Insights

Preparing for Black Friday

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, deep discounts and the new normal for holiday shopping!

Originating from the USA, Black Friday has quickly taken hold around the world, and the UK isn’t any exception. Driven by the urge to compete with sales giants such as Amazon, UK retailers have mostly embraced the Black Friday tradition, which continues to grow in popularity and length each year.

Unfortunately, although the popularity of Black Friday has grown, many small and medium retailers fail to prepare, with last-minute offers hastily thrown together in a bid to cash in on the popularity of this massive annual event.

With Black Friday sales dominated by large corporations such as Amazon, it’s crucial to

prepare your offers and sales strategy in advance. Don’t rely on 10% off you worst- performing product, a social media post and slapdash banner if you want to draw in the shoppers this year. It’s time to start planning for Black Friday now to see the most significant rewards from what has become the largest shopping day in the UK, if not the world.

In 2018, the average spend per person during Black Friday in the UK was £346

So where do you start when it comes to planning for this year’s Black Friday sales event? We’ve put together a handy guide to get you off to a flying start.

Choose a mix of popular and less popular products

It’s always tempting to discount stock that has been sitting in your warehouse for the past 12 months gathering dust, after all, if you can get rid of it then you have more space to bring in popular new lines. The problem with this mentality is that unless you offer serious discounts of 50% or more, an unpopular product will remain an unpopular product. Try to reach a balance and choose several popular products and several less popular products, this way you’re guaranteed to have items people will want. Plus if they choose to purchase one of the more popular products, they are then more likely to take advantage of a deal on one of the lesser popular items as well.

Try to offer free delivery

There’s nothing more annoying than finding an absolute bargain online, only to find that shipping costs more than the item itself. 70% of consumers say the top reason for choosing one brand over another when shopping online is free delivery, so try and tap into this market by offering free delivery yourself. If you really can’t offer free delivery on all orders, consider trialling a free delivery threshold, where consumers spending a certain amount receive free delivery and promote it everywhere.

Have a variety of offer types

If your e-commerce system allows, opt for a healthy variety of offer types. From money off (both fixed and percentage-based) to buy one get one free and even multi-saves, having a variety of offer types can add fun to your Black Friday sales event. Just think of your local discount supermarket and the weekly offers they promote, it’s all about variety.

Prepare marketing material in advance

Sadly unless you’re one of the large e-tailers, very few people will stumble across your Black Friday deals. You need to push and promote to drive visitors and sales in your online shop.

But where do you start? The answer surprisingly is simple. Statistics show that if a consumer has previously purchased from your company, there is at least a 60% chance that the same consumer will make at least one further purchase. Use this to your advantage and prepare digital marketing material for your current customer base, including:

Plan to exceed expectations

Preparing for Black Friday is a constant process, and even when dispatching orders, you can help encourage repeat custom for the next Black Friday event 12 months down the line. Imagine placing a free gift into the box of every Black Friday order you dispatch; it doesn’t have to be much, even a simple chocolate to say thank you for your order. Little touches can have a lasting effect, social followers and interaction will build, reviews if you collect them will increase, and you may find the same customer returns 12 months later, if not before to place further orders. If you can differentiate yourself from the competition and exceed customer expectations, you’ll go from strength to strength. This same advice also applies to delivery speed. Aim to dispatch orders in a timely fashion, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you start to see the benefits.

Conclusion

The basics of planning for Black Friday are in fact quite simple. Have some foresight and take a little time to plan things through and you’ll see a positive change in both visitors and sales. Channel your inner shopper and ask yourself would this persuade me to click ‘buy now’ and
you won’t go far wrong.

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Mat O'Connor
3 Min Read

Published: 9 September 2020

Mat is the founder here at Actuate. His role focuses on strategy, culture, looking after our clients and every now and then getting stuck in with coding.

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