Badged as the “July Black Friday”, the recent Amazon Prime Day not only brought revenue success for the ecommerce giant. It also reinforced the value of one-off bumper shopping days and seasonal events for retailers. Of course, none have been quite so high profile in the UK in recent years as Black Friday – and this year is expected to be no different.
Whilst it could be argued that part of Amazon Prime Day’s success was down to it being a standalone event for the brand, it’s the company’s long-standing focus on putting the customer at the heart of everything they do that enabled Amazon to grow to a size where they could host such an event in the first place.
Black Friday brings a far more intensified battle across the industry, as countless retailers seek to engage shoppers at the same time. So if you want to make trading on that day a success, you need a well-planned approach, with an ounce of Amazon’s customer-driven attitude.
The many ways consumers can shop with a brand adds a layer of complexity to the plans. Consumers now own an average of 2.7 devices and the role of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices is expected to be even more prominent for retailers this year. Success is going to come through understanding the needs of the multi-channel shopper and investing in strategies that create a seamless experience that enables consumers to purchase how they want.
So how can you ensure your marketing strategy meets the needs of the increasingly mobile consumer for Black Friday 2016?
Cater for the multi-device consumer
Black Friday, perhaps more so than any other retail event, is likely to cause consumers to switch more between devices as they research products and compare offers – under the gun to get the best deal before the sales end. Whilst any retailer should have an integrated, seamless strategy in place, it becomes particularly important when competition intensifies around Black Friday and the volume of sales messages being sent to a customer increases.
Integrate online and offline
If you are an omnichannel retailer, ensure that in-store promotions mirror ecommerce offers. Shoppers not only expect this as standard, and it will also help avoid a poor brand experience. Provide accurate informationin emails and on the website around stock availability at shops close to the customer, ensure staff in the store are aware of digital and social offers and offering click-and-collect options to keep the experience consistent for the consumer.
Segment your way to success
Black Friday presents a fantastic opportunity to prove that you know your customers and can meet their needs better than any of your competitors. Segmentation is an easy way to build personalised messages for specific customer groups based on their preferences, interests, browse and purchase behaviour. With all customers likely to see the volume of emails in their inbox increase significantly during November, being as relevant as possible is vital to drive open rates and conversions.
Get a strong start on the season
There’s no reason to wait until Black Friday to begin nurturing subscribers, of course. You should be using the weeks and months ahead to collect new email subscribers and identify your VIP, active and dormant subscribers so you not only have a chance to re-engage, but can ensure you have the most complete view of that customer.
Create stand out campaigns
The hype around Black Friday has been unavoidable over the past few years, and consumers expect retailers to deliver on the excitement with relevant offers and a complete brand experience. Don’t view it simply as an opportunity to grow revenue, but as a chance to be creative with campaigns that capture the attention of shoppers and the broader industry. When it comes to emails, you have many routes available beyond a simple discount. Whether it’s a catchy subject line, beautiful imagery or a personalised video, all could encourage the customer to go to your website or store.
The growth of Black Friday and adoption of more mobile devices by consumers has certainly created an exciting proposition for retailers. But, there is now an increasing customer expectation of smart, relevant and personalised experiences, no matter how the shopper is engaging. With eager competitors vying for customer attention, it’s never been more important to invest in your Black Friday strategy and begin the planning today.
- Black Friday 2016: What is Black Friday? Where are the best deals?
- ‘Tis the Season – Why Customer Experience Must Adapt to Changing Seasons