A colourful Black Friday for Indian brands this year

As Indian consumers seek recognition as global citizens, American shopping fests like Black Friday are set to get bigger, better and bolder in the coming years, say experts

by Nilanjana Basu
Published - November 27, 2023
4 minutes To Read
A colourful Black Friday for Indian brands this year

Black Friday has turned out to be among the biggest moneymakers for businesses today. The western trend, which has made inroads into India, seems to have grown significantly and experts believe that it will only get bigger and will also add significant value to the brands between the festive periods of Diwali and Christmas.

If one stepped into a shopping mall this weekend, one would have seen Black Friday hoardings from the very entrance of the mall, with every shop offering a unique display of discounts in front of their store. The marketing around Black Friday has also evolved where earlier it was mostly restricted to in-store, but now the online ecosystem is filled with ads around the day.

Brands, both online and offline, such as Lifestyle, Myntra, FS Life, The Souled Store and other popular names have worked on their digital marketing quirks to attract customers around this popular American festive weekend. Working on specific content creation and visuals has been a trend this year.

Speaking on the growing popularity of the festival, Jatan Bawa, co-founder of Perfora says, “We’re very bullish about the growing acceptance of similar festivals among the Indian audience. By examining sales data from previous years, we’ve noticed a significant trend. Two years ago, during this sales period, we achieved a figure of ‘X’ in sales. Last year, that number nearly quadrupled to ‘4X,’ and this year, it’s showing a remarkable increase, trending at almost ‘6.5X’ compared to the previous year. This upward trajectory indicates increasing awareness and acceptance. We anticipate that the response to (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) BFCM sale events in the future will continue to be exceptional, at least for the next 3-4 years, until it reaches a point of potential ceiling or saturation.”

On a similar note, Vidur Kapur, Director of O3+, highlights the evolving perception of Black Friday in India. He describes the anticipation and excitement among people, noting that they now expect significant deals and actively seek opportunities for the best discounts. This reflects a growing awareness and interest in American festivals, such as Black Friday, as consumers in India look beyond local events for exciting shopping experiences and attractive offers. “Looking ahead, the expectation is that Black Friday and similar festivals will continue to grow in significance in the Indian market.”

A growth in e-commerce has also been a significant boost to Black Friday growth. Adarsh Sharma, Chief Business Officer, FS Life says, “While ecommerce is a year-long phenomenon, customers always look forward to big events to make bulk purchases. So, these festivals are going to remain a big draw for customers. Keeping this in mind, brands have to stay in touch with customer expectations and use these opportunities to get the most traction for their products. Where or What can vary depending on the brand and budgets.”

Brand expert Samit Sinha also explains that this year has definitely seen an increase in brand as well as customer traction around the Black Friday festival. “The Black Friday event seems to be getting increasingly popular. It sits nicely in the middle of the traditional festive season in India between Dussehra and Christmas, during which time a great deal of consumer spending on many categories happens. The brands appear to be more aggressive this year as they have begun to see this as a great opportunity to liquidate older inventory through deep discounting and other attractive promotional offers.”

Speaking about the marketing techniques used during this festival, Bawa says, “For the Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) sale event, we’ve executed several strategies to promote our brand and enhance our visibility. Firstly, we’ve designed thematic landing pages on our website that encapsulate the spirit of the festival. Secondly, our content creation is geared towards capturing consumers’ excitement, encouraging them to indulge in more significant shopping sprees. Our messaging emphasizes customers’ enthusiasm for stocking up on their favourite products. Thirdly, we’ve incorporated visual imagery that aligns with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday theme. These initiatives aim to differentiate us from other brands in the market and ensure relevance to our audience during this period.”

Sharma on the other hand says for FS Life, marketing techniques included all online marketing channels like Instagram, Facebook, Google, Emailers & WhatsApp marketing. On the offline front, they did BTL activations & in-store marketing.

On this growing trend of Western festival adoption, Bawa adds, “As consumer preferences evolve, there’s a growing acceptance of American festivals. In recent years, Indian consumers have actively embraced celebrations like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and more. The contemporary Indian consumer aspires to be a global participant and seeks recognition as a global citizen. Thus, actively engaging and equally participating in Western festivals has become vital for them to achieve this sense of global belonging and identity.”