Friday the 13th’s Affect on Business

Friday the 13th’s Affect on Business

Toward the end of the year, if you asked a business owner for factors that impact their revenue, Friday the 13th probably wouldn’t be one to come to mind when considering all the recent and upcoming events taking place; such as COVID-19, Small Business Saturday and the Holiday Season.

Whether you believe in superstitions or not, whenever Friday the 13th rolls around, everyone tends to have some type of superstition glued to their mind. You know the kind, don’t step on a crack… don’t walk under a ladder… and if you see a black cat cross in front of you? Forget about it!

While silly, consumers either flock to the concept of Friday the 13th, or are frightened of it. Stuart Vyse, professor of psychology at Connecticut College, acknowledges that these behaviors are derived from the psychological effects around the history of the day, stating…

“In the business world, there is a tremendous amount of randomness in the market and people seek ways to gain control over these events, even though they can’t,” he says. “What you wear that day, the coffee that you drink–these things can’t affect the outcome of the day’s business, but people engage in this [behavior] to feel like they’ve done every possible thing to manage the outcome.”

Superstitions not only create a fear of being “unlucky” if one is not followed, but they are often heightened on Friday the 13th. In the past, this has hurt the business world. A study showed that a whopping $900 Million in business revenue has been reported to be lost on this day alone in the past. The loss was tied to the amount of people that either did not want to take a risk that day in fear of the superstition or because consumers irrationally did not want to leave their house, spend money or travel.

To change the way consumer behavior takes place on Friday the 13th, brands and businesses have found fun twists on the otherwise “unlucky” day.

Tattoo Shops and Artists use the popular day for a series of “flash” tattoos at the cost of $13. While busy most of the year, on Friday the 13th, lines for these $13 tattoos often wrap around buildings, and consumers even start to line up at the early hours of the morning in hopes of getting a good deal.

Retailers also utilize the concept of Friday the 13th to push out similar deals. $13 dollar deals, 13% off or ditching the number with fun marketing tactics like “It’s Your LUCKY day” or “Test Your Luck”.

Some e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers took it one step further this year. With most of consumer purchasing behavior taking place online during the Worldwide pandemic, November’s highly sought-after Black Friday deals have transitioned online, and many businesses are starting early – on Friday the 13th. How is that for luck?

Keep your eye out for upcoming Friday the 13th dates, and be sure to plan ahead of time to create an experience that encourages your customers to shop and engage with your business. Be sure to advertise your deals in advance, and don’t be afraid to have fun with it!

Holidays are a great way to encourage purchases and conversions, and with the holiday season quickly approaching – now is the time to push out marketing strategies. Need some ideas? Check out these 5 Small Business Marketing Strategies for the Holiday Season.

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