Pivoting your strategy for Black Friday and beyond during lockdown 2.0

This content is produced by a member of The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

Black Friday this year has become a very different event due to Lockdown 2.0. Every omnichannel retailer will be switching their Black Friday event online and starting it earlier than they had perhaps anticipated. For some retailers Black Friday could be make or break.

It is likely that the transition from Black Friday to Christmas will be seamless and that promotional savings may remain in place rather than get switched off. So that 30% you save today will probably stay in place until stock runs out.

Virtual queuing

We Brits are known for our love of queuing and it seems this applies whether real or virtual. A poll conducted by Opinion for U-Switch found that 24% of online shoppers would be prepared to wait in a virtual queue for 65 minutes in order to save £200. This may be possible if you are working from home but not for all, in particular key workers. Therefore, when the doors do reopen again, retailers must make the most of every shopper that enters their door and make it easy for them to shop, maybe even opening 24/7.

21 days to go

For those who don't trade online, with no e-commerce solution in-place, the 21 days between 3 December and Christmas Eve are going to be more like the ‘Sale of The Century’. With the potential for so much new stock going stale, the focus will be on clearing the rails in fashion retail. Think of all those Christmas jumpers on rails in Primark not being worn.

Meanwhile we are likely to also see significant discounting in all those aisles in department and consumer electronics stores that were all forced to close their doors. Having well-trained staff on hand to help close sales for higher ticket items will be crucial with shoppers likely to be highly ‘purpose driven’ when shops do reopen, particularly with stories of a potential further lockdown as the price of relaxing measures over December.

For all retailers the need to optimise sales on each and every of those 21 days is imperative and can be done through the complete engagement by brands with retailers to provide an immersive solution for all consumers, in a socially distanced manner of course.

Daniel Todaro is managing director at Gekko.