When Black Friday is mentioned, people immediately recall the most jubilant shopping festival that struck the whole planet, particularly in the U.S. However, only a few are aware of the truth - or in other words - the manipulative marketing gimmicks behind Black Friday. Let's join API in unveiling the sneaky tricks behind this enormous retail event!

(Source: independent.co.uk)


The term “Black Friday" was first introduced in 1924 by the First Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - inspiring from a neighboring country, Canada. There are a plethora of Black Friday's definitions, given by various studies and researches. A source stated that Philadelphia was the origin of the phrase “Black Friday" - since it informally described the mayhem caused by hordes of suburban shoppers flooding the city, making it difficult for department stores to eventually open their doors. These shoppers were creating long lines of traffic and smog, whilst stores became overcrowded and chaotic messes. As a result, when it comes to Black Friday, it is synonymous with a lucrative occasion for businesses to prompt their top-selling items, yield maximum profits, and grow their entities to new heights.

Unfortunately, Black Friday can easily turn into “cheese in a trap" for many consumers. Have you ever been in a situation when your excitement after a shopping-spree suddenly disappeared, and immediately fall into boredom and frustration by realizing that the money you spent is wasted on innocuous items? In fact, it is a common situation that shopaholics encounter after the Black Friday seasons were over. Our craving for huge bargains and discounts, combine with the hyped and crowded atmosphere in shopping malls urged us to make regrettable purchasing decisions.

(Source: themodernguidetohomemaking.com)


Although the phrase contains the word “Friday” in it, in reality, Black Friday lasts for multiple days. Many businesses have kick-started their deals from Thanksgiving, and a few days before Black Friday to attract early buyers. This practice hits the soft spot of consumer behavior - which incites the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) phenomenon among shoppers. This cognitive anxiety forces them to make purchases because they can not bear to miss the opportunity. Thereby, amidst the concerns of losing profits, businesses' profits skyrocketed during these sales occasions. 

(Source: criteo.com)


Well-known brands and retailers are seasoned veterans with a wide array of deal packages to cater to the Black Friday seasons. They can stock their products in large quantities and have the freedom to sell their items with no risk of losing revenues. On the other hand, smaller stores often rely heavily on free-shipping options for the sake of promoting their goods to consumers on a global scale. Not only that, investing brainpower, spending time creating tempting online ads, and introducing items on-sales are also fantastic tactics to boost sales during the occasion. A prime example of these tricks is Apple - which offers the option of free 1-day shipping on many products, such as their MacBooks and Ipads. Meanwhile, smaller products like EarPods are available at free 2-day delivery. 


If you have been shopping during the Black Friday season, then these luring traps are inevitable - unless you know the following secrets. In recent years, Vietnamese consumers are gradually shifting from the tendency to buy “cheapest products", and replacing that mindset with the tendency to buy “cheap quality products”. This is a blooming ground for notable brands to garner even greater popularity. Black Friday, nevertheless, enables every brand category to co-exist even if this only happens once-in-a-while.

(Source: Juno VN - Youtube)

A manifestation for this occurrence is Juno - a fashion enterprise. This brand has successfully executed its Black Friday campaign since the beginning of November with full store discounts, free shipping offerings for orders over 300,000 VND, and even return and exchange options for online purchases. However, you won't know too much about the campaign until the end of November - the time when Black Friday is widely promoted for hyped shopaholics to flood the stores. They fought for the seemingly “cheap but rare items", even though the merchandises are already on sale many days ago. By manipulating the shopping mentality of consumers, Juno's sales reached their peak on the actual Black Friday.

Nowadays, Black Friday is a buzz-driven topic, and the sophistication of marketing tactics escalated as a result. Therefore, consumers need to be wise regarding their buying decisions. To be a conscious shopper, research the pre-existing campaigns and your desired brand first to avoid a “black" shopping trap in the future. 

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Credits for API's Team:

Content: (in Vietnamese) Minh Giang.

Translation: (in English) Bao Ngoc.

Cover photo: Anh Ly.


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H. (2020, November 17). Black Friday là gì? Tất cả những điều bạn cần biết về lễ hội mua sắm này. Retrieved December 06, 2020, from https://www.hostinger.vn/huong-dan/black-friday-la-gi/ 

B. (n.d.). Black Friday 2020 Việt Nam. Retrieved December 06, 2020, from https://black-friday.global/vi-vn/?fbclid=IwAR30yJx_t2fYCy19OO-VqzTn55Wmfc94TAbtG56LE1GctQcA1jVfoWKwqT4