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The Effectiveness of Black Friday: Uncovering the Impact and Strategies for Success

Measurement Measurement, Media, Media Analytics, Retail media 3 min read
Profile picture for user Michael Cross

Written by
Michael Cross
Co-Founder, Media.Monks

Up-close photo of a smartphone held by someone's hands, who is shopping online.

Despite only becoming very popular in recent years, Black Friday has actually been around in the US since 1952, marking the day after Thanksgiving as a pre-Christmas seasonal discount period. These days it’s a major retail event across the globe, with many different brands engaging with it. However, with shifting consumer behavior and changing market dynamics, it is crucial to assess its effectiveness. In this post, we delve into the impact of Black Friday, its changing landscape, and the role of the media in driving its success.

Predicted Black Friday spend is on the decline.

Online searches for Black Friday have shown a decline in recent years, with a significant drop in global search volumes of 70% in 2023 compared to 2019. Additionally, there is a 30% decrease in consumer searches for Black Friday in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Chart portraying a decline in Black Friday spend.

Source: Google Trends

This is also backed up by data from, which looks at spending in the UK and again predicts a 23% drop (2023 versus 2022) in consumer spend on Black Friday—dropping from £3.9 Billion in 2022 to £3 Billion in 2023.

A chart depicting a downward trend in Black Friday spend. Black Friday spending in 2023 is predicted to be 900 million pounds less than in 2022.


According to the data, this reduction is primarily attributed to a decrease in planned spend per person, possibly influenced by factors such as inflation and the cost of living, i.e. people having less disposable income to spend on more discretionary parts for their budgets.

Graph depicting the percentage of Brits spending and average planned spend per person during Black Friday weekend.


We use MMM to understand how Black Friday impacts our clients’ business.

By using Market Mix Modelling (MMM), which is a statistical evaluation technique which takes into consideration all factors which impact on sales including media, price, economy, seasonality, and promotional discounts, we are able to quantify the impact of Black Friday on our clients' businesses. You can find a sample analysis for a major retailer below.

The pink bars in the chart show that seasonality hits a peak in November each year—which from our weekly models we can determine is the impact of Black Friday—and has a seasonal decline in December. The green bars show the further impact of changes to discounting over the years.

Graph depicting retail sales vs. seasonality and promption impact, indicating a spike in sales during November each year.

Source: Media.Monks MMM database

There are a few conclusions we can draw from this for the client:

  • Black Friday has a “brought forward” sales effect: MMM uncovers a brought forward sales effect caused by Black Friday discounts. Following the peak in sales during November, there is a subsequent decline in December. This indicates that customers trained to buy during the discounted period may have pulled forward their purchases, affecting profitability. Evaluating the incremental profit from Black Friday against the potential loss in December sales at full margin is crucial for assessing Black Friday's overall effectiveness.
  • Consistent Effectiveness: Effectiveness of Black Friday is not declining over time. The pink bars in November are not diminishing over the years, meaning this client is not seeing a drop in effectiveness for Black Friday.

So we are not seeing a drop in effectiveness for this retail brand, but what about others?

When we compare this to a selection of other brands we work across in the table below, you can see that generally the uplifts from Black Friday are consistent across time, and not diminishing. In the table below, three brands show a static uplift from Black Friday over the years, in pink. In the case of our manufactured goods brands, the uplift increases—though this is in line with the brands' base sales growth.

Chart depicting consistent uplifts from Black Friday over time.

Source: Media.Monks MMM database

What all these brands have in common is that not only are they supporting Black Friday with discounts—more importantly, they’re doing it along with media investment. The media is working to remind customers that the offer is out there, and also to entice away from other competitors in the market.

So whilst we may see a general drop in consumer spend, our analysis shows that brands that support Black Friday with media can see a consistent, healthy impact.

Recommended Strategies for Success:

To continue benefiting from Black Friday, brands should consider the following strategies:

  • Support Black Friday with media: Utilize media to set your brand apart from competitors and maximize visibility during the event.
  • Assess incremental profit: Evaluate the incremental profit gained from Black Friday against any potential loss in sales during subsequent periods.
  • Maintain consistency: Consistently support Black Friday over time to sustain its effectiveness and capitalize on customer engagement.

The effectiveness of Black Friday for your business remains dependent on various factors, including media support and the ability to manage “brought forward” sales effects. Brands that strategically leverage media and evaluate the profitability of Black Friday can continue to succeed in this dynamic retail event.

For more information on how we can help measure drivers of growth for you business, check out our Measurement expertise.


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The website has been translated to English with the help of Humans and AI