Should your business take part in Black Friday?
What is Black Friday?
Before we start thinking about Christmas, the pinnacle date in the the marketing calendar, there are a couple more potentially huge opportunities to drive serious volumes of traffic to your website. And those opportunities are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Originating in America where brands would traditionally cut prices the day after ThanksGiving, it has now travelled across the pond and taken over Boxing Day Sales as the biggest date for savvy shoppers and bargain hunters.
As Black Friday has become more widespread throughout the years, the volume of traffic coming to websites has now been known to crash some websites completely. A nice problem to have perhaps? Of course, this isn’t the story for everyone, but usually, with an effective Black Friday marketing campaign you can expect to see increased sales and new customers. But as this American tradition gains popularity, it becomes more saturated, and harder to stand out from the crowd, as every brand imaginable is shouting about their own Black Friday offers and discounts. If you don’t join in, surely you’ll miss out completely, as everyone knows this is the day to expect below RRP prices. This may leave some business owners feeling pressured to join in and discount their products. What’s more, Black Friday is no longer a single day occassion. As brands become more desperate to compete in the sea of sales and make the most out of the situation, we see the majority of companies now holding weeks of Black Friday sales, even month long discounts for some!
Here, we share a bit more information about Black Friday and how you can join in without tarnishing your bottom line by using an effective digital marketing strategy.
When is Black Friday?
Black Friday is a US tradition which falls the day after Thanksgiving, the last Thursday of the month in November. Cyber Monday is a marketing term which was coined in the US back in 2005 as a way to encourage online shopping and follows Black Friday the following Monday. This year, Black Friday is on 29th November 2019 and Cyber Monday is on the 2nd December, perfectly timed for Christmas shopping.
What are the benefits of Black Friday?
In the UK, Black Friday has become the single biggest shopping day online, closely followed by Cyber Monday. If all your customers are actively looking to spend money on these days, that offers some excellent benefits to your business if you can get your promotions in front of them.
If you decide to take part in Black Friday, your business could reap the following rewards:
- Increased traffic to your website
- Increased sales and revenue, even with the discounts applied to your products
- Increased customer acquisition
- Increased brand awareness
- A chance to clear old stock
How to choose the best Black Friday strategy
If you decide to take part in Black Friday, or you feel you have no choice, it’s important to think about your business goals and create a solid digital marketing strategy. You shouldn’t just pick a number and knock that off your RRP. Yes, some customers may expect huge discounts, and some retailers may be able to offer this, but you need to make sure you don’t give into pressure and strike the right balance for your business that suits your budget, profit margins and business goals. We’ve included a few ideas below.
If your business offers a premium product or service, then you need to be careful not to discount your prices so low that you actually start to devalue your brand.
However, if your main business target is customer acquisition and you have a huge load of old stock to clear, then maybe heavy discounting is the right strategy to choose.
For businesses that have tighter margins, it would be best to focus on cross-selling and repeat purchases rather than straight-forward discounts. This could include giving away a free gift card with every purchase, which encourages customers to make a full-price purchase and then come back to your website, and hopefully spend more than the gift card offers. 3 for 2 offers are also a great way to increase basket size whilst still joining in with the Black Friday deals.
If you want to dip a toe into the Black Friday madness without putting your whole website on sale for the world with the worry of not being able to fulfil orders, you could start by offering Black Friday deals to specific customer segments only. This could be particularly valuable segments, or previous customers that you want to re-engage.
By working out your budget and business aims, you should be able to execute a Black Friday strategy that provides a substantial sales boost. Of course, by not taking part, you may experience a dip in sales during this period as your customers try to make the most of their disposable income by spending it on discounted products elsewhere. If your competitors have offered Black Friday sales and you haven’t, customers may be inclined to head to them in the run-up to Christmas too in the search for better value. These are all points to consider, however it’s also worth noting that if you are taking part in Black Friday, you could still see a dip in sales in the weeks prior to the occasion as customers hold off spending until retailers launch their discounts. Contingency plans should be put in place for this too, to encourage sales before the discounting period.
So love it or hate it, Black Friday has become difficult to ignore, but if an effective strategy is put in place, it could be the perfect opportunity to reach those goals that your business has been aiming for. A digital marketing agency like ourselves know exactly how to optimise campaigns and make the most out of key-selling periods, so you can focus on what you do best, and fulfilling those orders. There’s not long left, so drop us a message to start planning your Black Friday campaign ASAP.