Yes, the truth is that brands have some up their sleeves tricks to spend more on Black Fridayeven if you don’t realize it.
With the Friday of discounts just around the corner, the excitement of finding real bargains increases, and with that also increases the chances of exceeding the budget you had initially planned.
Before going shopping, learn about the marketing strategies most used by major brands and retailers. As a consumer, this is the best way to protect yourself and your wallet.
The tricks that make you spend more on Black Friday
It is practically impossible that you have never gone through one of those promotions where when you buy three units of the same product, you only pay two. Or, when buying two items of the same brand, you don’t pay for the one with the lower value.
These are two examples of a strategy that creates a feeling of added value in the consumer and convinces him to “invest” more money to benefit from the discount.
Discounts only on some products
This is the old strategy of the expression “on selected items”: the consumer is lured with the promise of absolutely outstanding discounts, but when he arrives at the store, he discovers that only a handful of products are eligible for this discount.
The rule, in this case, is: if you have to walk around the store looking for a product that benefits from the discount, you probably don’t need that product.
discounts for later
This type of discount is often used in stores that have points or loyalty cards. They are based on the principle that, at the time of purchase, you pay the full price of the product, but receive a coupon or card discount in the amount of a percentage of that price to spend later.
Now, there are several traps in one here: on the one hand, you can perfectly well forget to use the coupon/discount afterwards (and the store is profiting). On the other hand, you may not be able to do so, thanks to strict or complicated rules to comply with, such as the discount expires in a few days or there is a minimum amount of purchases to enjoy it.
And even though there is no stipulated minimum amount, in most cases you will have to use the value of the coupon or discount at once, leading to buy more than you need just to take advantage of the discount.
Free shipping, “but”…
Most sites offer free shipping as long as you spend a minimum amount. The promise of offering shipping costs is, in these cases, a mere illusion.
You end up spending more (because you add products to your cart that you don’t need just to be eligible for free shipping) and this makes the company’s profit much higher than the shipping costs (hence they are offering it ).
Discounts only for the first
Offering big discounts “limited to existing stock” is another of the brands’ strategies to make us spend more than we wanted to. It’s also one of the reasons why images of consumers invading stores during Black Friday are becoming increasingly common all over the world.
This urgency, combined with the feeling that we have to be the first to arrive to buy, creates a kind of competition between customers. Everyone flocks to the stores, everyone enters, but only a few will benefit from the discount.
The others… well, the others will hardly leave the store empty-handed, which means they will pay the normal price for products that they probably wouldn’t even buy if that wasn’t “the” day of mass consumption.
If you thought that the arrangement of products in stores was a simple coincidence, don’t be wrong: everything is thought out in detail and prepared in detail for the big day of Black Friday.
On this date, almost all stores place the most expensive products – or, alternatively, the products with the highest profit margin – on the right side of the aisles. Because? Because studies show that when we enter a store, we tend to turn right – behavior that is reinforced when we act in a crowd.
If, in the middle of Black Friday, you have already entered the store and went to the right, know that from now on everything will appear “naturally” in front of your eyes.
Bought a console? Video games are right next door. Does it circulate between computers? Prepare to be seduced by backpacks and all sorts of associated accessories. All with the best discounts ever, of course. Unmissable!
In the Portuguese case, this strategy is now more difficult to implement, because the recent changes to the law do not allow us to call a discount at a price other than the lowest of the last 30 consecutive days in the same store.
However, this rule does not apply to all countries. That’s why if you shop internationally over the internet, keep an eye on prices in advance. Otherwise, it is possible that you will buy a product with a 50% discount, but whose price has been previously inflated. After all, you may even be paying more on Black Friday than the rest of the year…
The English expression FOMO (Fear of Missing Ort), which can be translated as “fear of being left out”, applies in this specific context to the consumer’s fear of missing out on the best deals.
The scheme is promoted by the brands, who bombard us with “must see” promotions, but also by ourselves.
When we proudly show off the bargains we’ve bought on social media, we inadvertently or inadvertently make other people feel that they missed out on great deals because they didn’t go shopping at the same time.
At the end of the line, the profit falls into their pockets: the brands that skyrocket sales, driven by the natural tendency of humans to compete with each other.
Article originally published November 2020. Updated November 2022.