Black Friday rivalries: retailers focus on big ticket items and researching competitors

Businesses spend more time researching rivals this year as retailers shift away from non-essential Goods in 2022's Black Friday with internet sales to generate $1.12trn globally.

This Black Friday, online businesses have been putting more time and energy into researching their rivals' prices before deciding on their markdown. 

Insights from Oxylabs have indicated a significant shift in retailer expectations this Black Friday, with some product categories poised to generate the greatest rivalry in 2022.

The once-popular consumer electronics category for Black Friday has declined in recent years, dropping out of the top 10 in 2022 after ranking sixth in 2020 and 2021. 

While the newcomers to the top 10 are ‘Personal Care Product’ and ‘Health & Wellness’, showing that businesses are anticipating a rise in demand for such necessities since the pandemic.

Retailers and manufacturers gather information about their competitors' by scraping prices, product availability, shipping information, and promotions, enabling them to make calculated decisions about their own markdowns this Black Friday.

Online buying habits since pandemic still linger

Oxylabs examined the Black Friday 2022 preparatory period (September 1 – November 5) and the same period of 2021. According to the data, the most scraped categories on the world's major marketplaces before Black Friday 2022 were:

Online buying habits that emerged during the pandemic still linger around and indicate that the days leading up to the traditionally chaotic Black Friday are becoming even more hectic than usual.

The digital boom of the past two years is not expected to abate anytime soon. According to Salesforce, this November and December, internet sales will generate $1.12 trillion globally and $265 billion in the US alone.

The most significant change was ‘Software Development’ climbing to the top of the list. It shows that selling data about Black Friday is becoming more important than providing competitive Black Friday bargains.

The top ten most scraped categories during the Black Friday preparation period in 2021 were:

The industry is moving away from luxury spheres such as aviation and electronic goods and turning to essential categories such as ‘Personal Care Products’.

The wellness industry is becoming an increasing concern for consumers since the pandemic. McKinsey research finds 50% of US consumers now ranking health as a significant priority in their daily lives, up from 42% in 2020.

McKinsey's study estimates that spending on wellness goods and services in the US alone is over $450 billion, expanding at a rate of more than 5% each year, in agreement with Oxylabs’ findings.

Customer service and delivery prioritised

Customers no longer place their primary importance just on low prices as a purchasing determinant. 

According to a study, the majority of customers listed speedier delivery as the most important enhancement they'd want to see in online purchasing, and a staggering 70% of those customers wished that other marketplaces would provide a service that is comparable to "Amazon Prime".