Black Friday has generated an array of excitement, doubt and cynicism over the years. However, what do shoppers really think about the day? After all, Black Friday’s fate is ultimately down to us; the consumer.

In order to do this, we decided there was only one way to do it – by conducting real-time research listening to what people are saying socially.  Using social analysis tools we monitored conversation and sentiment over night to get a rich understanding of what consumers really think.

So, based on 91,000 tweets that generated 1.2 billion impressions – and fuelled by four slices of chocolate cake and three cups of coffee – here’s what we found out:

  1. Black Friday is a test of temptation.

Consumers’ raw honesty around their battles between their heart and wallet was prevalent. Shoppers were not shy to point out they were buying things they didn’t particularly need and succumbing to offers they couldn’t refuse, which often resulted in them admitting to now being broke, or spending more than they may had originally wanted to.


  1. Payday is a blessing and a curse.

The main barrier to shopping Black Friday deals was a lack of disposable income due to not yet being paid. For others, the fortunate timing of payday was used as an excuse to spend more, even if they knew they shouldn’t. Brands should be aware that just because they are cutting their prices, it doesn’t make the offers affordable to all.


  1. We don’t come back with what we bargained for.

Whilst shoppers had good intentions to buy particular products, this did not always go to plan. Shoppers were the first to share their unplanned purchases, which ranged from clothes and food to technology and home accessories. Black Friday truly does offer something for everyone, whether we like it or not. How can brands tap into the impulsiveness within the Black Friday journey?


  1. Shoppers go to great lengths for (and get great satisfaction from) a good deal.

Consumers are willing to brave late nights, early starts and online queues to be rewarded with a good deal, and nothing quite beats the feeling when those efforts pay off – something shoppers want to showcase on social. On the flipside, when our plans to get a good deal don’t quite work out, we feel let down and annoyed, even for fairly small purchases.


  1. Customers need brands to help them navigate through the fog.

Brands need to help consumers to decode Black Friday as the bombardment of offers and emails are deemed confusing and overwhelming. The key here is differentiation, in order to for their messaging to stand out and make the journey easier for their customers.


  1. Black Friday is not just for Christmas.

While consumers may fully intend to use the discounts to do some savvy Christmas shopping, the truth is that many see this as an opportunity to treat themselves, and indulge in frivolity. For brands, there is an opportunity to capitalise on ‘me-time’ and embrace the cheeky ‘selfish’ purchases.


  1. Consumers question Black Friday pricing strategies

There is no doubt in consumers’ minds that good deals are on offer – something they are happy to celebrate – but there is some scepticism starting to emerge around whether the price reductions are genuine or not. Brands need to provide customers with a level of reassurance to drive further consideration and purchase.