Black Friday 2021 : put consumers’ needs at the center of your strategies

This year the Black Friday will start on November 26th, so it’s the perfect time to start preparing your promotional campaigns! This is a very important event for many retailers who rely on it to clear their stocks and generate profits. In this article, we give you consumer based advice to optimize the efficiency of your promotional actions.

What is the Black Friday?

The Black Friday was organized for the first time in 1930 in the United-States in order to reboost the country’s economy after the Great Depression of 1929. The tradition is that the event takes place the day after Thanksgiving, which means the last Friday of November. Originally, significant discounts were offered on every kind of product, but only in physical stores to promote Drive-to-store. This allowed consumers who were celebrating Christmas to prepare their purchases by taking advantage of good deals and stores to multiply their year-end sales.

This event has been so successful that it has been exported and generalized online. Some merchants even start it on the Monday before Thanksgiving, the Black Week (or Cyber Week), and extend it to the following Monday, the Cyber Monday. However, Friday remains the day with the biggest offers. Just in 2020, according to Criteo (advertising company), the event generated 247% more sales than an average Friday in October and 11% more than the 2019 Black Friday.

The magnitude of the event now causes many protests to denounce the overconsumption related to the Black Friday. Before coming back to this point, which is very important in the buying process of your customers, let’s start with our advice for the preparation of your campaigns.

Survey your customers to find out their preferences

First of all, we advise you to survey your audience about the products they are interested in. This poll or survey will allow you to collect important information on their purchasing intentions. This is for example what the Swiss retailer, Le Shop, did before the Black Week by proposing a gift for those who participate. You will then be able to define the target group to which you will communicate your promotional actions instead of doing a mass campaign,  this will allow you to generate the most impact at low cost.

©Le Shop

Rely on personalization and exclusivity

Now that you know your customers’ needs, you can make a personalized and adapted offer. Personalizing the message and the offer allows you to create a specific relation with your consumers who will feel more implicated by your solicitation. This way, you maximize your chances of provoking a purchase.

Moreover, to thank them for completing the survey we mentioned earlier, you can include an exclusive offer in your personalized message. This additional offer can take different forms depending on your business, consumer habits and respondents’ preferences.

For example, creating exclusivity by offering a voucher for a next purchase allows you to retain buyers and a referral code more interesting than the rest of the year, helps you recruit new customers.

You can also offer them additional services, such as free delivery or return, knowing that consumers buy more easily and quickly if this is the case. But also the installation of the product for the home appliances for example, which will reassure the consumers.

Also appreciated are sample gifts that allow customers to use the product as soon as they receive it. If you sell coffee machines, you can add a small sample of coffee in the package. This is even more interesting for your brand because you can make consumers discover complementary products and potentially increase the price of their basket at the next purchase.

As you can understand, an additional exclusive offer will satisfy the buyers and build their loyalty. A win-win approach that will not only have short-term effects!

Communicate in advance of the big day

Don’t wait until the big day to inform consumers about your offers, you risk losing the attention of a good part of your target. Indeed, many consumers prepare in advance the purchases they will make for the occasion. They evaluate their needs, their budget, start to identify the products they will buy and where they will make these purchases. So, if you communicate too late, you will not necessarily be part of the consumers’ choices. To avoid this, we advise you to start your communications on the subject at least 2 or 3 weeks before the big day.

To start your campaign you can imitate the famous shoe brand Dr. Martens, which offers users to sign up for Black Friday promotional offers before others. Consumers simply submit their email address to the brand to receive an emailing detailing the subject. This practice allows to collect information about users with an easy to implement communication.

Moreover, thanks to the collection of email addresses, you will be able to send a reminder to your audience about the offers and allow them to buy your products in one click. This will prevent you from being forgotten!

©Dr. Martens

Drive consumers to your stores!

Initially, the whole point of this event was to clear inventory and generate profits while driving traffic to your stores! And what better way to build buyer loyalty than to give them a unique experience? We therefore advise you to animate your store(s) for the occasion.

For example, you can create games to attract consumers and thus increase your traffic in store. For this, you can simply organize a game with immediate winnings in your store on the Black Friday while making sure to communicate about it beforehand. You can also guarantee additional traffic in store by offering the winners to come back to pick up their prize at another time!

Put consumer concerns at the center of your strategies

If you had the opportunity to read our previous articles, you may have noticed that price was not the only criterion for consumers in their buying process, and fortunately! According to a study we conducted with OpinionWay in 2020, consumers are taking more into consideration the reliability of the product and its lifespan (64%) but also its environmental impact! Indeed, 86% of respondents considered energy consumption as an important criterion, 57% considered the offer of reconditioned second-hand products with warranty as a purchase accelerator and for 59% of French people, the carbon footprint was already a criterion to help them make a decision.

As you can see, the environmental aspect is gradually gaining importance as more and more consumers are becoming aware of the ecological and ethical importance of their purchases. So if your company is making efforts on the subject, continue to do so and inform consumers about it, both in your communications dedicated to the Black Friday and in other communications. If not, try to gradually move towards this approach by starting with small gestures that make a difference.

But above all we advise you to be transparent! Do not cover up your real actions to mislead consumers. What we call “greenwashing” does not work anymore and may cause you a negative impact on your brand’s image and your sales. This is why the best advice we have to give you on the subject is honesty and transparency. It will be more beneficial for you not to speak out than to transform the truth.

The Green Friday, the event against overconsumption

©Clemectr ©Green Friday

We can’t talk about consumer environmental consciousness without telling you about Green Friday. Green Friday was born in 2017 to denounce the overconsumption linked to the Black Friday. The idea is to raise consumer awareness of compulsive, emotional buying and its harmful consequences on society and the environment.

Stakeholders of the Green Friday claim the second life of products with repair or donation, local purchases and labeled consumption. Indeed, they denounce that around the big promotional event hides a consumption that is not always linked to need but to desire. This implies low costs due to delocalized production, waste of unsold goods and therefore pollution. Thus, the goal of this day, which takes place on the same day as the Black Friday, is to raise consumer awareness on this subject without making them feel guilty.

You can therefore support this event by deciding not to reduce the prices of your products and by explaining your approach to consumers. You can also propose the recovery of defective products to give them a second life and propose on the day of the event second-hand products at unbeatable prices. A good step for the planet and for your brand image that will result in long-term benefits.

Redirect users to help them buy your products

Whether you have an e-commerce website or not, you can redirect users to distributors (online or physical) that have your products in stock thanks to a Where to Buy solution. This way, you will be able to offer consumers alternative paths to buy during the Black Friday. 

Moreover, this approach would fit perfectly into your drive-to-store strategy in order to multiply your traffic in store for the occasion. 

Finally, if you decide to offer second-hand products for sale, you will facilitate the shopping experience of users who want to make good deals while acting for the planet!

If you want to discuss with our experts to find out more on the subject, do not hesitate to contact us!

Sources :

Green Friday
Dr. Martens

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