Black Friday is turning out to be hugely affected by the supply chain issues we are seeing worldwide. As consumers, it is difficult to comprehend what exactly is happening and why the responsibility of cost is falling on the consumer. 

Although we agree that supply chain issues are not black and white, they are issues that can not be swept under the rug. It is being felt across the globe, from the giant car dealership with an empty lot to the small business owner struggling to make ends meet. 

As a matter of fact, the small business owners are the one most largely affected by the supply chain debacle. A large number of business owners have clearly had a bad couple of years due to the effects that COVID regulations had on their businesses. 

Now eager to get back on track to begin driving revenue, they are met with a giant brick wall. We understand the frustration they are going through all too much. Unfortunately, it seems that solutions are not quite here yet and are approaching at a snail-like pace.  

Consumers are eager to spend their money which is creating a higher urgency and inflation or prices as well.

A light ray of hope just came through from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who states that Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package will bring relief to the issues seen in the supply chain.

This implies that the issues we are currently seeing had been on the horizon for a long time and COVID has exposed weaknesses in the system. Unfortunately, Secretary Buttigieg does not provide us with the confidence that solutions will be arriving in the near future as he states we will continue to see disruptions in the supply chain. 

Bottlenecks in the supply chain have been a continuous issue caused by the pandemic, which means solutions need to be sustainable. 

What does this mean for Black Friday and holiday sales?

Let’s sit first and take a look at how Black Friday has evolved which may provide some insight and hindsight that predicted issues of this sort to arise. 

It is clear that Black Friday is not about a single day anymore and brands along with consumers have evolved to seek “Black Friday” deals sooner and sooner each year.  The rise and ease of e-commerce provides consumers a different path to purchase that does not require fighting for their lives in the rush of a giant irate crowd after Thanksgiving. 

E-commerce continues to grow and mature into a more viable option over the pandemonium in retail stores. In 2020 we saw a 22% surge from 2019 despite being in a pandemic according to Adobe data. That 22% adds up to a whopping total of $9 billion, setting a record for the highest e-commerce sales on a Black Friday. 

Will Black Friday sales be higher in 2021 over 2020? 

Ultimately, the defining factor seems to be who is the most prepared. Having a marketing strategy that helps a brand drive sales is key. 

However, with these looming issues it is important for brands to make sure they can fulfill the orders coming in or else they may be severely overwhelmed. 

The giants out there like Target, Walmart, and Costco are not waiting around for Black Friday. They have not wasted any time and have been promoting Black Friday deals accessible since the beginning of November. 

With a clear incremental rise in Black Friday e-commerce sales it is clear why they have continued to scale up their marketing strategies every single year. 

These are not impulse buys however. According to Adobe data they saw about 59% desktop traffic over 36% of purchases coming in from mobile traffic. Which means users are sitting down to make decisions on the products they are purchasing as opposed to purchasing products on their mobile devices while on the go.  

Nonetheless, the data is painting a picture of continued growth and despite supply chain issues, brands are going to have to adjust to make things work. 

What does this mean for your business?

Brands and business owners that have all of their ducks in a row this year should be able to capitalize on Black Friday sales. The supply chain may be providing issues but those that can bring solutions and provide quality products to consumers will certainly come out on top of this holiday sales season.  

Be aware that this is only data in regards to Black Friday. We still have the opportunity of Cyber Monday. Do not despair, but do not be left without a plan.