Black Friday: how things have changed and how brands can stand out

Black Friday: how things have changed and how brands can stand out

Here’s a thought: if a brand knows what its customers are looking for and when, it could easily create its own ‘Black Friday’ events at any time of year.

It's the week of Black Friday. While the days of angry shoppers beating down shop doors and fighting each other for widescreen TVs seems to have (thankfully) become a thing of the past, there is no denying that Black Friday is still one of – if not the biggest sales periods in the retail calendar. And it’s no longer a concentrated 24-hour spending frenzy that ends almost as quickly as it began. Brands are dropping their deals and slashing their prices earlier and earlier each year, enticing bargain-hungry consumers to spend more and more money over a longer period of time.

Consumers are becoming blind to offers

But with so many brands jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon, it’s understandable that consumers can start to become blind to the sheer amount of adverts and promotional offers that pop up on their Facebook or land in their inbox. And while Black Friday certainly isn’t losing its appeal, it does mean that brands are having to work harder and smarter to stand out from the crowd and make the sales period a success.

As specialists, we at Beamly conduct deep dive analyses into Brits shopping habits – from how much money they’re spending, where they’re spending it and even what’s stopping them spending – in order to disrupt and enhance the purchasing journey and inspire consumers to spend more.

Looking back to when Black Friday first kicked off in the UK, our insights show that most shoppers were largely motivated by one thing and one thing only: finding the cheapest prices and biggest discounts on the market. So much so, it often didn't matter what they bought, so long as its sales ticket had the biggest percentage drop. But, due to the fierce competition at this time of the year, we’re starting to see a major shift in the way consumers approach Black Friday – and interestingly, it doesn't always boil down to the lowest price.

Buyers get picky

Consumers are becoming much more selective with the brands they shop with – they are looking for retailers that can provide them with specifically tailored deals, combined with a quick, seamless and convenient online shopping experience.

With that in mind, preparation is key when it comes to capitalising on Black Friday.

Having a smart omni-channel approach to marketing is crucial. This means interrogating data and insights into a target audience so retailers have a detailed understanding of what they are likely to be searching for, the mediums they’ll be using to shop through and the types of deals that are most likely to capture their attention.

Purchasing patterns of unique customers... understanding them is key to delivering bespoke deal content

Personalising offers

Once a retailer has that level of insight, it becomes infinitely easier to create personalised offers that appeal to the right audiences at the right time – whether that’s what is promoted to them on Facebook or the recommended products that appear while they’re browsing a site.

In fact, a data-led omni-channel approach can help brands to create their own ‘Black Friday’ shopping moments throughout the year, by better understanding the purchasing patterns of their unique customers and delivering bespoke deal content at exactly the right time to encourage more purchases or shopping baskets with higher value.

So despite the fact that Black Friday should, in theory, be reaching peak saturation – the appetite to spend is still very much alive amongst British consumers. The sales opportunities in the days and weeks leading up to the 29th November are there for the taking, providing brands are prepared to invest the time and energy into giving their target audiences exactly what they want and need.