Since Europe adopted the American-born Black Friday phenomenon, the annual event has become a key element of the retail calendar across the continent. According to PwC France, last year’s festivities across parts of Europe were overshadowed by the cost of living crisis. This year, there’s a palpable sense of renewed optimism in predicted spending. But shoppers will likely remain discerning about where and how they invest.
In this fiercely competitive landscape, targeting customers with the right communications is crucial for retailers. Beyond the day itself, the true measure of success will be building lasting loyalty that transcends the annual sale. Let’s work on gaining new customers that will stay with you long-term.
What can brands do to ensure they build authentic long-term connections with customers this Black Friday?
The key is to understand consumers’ communication preferences. Sinch surveyed over 2,000 people worldwide to uncover their preferences for brand communications during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events. The findings revealed a strong preference for mobile-friendly communication channels. Email stands as the top choice for disseminating Black Friday promotions that can be conveniently accessed on mobile devices. 69% of respondents expressed their desire to receive information about Black Friday deals directly in their email inboxes.
But that doesn’t mean that brands can assume email is the preferred channel for all customers and all forms of communication. A successful omnichannel strategy tailors the choice of channel individual customer’s content and preferences. Regarding how customers want to receive promotions, a significant number of people also preferred receiving communications from brands via social media (22%) and text messaging (19%). This data underscores the importance of adopting an omnichannel strategy that is hyper-tailored to individual customers.
Respondents to the Sinch survey indicated a preference for receiving promotional messages, with almost half (48%) expressing a desire for one-time or recurring discounts. Some showed interest in receiving product updates and news. To engage customers effectively, consider sending SMS messages with attention-grabbing discounts as a compelling way to provide real value and capture attention.
Meaningful customer relationships beyond Black Friday need meaningful communication
While promotions are critical, meaningful communication with customers goes beyond sharing deals. Building a communication strategy designed to make their lives easier and ensure seamless customer service is key. During the Christmas holiday shopping season, a significant majority of consumers (exceeding 80%) emphasised the importance of transactional messages, such as delivery updates.Interestingly, 50% of respondents expressed a desire to receive transactional messages from brands via one or more mobile messaging channels, including SMS and WhatsApp.
Timing is crucial while considering when to reach out to your customers. More than half (57%) of respondents prefer to receive communications from your brand well ahead of Black Friday. Over one in three (36%) are eager to get these communications as soon as possible, while 21% would have liked to hear from a brand at least a month in advance of the deal day itself. Getting in early can be a winning strategy, ensuring that your brand remains on the radar of your subscribers when the big day arrives.
Moreover, 83% of respondents interested in receiving text messages from brands show a desire to receive promotional texts at least once a month. This presents a significant opportunity for brands, especially during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events. Launching a strategically timed rich communications services (RCS) messaging campaign during peak inbox activity can give businesses a clear advantage over competitors. Executing a successful SMS opt-in campaign to expand your promotional text marketing list well in advance of Black Friday is crucial.
The key customer communication tips for building authentic connections and brand loyalty
Email remains a vital communication channel, and it’s crucial to optimise it for maximum impact. This includes preparing beforehand to ensure maximum deliverability and engagement by validating email lists, developing hyper-tailored messaging, and creating content that resonates. Brands that succeed will be the ones that showcase personalised, clear, and impactful campaigns that are optimised for mobile viewing.
Adopting an omnichannel strategy that goes beyond email will also be critical. Customers are seeking interaction across a diverse range of platforms and channels. Work on implementing an omnichannel approach that accommodates individual preferences and offers multiple points of contact for your most loyal and active customers. This will ensure you can differentiate yourself and break through the noise to remain top of mind.