Just a few years ago, ‘Black Friday’ was a term that carried little meaning for most consumers around the world. In recent years, it has steadily gained more recognition outside the United States, the country where the idea was born.
Falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November), the date has long been regarded as the start of the official Christmas shopping season in the US. Retailers use the opportunity to drive sales by launching focused marketing drives and offering discounts.
Outside America, more and more countries are getting involved in Black Friday. Average growth in consumer interest in the event across select retail markets around the world has reached 117 per cent in the last five years.
The success of the occasion has also given rise to Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday immediately following Black Friday and focuses on online shopping.
These events are taking on more international importance with each passing year, so if you’re a retail business hoping to make the most of this vital shopping season, you should already be thinking about the best ways to engage with customers and meet their needs ahead of Black Friday.
The Changing Face of Black Friday
In the US, where consumers are most familiar with the idea, Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to play a hugely important role in the holiday shopping season. In 2018, Black Friday delivered record online sales for retailers, while the following Monday was the biggest internet shopping day in US history, with consumers spending $7.9 billion (£6.3 billion), according to Adobe Analytics.
Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have witnessed consistent growth in online sales since 2012, although they are still dwarfed by Chinese conglomerate Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, which brought in more than $30 billion last year.
Globally, the novelty of the whole concept of Black Friday has led to particularly sharp growth in interest in the event across some markets. According to Black-Friday.Global, some of the biggest jumps in consumer demand for on-the-day deals over the past five years have been recorded in South Africa, France, Turkey, Italy and Japan.
The site’s research also highlighted the huge average increases in sales figures on Black Friday (compared with a regular Friday) in countries like Pakistan, Hungary, Greece, Germany and the UAE.
Black Friday has grown into a retail industry milestone of truly global significance, and therefore offers great potential for brands that aspire to international growth.
In order to make the most of it, though, you need to be sure your business is prepared for all the opportunities and challenges the event is likely to bring.
Preparing for Success
A large part of preparing for a singular event like Black Friday is ensuring your business is ready, on a purely practical level, to meet demand.
That means studying trends in buying activity within your own customer base and across your sector as a whole to anticipate interest and manage your supply chain and inventory accordingly.
It’s also vital to do stress tests on different sections of your website so you can have maximum confidence in their ability to continue functioning effectively at times of high traffic. The last thing you want is to miss out on sales because your site goes down on Black Friday.
From a marketing perspective, there are many strategies you can use to put your brand in the strongest possible position to get great results on Friday 29th November 2019. One good tactic is to start your efforts to engage customers and raise awareness of Black Friday deals well in advance of the day itself.
Preparing in advance by dedicating time to a newsletter and communicating with your audience can also help. If you have already laid the foundations of customer relationships and established a level of brand awareness, your targeted marketing messages linked to Black Friday are much more likely to connect with recipients.
You might want to create a dedicated landing page specifically for the event, which can help to drive traffic to other relevant pages on your site and also encourage email sign-ups and customer engagement.
Of course, for any Black Friday marketing campaign – whether it’s a bespoke email newsletter, social media messaging or SEO – you need to feel confident your investments in efforts to reach your audience will deliver results.
Now that this event is truly international, it has never been more important to ensure your marketing is tailored to have the desired impact in every market where your brand is represented.
Dedicated services such as multilingual PPC and expert translation and localisation of your web content can help to ensure you are positioned to get the best results on Black Friday, wherever you do business. To find out more, contact Locaria on +44 (0)20 3948 6800.