It’s that time of year again when retailers are scrambling to prepare for the year’s biggest discount sales hype: Black Friday. While it used to consist of the last Friday and Monday in November, Black Friday has now become a month-long affair for most retailers and many reckon that as much as 60% of their annual revenue will be generated during that month.
While many expect to see the same bounce back as we did at the end of 2020, experts warn that businesses may have to adjust their expectations. Covid and the after-effect have carried on for much longer than many of us had anticipated – and it’s now that many businesses are starting to feel the brunt. The bad news is that so are consumers. Two hard lockdowns, job losses, poor economical forecasts and ongoing restrictions mean that consumers are holding on tight to their pennies and the initial confidence for an economic recovery is now somewhat dampened.
Also many smaller ecommerce companies have been forced to slash their margins since the first lockdown in order to survive, so for them the last 18 months have basically been one long Black Friday promotion. There are however still a few things you can do as an advertiser or retailer to try and make the most out of this opportunity to boost your online sales:
- Don’t discount everything – only what customers actually want – look at more recent sales data as opposed to last year’s. Remove seasonal products and then discount the top sellers. Pushing products that aren’t currently in demand is a lesson in futility and a waste of money.
- Update those feeds! – ensure you have the correct product descriptions and the right pricing ready for the day of the sale.
- Cookies – No it’s not dead, yet. This is probably the last Black Friday where you can use the power of the third-party cookie, so use it.
- Don’t trick consumers. They are savvy i.e. don’t increase your prices a few weeks ahead of the sale and then promote ‘sale prices’ which are actually just the normal retail price.
- Stock – If you haven’t already, now is the time to start speaking to partners now. Decide early on what stock to discount and then begin preparing suppliers well in advance. This will ensure that you have stock to deliver and that your logistics are in place.
Suretha Swart – Campaign Manager