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Customers price-sensitive this year on Black Friday

Most of the online stores - or stores with a webshop - in Hungary join the Black Friday promotion. The pandemic has dramatically changed shopping habits, but retail managers are optimistic. Balázs Várkonyi, the CEO of one of the largest webshops in Hungary, Extreme Digital, shared his thoughts with the Budapest Business Journal. 

Balázs Várkonyi

Last year two of the largest players in online electronics retail, Extreme Digital and eMAG, announced merging their businesses. While the merger has been completed in most areas, the two companies decided to separately participate in the Black Friday promotion. So much so that they even hold the "Black" day on different dates, November 13th for Extreme Digital and November 20th for eMAG. The sales teams will also operate separately, so there may be some overlaps, so in case of some products, Várkonyi says. 

The total retail market has grown this year by only 1%, which basically means that it has been stagnating. Several factors were beneficial for this sector: families needed to buy devices necessary for remote work or online classes at school. Plus, access to traditional stores was limited due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, many lost their jobs or saw their income significantly reduced, which has impacted online sales.

This year both Extreme Digital and eMAG expect customers to be much more calculated in their acquisitions and buy strictly what they need or as a Christmas gift. But clients will also be very much price sensitive, which is expected to result in high sales during Black Friday, Várkonyi notes. 

Extreme Digital will promote Black Friday products that had sold well during the year. The price reductions will not reach 70-80%, as in the United States, but will be significant. Extreme Digital will focus on IT and electronics products, while eMAG will have a much broader range in the Black Friday promo, the CEO added. Extreme Digital will use this year a special software designed to limit access at peaks. This does not mean that some clients will be excluded from the webshop. On the contrary, the aim is to allow slower but smooth access to all clients, Várkonyi explained. 

For a more in-depth look at this yearʼs Black Friday, see the Christmas Shopping issue of the Budapest Business Journalʼs print version, to be published on November 27, 2020.