of stock flying off the shelves this Friday.

Trending items

Throughout the world, people are absolutely hyped for the Jeffrey Star make-up collection Black Friday mystery box.

Looking at location data, folks in the UK are on the hunt for a good deal on bicycles and trampoline accessories, like netting. Kind of weird given it’s not quite the season for it.

Stateside, people are loving Kohls and Amazon (these brands kickstarted their Black Friday deals a week in advance.) Otherwise, they’re boycotting Black Friday to head outdoors, following REI’s successful campaign.

Men in the States, the UK and Canada all want good deals on PS4s, Nintendo Switches, and Xbox Ones. No surprises there.

Let us know what you think of Black Friday @BW_React, or right down in the comments.

And, if you’re braving it in the Black Friday sales IRL, this is just a gentle reminder to leave ‘Karen‘ at home:

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