It seems like it’s becoming harder to sell Black Friday. First, Black Friday was the launch of the sales season for Christmas. Then, it became a holiday itself. Then it spread to Cyber Monday. Now, the sales for Black Friday are announced November 1. Have ye no faith, consumer?
It’s hard to sell scarcity when there’s so much abundance of things. Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Alibaba… it’s all there. Amazon also runs it’s own Prime Day sale in July. In the end, you find marked down versions of whatever a retailer thinks will be hot… wireless earbuds, sous vide devices, fitness trackers, etc.
In 1996, Tickle Me Elmo became the toy to have after it sold out after Thanksgiving. This created all sorts of hype. Had manufacturers known it would have been popular, meeting the demand would have removed the scarcity element of the toy and it would not have become a meme.
With IoT devices, Alexa/Google Assistant, and the cost of customization going down dramatically, hardware makers have an opportunity to create limited editions of products in ways they haven’t been able to do before. By creating unique experiences, they might be able to bring back the scarcity that inspired Black Friday sales.