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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Helixa Analyzes the Black Friday & Cyber Monday Consumer

Audience Analysis, Perspectives, Insight Frameworks / by Alex Lawson on November 27, 2023

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Helixa Analyzes the Black Friday & Cyber Monday Consumer

3 minute read

According to Bloomberg, consumers plan to spend an average of $567 during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events. This figure reflects a 13% increase year-over-year, as Americans seek out the best deals to offset economic pressures such as inflation and soaring interest rates. 


Despite geopolitical turmoil on a global scale, it is not surprising to hear that most Americans intend to spend more this holiday deal season as they are unwilling to sacrifice customary comforts due to potential financial constraints. Black Friday, and with the shift to digital first shopping, Cyber Monday have become stalwarts of the economic calendar generating billions of dollars in consumer spending annually. 


Beyond simply consumer spending, the effect on the overall economy cannot be overstated as the ripples begin to wash over the entire landscape. As brands, retailers, and influencers all vie for the attention of consumers, creators, marketers, advertisers, and media planners dedicate their time to understanding the consumers behind the dollars and how to make the most impactful connection. 


From a Helixa point of view, we took a look at the online audience who are talking about and engaging with Black Friday & Cyber Monday to better understand who these consumers are, what their motivations are, what brands and retailers are they engaging with, and what, if any, the differences are among generations. 


It’s a Regular Whose Who


Every major brand and retailer, from online giant Amazon to preppy clothing brand Vineyard Vines are running digital campaigns and promotions around the shopping holiday. So that begs the question, which consumers are joining the conversation.


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The Generational Divide


It is no secret that there is a bit of a generational way being waged among the population. While not new, everyone’s parents hated their choice in clothes and music. We now in turn fail to grasp the subtleties of our children’s culture. The explosion of social media has exposed this rift for the whole world to see. 


When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday do the generations really behave differently? While the brands and retailers may be interchangeable, don’t we all just love a good bargain? 

Where’s my Gen-Z at?


The Gen-Zs that are talking about Black Friday & Cyber Monday online, are a unique segment as compared to the larger Gen-Z audience. Those who are engaging in Black Friday & Cyber Monday conversations are 1.46x more likely to be Male, while the overall generational gender breakdown is an even 50/50 split. As a result, we find the social engager’s interest categories to be heavily skewed towards stereotypical male activities such as Gaming and Sports. While their top psychographic categories are Outdoor Enthusiasts and Techies. 


The demographic and psychographic composition of this audience offers a great opportunity for traditional Black Friday & Cyber Monday advertisers like Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Digging a bit deeper through our partnership with MRI|Simmons, we uncover some interesting insights when we look at this audience’s top psychographic statements. 


Gen-Z’s who engage in Black Friday or Cyber Monday conversations online are 2.32x more likely to make impulse purchases, as compared to the generation as a whole. A flash sale or a timely placed social ad could be the sway this group needs to make a purchase. Additionally, the social engagers are 3.04x more likely to be influenced by a celebrity endorsement than the average American. Truly an advertiser’s dream!


Here for the Good Time not the Long Time


As all marketers have experienced, the Gen-Z consumer is an extremely disloyal bunch. We saw no change in this behavior as the social engagement audience is 2.44x times more likely to change brands for the sake of variety and/or novelty. While their propensity to impulse and persuasion towards celebrities offers a window, it may quickly be closed. It would behoove advertisers to offer significant incentives to purchase to ensure they are able to earn a purchase before they move on. Who knows, you may earn a consumer for life! 


Okay Zoomer


In fact, when it comes to impulse buying, Gen-Z is much more likely to purchase as compared to other generations. As we look at each generation, the older they are, the less susceptible they are to impulse purchases.


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As much as Gen-Z likes to poke fun at their older counterparts for falling for scams or a perceived lack of cultural understanding, their own self-reported data suggest they might not be as savvy as they want us to believe. Count that as a win for the Boomers! 


What do you get the Generation that Has Everything?


We know Gen-Z is talking about Holiday deal shopping. We know they have a likelihood to make an impulse purchase. But what are they looking for and more importantly where will they spend their dollars? 


As previously discussed, the Gen-Z social engagers consider themselves Techies. Expanding on that notion we uncover they are also 2.43x more likely to keep up with the latest developments in technology. Couple that with their willingness to pay more for top quality electronics (2.58x) and you have a recipe for tech giants like Apple or Samsung and retailers like Target or Best Buy to make a major splash in the tech space this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 


Helixa Helps you Reach your Target Audience


Despite what they may think, Gen-Z are still big Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers. As a generation, they are susceptible to impulse purchases, and love to engage on the platforms where brands and retailers are starting the conversations. With consumers expected to spend over $500 a person during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, being able to reach this generation with flash sales involving items they want is more important than ever. 


Use Helixa Discover to ensure that you can hone in on exactly what your target audience, Gen-Z, Boomer, or otherwise wants in their home, while devising the perfect creative or media strategy to ensure you reach them at their passion points. 



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