As Black Friday approaches, retailers can't ignore this significant shopping event after what has been a turbulent year for most brands. In 2019, total retail spend during Back Friday was forecast to reach £8.57 billion, the highest among many other countries in Europe. Furthermore, recently Charged Retail reported online spending was set to overtake high street sales this year in the first "truly digital Christmas", highlighting the growing importance of e-commerce.
To help prepare for Black Friday and the critical Christmas selling period, Threepipe Reply’s head of strategy and planning, Marco Felicio has these four tips for brands looking to maximise sales:
1. Consumer behaviour is the north star
Prime Day sales were up a staggering 45% on last year confirming how many more consumers are taking advantage of mega sales periods. We anticipate Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be no different this year. As economic uncertainty continues to weigh heavily on consumer sentiment, understanding our respective audiences from a psychological perspective is shifting their behaviour in terms of what they deem essential, treats, postponables or expendables.
2. Bullet-proof infrastructure
Every year, post the Black Friday period we learn how some big retailers site fell over for a few hours just when it mattered most because it couldn’t handle the hits. With a higher proportion of sales being made online this year than ever before coupled with stock availabilities, shifting demand and your supply chain, this could be a perfect storm. My advice would be stay close to the data, communicate with consumers early and don’t hang your hat on what happened last year too much, this year will be different.
3. Communicating value is still important
Price communicates quality and discounting amplifies this fact. As much as mega sale periods drive more sales, it’s important to balance communication with what the consumer receives. Be wary of the impact on your business beyond Black Friday in the medium to long term and the reality of potential short-term losses. The feeling of enduring value feeds into your brand equity and the consumer's next purchase – this needs to be considered or excessive discounting becomes a race to the bottom.
4. Consumers want answers
The spikes in online shopping have made instore professional advice absent. The need to research products and for social proof through reviews and Q&A has however accelerated this year. It’s, therefore, vital brands offer seamless shopping experiences with 48% of shoppers saying this improves their odds of making a purchase – often ahead of the actual mega sales dates.
Marco Felicio, head of strategy and planning, Threepipe Reply