Black Friday or Blue Monday for retailers?

Michael Poyser
blog featured image

It’s that time of year again… no sooner have the orange and black of Halloween faded when Christmas is suddenly upon us. But in amongst the build-up to the festive season, we’ve still got Black Friday to look forward to. Often seen by shoppers as the ideal opportunity to get ahead with gift buying, for many retailers, it remains a significant, and lucrative, date in the marketing calendar.
While Black Friday may not be the be-all and end-all for every retailer, it remains a positive way for brands to drive footfall into stores, adding a new sales peak to the UK shopping calendar during what was a traditionally quiet period before Christmas.

There is still opportunity
In the UK alone, we spent around £7bn across the Black Friday period in 2018, and that’s expected to rise this year. While much of this spending takes place online, the majority still takes place in-store. This means there is a great opportunity for retailers to boost revenue through the increased footfall they’re likely to see. However, when it comes to delivering these types of large-scale sales events, retailers still need to consider the bigger picture, especially when it comes to personalisation.

Consider customer behaviour and preferences
With an anticipated boost in the number of shoppers coming into store to grab their Black Friday bargains, retailers need to capitalise on this increased footfall by taking the time to create offers and promotions that are relevant to shoppers.

However, personalisation is often an element that’s overlooked when developing mass promotions for major sales events like Black Friday. But it’s a fact that targeted offers go a long way towards building brand loyalty and encouraging customers to keep returning.

Equally, retailers should consider how Black Friday will affect customer behaviour both before and after the sales weekend. Depending on what’s on offer, shoppers could delay a big purchase in anticipation of a discount or bring their Christmas spending forward, in effect flattening out the benefit from the sales event itself. So, much as shoppers might be buying, they’re not actually spending more money.

Maintain momentum
While large-scale sales events like Black Friday remain an opportunity for retailers, it’s important that they don’t ignore year-round value. Nor can they lose sight of longer-term goals such as attracting customers back into store or online after promotions, while giving away less margin in the process. How successful will this year’s event be? Only time will tell.

To learn more about how to make the most of seasonal events, download our latest how-to guide: All four seasons in one day: A retail CMO’s guide to capitalising on seasonal trends and using data to shape the customer journey.


Sign up to our blog digest for the latest articles straight to your inbox