How to prepare for Black Friday: A summary

Topic: Marketing

Dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year are some of the most important dates in a retailer’s calendar. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in particular, are two dates where many retailers often see the biggest increases in sales. In fact, this period saw global online sales hitting an all-time high of £235.6 million in 2021.

How will Black Friday perform this year, given that we’ve not seen the last of the coronavirus pandemic and inflation is a hot topic across the world? 

Black Friday preparations are becoming earlier and earlier

You might have noticed that you’re hearing about Black Friday earlier each year – whether that’s marketing promotions and whispers about upcoming sales to articles and webinars about Black Friday (like this piece!). 

But as it turns out, consumers are typically preparing for this peak season in advance. In our global survey of more than 4,000 consumers, we found that 93% of consumers want to hear about Black Friday related news in advance. Of the 93%, 53% want to hear up to a fortnight in advance and 28% are happy to hear up to a month in advance.

With its close proximity to the festive season, many consumers use Black Friday as an opportunity to do their “Christmas shopping”. This is in line with our global survey results, with 77% of consumers reining in their shopping up to a month before Black Friday so they can splurge in the sales. 

This consumer mindset is likely why we’re hearing talk about this date earlier and earlier. But how early is too early to start talking about Black Friday?

We recommend analysing your customer data to better understand which groups of customers will respond positively to early Black Friday sales

After all, every shopper is different. For example, some people are shopping for Christmas now while others started months ago. And then you have the ones who won’t buy anything until Christmas Eve. 

Segment consumers based on these behaviours and you’ll know when is the best time to start marketing to them.

How SMS can boost your promotional efforts

With an open rate of 98%, a delivery speed of five seconds and the fact that messages are typically opened within 90 seconds, it’s no wonder SMS is a popular addition to a marketer’s toolkit. But there are some surefire ways to ensure your SMS campaigns are a success.

  • Tailor your message – it’s not about reusing the same materials for your SMS messages as you used for your marketing emails. Personal channels like mobile messaging offer untapped potential so maximise it by tailoring your message to the channel.
  • Understand how to win and capture customer attention – it takes consumers an average of 90 seconds to read an SMS message. It’s crucial you not only understand when to contact them but what call-to-action is going to attract them
  • Maintain a consistent experience – to ensure the success of your multi and omnichannel strategies, allow consumers to move seamlessly between channels and still receive the same experience. Alternatively, if you’ve been delivering an excellent SMS marketing campaign and your consumer suddenly wants to talk to you, don’t make them move over to a slower, offline channel. Complete that full interaction on the same platform.

The power of continuous engagement

Black Friday – or any peak trading period, for that matter – shouldn’t revolve solely around making a sale there and then. It should also be about building up a good prospect universe or a well-curated, opted-in prospect list.

Think beyond low prices and deals. Instead, focus on engaging with your customers and prospects and build strong, long-lasting relationships. After all, it’s more cost effective to retain and convert an existing customer than to attract a new one.

If you have customers who haven’t purchased or engaged with you for a while, consider how you can bring them back to life. For example, send them a personalised message with an exclusive discount code or offer to show how much their custom/your relationship with them means to you.

More than a discount, more than a sale

While consumers have come to expect huge discounts and sales during days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, it’s important for businesses to see it as more than an enforced discount period. It’s more than an opportunity to boost sales; it’s a chance for you to build relationships with your customers and boost engagement.

Some customers might buy once and never return, but many customers are likely to come back, depending on the quality of experience they received. That’s why the quality of your customer service and the experience you deliver particularly matter during these peak periods. 

To discover more Black Friday and peak trading season statistics, grab a copy of our guide below.

Author Avatar
Prachi Bametha

Marketing Coordinator, Esendex Australia