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A closer look at the Black Friday effect

As predicted, Black Friday 2019 was bigger and better than ever. This blog post takes a look at some of the strategies deployed by brands, and the overall impact seen on 'going early'.

5th Dec 2019
Paul Christie Account Manager 05th December 2019

  

Introduction

It was anticipated to be the biggest sales day of the year and this was definitely the case for our clients who took part on Black Friday 2019!

It is important to understand just how important this part of the year is for any retailer or ecommerce business. The planning involved for this period to be a success is unprecedented... so learn from 2019’s trends and get planning your campaigns for next year! 

The numbers speak for themselves!

Many retailers look at Black Friday as the source for taking volume from competitors and reaching those sales targets set earlier in the year. The US has reported that it hit a new digital revenue record of $7.2 billion. The holiday season is officially in full swing in the US and consumers are happy to shop from the convenience of their homes. Buyer confidence has been higher this year with many consumers reaching out to get a bargain.

UK Market

And it’s not just good news for US retailers, the UK definitely has the Black Friday bug. The British love a bargain, and was predicted that UK shoppers would spend an eye watering 2.53bn, with the UK being the highest spender in Europe. Reports also said that retailers in the UK were prepared to extend their sales periods to capitalise.  

The overall spend predicted by the UK from Black Friday through Cyber Monday is 8.57 billion. 

Our clients

As predicted, some retailers, including some names on our own client list started their Black Friday sales early, and what a great move this was….

Our participating clients saw a combined revenue of over £529,000 on Black Friday alone and total sessions 230% up on Black Friday 2019.

While the effects of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still being felt, we are keen to take learnings from this prolific period and begin discussions with clients for key ‘moments’ in their marketing calendars for 2020 and keep this success going right through to next year’s Black Friday.

Email Traffic!

Many consumers’ email inboxes would have been swamped with offers from retailers keen to get them to buy. As email strategy consultants, we always look to our clients’ brand heritage and values to ensure they are aligned to their consumers’ core values. This year it was interesting to see the variance in messaging being tested by retailers…

Take a look at some of the most notable ones, from our teams’ inboxes:

First up, the rebels:

Lots of brands this year were bowing out of the Black Friday race, citing sustainability, waste and environmental reasons

The email below from ashmei says “…To take part would be to contradict what we stand for so instead, we intend to break the mould.  This Black Friday, the ashmei team will be turning off our computers, closing the shop and heading outdoors and we challenge you to do the same. Resist temptation, put down your phone, get outside and enjoy your ashmei gear for its intended purpose.”

 

Another chose to take part in a Global Strike, staying true to their values:

 

Islabikes:

 

 

And the inbetweeners:

Showing customers that you are supporting local causes as well as solving their Christmas gifting needs was the tact taken by one of our clients:

 

 

Shopping Patterns

Shoppers can choose when to shop during this period, and with more and more brands extending our sale dates, this makes it more attractive to them. The ability to simply log on and pick up a great deal is almost too good to ignore, for some.

Some of the data we have been able to analyse showed key buying periods over lunchtime and then another peak after 5pm, with an increase in sales being seen much later into the evening.

Thanks to the availability of shopping apps consumers did more spending on their mobile phones. Google now indexes on a mobile first perspective and this would have helped those retailers who have excellent mobile user journeys. Google also implemented a major algorithm update last month which would have had an impact on many websites. Retailers responding to this update would have reported gains on purchases made by mobile / smart phones if they had content that matched the search intent of a purchaser. Mobile is a winner with orders reportedly increasing by 35%.

Amongst our own client base, we noted a shift over the Black Friday period, with the majority of our client base reporting over 64% mobile share of traffic during the Black Friday period, up from an average of 52% seen over Black Friday 2018!

Source [RetailDive.com]

 

The final word:

However your brand performed for Black Friday 2019, at Infinity Nation we can offer you growth consultancy advice to ensure you are perfectly equipped to any challenge; acquisition, conversion or retention. We can help you understand the lifetime value of your customers, both in and outside of promotion, so you can decide if Black Friday is a viable strategy for your business.

If you are struggling to understand your customer data and drive business growth, then get in touch to see how we can help you.