Confession time for most people across the globe, who are addicted to bargains and discounts, will tell you how much they look forward to the last Friday in November. People begin to save early and pool together resources to participate in what has been termed by many shopping enthusiasts world over as the landmark shopping event all year round.
Black Friday is the most celebrated shopping day in history. Everything and everyone is up for a bargain, it is simply a day when you see the craziest discounts on various products from mobile, electronics, home appliances and fashion to beauty products. For many it has become a day when people save to do all their shopping for the year. For some it is kicks off the Christmas season with a perfect opportunity to get those amazing Christmas gifts for friends and loved ones. For many others it’s a day to get brand new products at incredible prizes. It doesn’t matter what products you are looking for, Black Friday is a day for everyone and anyone who ever has seen a need to shop.
Black Friday Shoppers prepare for a dash across stores to make sure they are the first ones to grab the best items with the best prices, or even till more recently online shoppers that have their computers and mobile devices counting down to ‘The Sale of the Year’. It is reported that once you have the experiences, no one wants to miss out on the rewards of Black Friday.
According to varying media sources, Black Friday sales in 2013 recorded 307 million shoppers worldwide topping $ 57.4 million in sales. With the rapid growth of eCommerce, online sales grossed $1.4 million; an indication of the rapid awareness and improvement in the lifestyle of customers.
Bringing it back home, the Nigerian digital space was abuzz in November 2013 with news of the first Black Friday sale ever to be held in the country. The sale which was organized by Nigeria’s number one retailer, Jumia.com afforded Nigerians the opportunity to experience deals and discounts that even their counterparts in the US and Asia would marvel at.
Staff of the company speaking about the sale marvelled at how powerful the lure of Black Friday was for Nigerians, the online store experienced web traffic that was unprecedented in its history, making their technology team proactively fall back on back up servers that they had not thought they would use so early. This year is guaranteed to be even bigger with bigger discounts on all your favourite items. Last year it was recorded that on Black Friday, the website saw over a million unique visitors.
This shopping trend has brought growth to the potential and visibility of the eCommerce industry. This has also empowered customers and suppliers with great savings and avenue for brand awareness/ revenue respectively. It was recorded that retail contributed 17% to the nations GDP in 2013, with Black Friday arguably the largest contributor in the sector.
As doors open, and web pages go live, all sleep thoughts cast aside, bargain hunters begin to hunt, finding bargains and deals on mobile, electronics, home and kitchen appliances, beauty and personal care, and lots of other items that they could only have dreamed about before, but this time with the most unbelievable prices.
To Nigerians, who for many years have only read about ‘the biggest shopping event’, Black Friday may seem like madness, an event that usually saw the shopping appetite of people come to the fore, ushering in Christmas shopping and a day that people look forward to with so much expectation.
Statistics for online retailers for Black Friday in the US and Asia have come in their billions with most retailers seeing figures that have most times far exceeded what they had previously recorded in whole months.
Nigerians who participated in the sale went on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter bragging about the bargains they had snagged. Talk like “I didn’t believe Jumia would really sell that washing machine at 70% less”, and many other testimonies were very common during that period. Other lesser known online retail stores in Nigeria also jumped on the trend with promised deals that customers later accused them of being hoaxes with a few of these websites crashing to the dismay of anticipating shoppers.
Aminat Abdul, one of the Jumia black Friday 2013 shoppers described her experience as “One of my best shopping experiences ever. When I heard that Jumia was having a black Friday event, I was sceptical but when I viewed the website I couldn’t believe the prices; I bought a lot more than I thought I would and still didn’t go over my budget. I was very impressed. Now for me, Black Friday has become the day I look forward to the most all year round”.
As we get closer to the last Friday in November this year, Nigerians, having experienced Black Friday live in Nigeria will be getting ready to break the bank shopping for gifts for family, friends and colleagues, but can we really blame them? Black Friday powered by Jumia is set to become the biggest shopping day in Nigeria, ‘at prices you’ll love’ as the Jumia Black Friday slogan goes.