Is Black Friday really worth it?

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January 22, 2018

Gone are the days when Black Friday meant a one day frenzy of camping out in shop queues (and even all out customer brawls!) in an effort to grab the latest deals. Instead consumers are sticking to the comfort of their homes and picking up their smartphone to make those record breaking pre Christmas purchases.

This year, Black Friday sales are predicted to be the biggest yet, with UK shoppers expected to spend £2.31m a minute, according to online discounts firm Retail Me Not. It predicts sales will rise 19% year on year to £1.96bn. Despite this many retailers are opting out of the super sale in favour of focusing on day to day operations.

At a glance the reasons for being cynical of the originally American sale are actually pretty valid; highly competitive discount traps from rival retailers, higher demand for in store staff and online capacity are real concerns, even major retailers such as Asda have scaled back promotions in previous years. LCP Consulting found that 31% of UK and US retailers stated they they found Black Friday to be an unsustainable promotion. However, despite this, last year the promotion saw monumental sales with retail giant John Lewis’ having their single biggest day of trading and whopping sales of £187.7m (11.9% higher than the same day in 2014). So, is Black Friday really worth it?

Stephen Vowles, marketing director at Argos suspects Black Friday is here to stay stating “Black Friday is firmly established now and we welcome the volume it brings. But we have had to make sure our model can better accommodate it. The online side is complementing the physical stores a lot better now,” he explains. “Argos now has the perfect Black Friday model as you can order online and collect in a store on the same day. Our 24-hour delivery expertise – and talking up that message – takes the strain off the stores.”

Make Black Friday work for your business with these lessons learned...

How much is too much?

Many retailers talk of unprofitable discounts with this in mind, try not to focus simply on huge percentage discounts but plan your promotion to include efficient delivery, rare and limited edition finds as well as lowering prices. The psychology of Black Friday means that sales are not only driven by price but customer service and the promise of a unique offer.

Automation…

Limited resources such as time and manpower are a huge factors in planning campaigns. By automating some of your communications you can tell consumers about your Black Friday sale in an effective way - For example, target your existing customers to offer them exclusive deals and drive more reliable repeat traffic. How much time could you save by segmenting your audience at the click of a button?

Website capacity

More and more people are avoiding pounding the pavement in favour of online shopping. Make sure your website and app have the capacity to deal with the extra traffic!

Will you be participating in Black Friday 2017?

 

Further reading...https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/11/23/677314/

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/04/john-lewis-black-friday-record-sales-online

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/nov/30/cyber-monday-black-friday-online-shopping

http://www.paymenteye.com/2015/11/25/uk-is-the-worlds-third-most-popular-e-commerce-destination/

http://www.theretailbulletin.com/news/a_fifth_of_ecommerce_websites_experience_downtime_before_9am_27-11-15/

http://www.rippleffect.com/news-views/key-ecommerce-stats-from-november/

http://www.experian.co.uk/blogs/latest-thinking/black-friday-2015/

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