Selling us a ‘Cheat Day’. That’s what it’s all about.
Black Friday, a major sales event and example of a marketing strategy which is referred to as ritual in the academic circles – Just like shopping during Christmas, Birthdays and Valentine’s Day.
It’s considered to be a red-letter day for retailers, many of whom depend on holiday shoppers in order to turn a profit for the year.
Many expert in the Consumer Psychology field have shared their views on today’s Black Friday. Read on as you unveil the secrets and how it works.
The popular Consumer Psychologist, Gary Pheiffer, from London Metropolitan University’s School of Psychology, explains why shoppers get so caught up in the ‘sales mentality’ and how they are being persuaded by shop owners in order to part with their hard-earned cash.
So, why do shoppers go crazy on Black Friday?
The superficial answer of course is that we shop on Black Friday to get the one-day only deals, allowing us to buy stuff we would have bought anyway for less, or buy stuff we otherwise couldn’t afford.
According to Gary Pheiffer‘s explanation of Black Friday:
Retailers approach this like a military operation, creating the Black Friday ritual through extensive planning, signage, advertising, and promotions, among other marketing activities. Making us feel like we are participating in another ritual means it isn’t only the impulsive buyer that gets lured in.
Having such a ritual increases the spending of consumers. It is an artificial stimulus created by marketers that ‘allows’ or encourages spending that is seen as rather sensible – not impulsive. While the impulsive buyer is often the usual focus of marketing efforts. Black Friday is different because non-impulsive buyers are unconsciously coerced or enabled to spend their money, and made to believe it is a sensible thing to do.
People truly want to get a good deal, and so they might be less rational… when they can look in the environment and find different cues that make them think they’re getting a good deal,” Kenneth Manning, a professor of marketing at Colorado State University. “The decision-making can be somewhat emotional.”
Also Reading from the views of Gad Saad, a professor of marketing at Concordia University in Montreal
Shopping is often compared to hunting or gathering, and for good reason. Seen in that light, holiday sales could be playing on innate mechanisms like the desire to hoard resources, Saad said.
You can immediately respond to this stimulus, so people hoard, they buy a lot of stuff.
Creating a sense of urgency is one trick retailers use to get people into the mood to spend. Other enticements include giveaways, free gift-wrapping and similar services. Retailers also strive to set a holiday mood, said Lisa Cavanaugh, a consumer psychologist at the University of Southern California who is popular in researching holiday shopping.
Lisa Cavanaugh also told LiveScience;
While plenty of people have opinions on how to get the best deals on Black Friday, keeping a clear head in the midst of the excitement is key. Seeing other people grabbing goods can trigger our scarcity-sensitive brains, leading us to buy more than we need. “Having a list, knowing exactly who you’re shopping for and what your budget is for each of those people is really important. “It’s really easy to get swept up in the craziness that is after-Thanksgiving shopping.