Black Friday Marketing in 2022
Everyone in the eCommerce world knows just how vital Black Friday, alongside Christmas, can be to a business’ success. However, with the wider economic crisis surrounding current events in 2022, this year’s gifting season is set to fuel a whole host of unprecedented browsing and spending behaviours.
With the vast majority of the population looking to buy presents for loved ones, find the best Secret Santa gift or just capitalise on some good offers to treat themselves, this is a key trading period – but one which is hugely impacted by wider context. With less to spend, consumers will typically either rein in their spending completely, or be even more savvy when it comes to hunting down the best deals.
At Fuel, taking information from a range of different sources, we wanted to bring together four top tips for nailing your Black Friday marketing, ensuring that you end the year on a high!
Our top tips to keep in mind are:
Don’t Rely on Brand Loyalty
A study by the McKinsey Group found that 75% of customers have tried new shopping behaviours post-pandemic. For example, a significant number of shoppers have shifted their shopping from in-store to fully online and within that, 39% have deserted trusted brands in favour of trying new ones.
So going forward, both for Q4 as well as in general, it’s vital that you do not rest on your laurels when it comes to repeat custom. Ensuring that your Black Friday marketing really engages with your audience to keep them as loyal customers is going to be a big part of this battle. We’ve seen clients engage in activities such as loyalty reward schemes or personalised incentives based on previous purchases to keep shoppers coming back. This kind of strategy will really come to the fore as things get more and more competitive in this busy gifting period. A bespoke Black Friday email marketing campaign – specifically targeted towards key parts of your funnel – is also a great way to keep regular customers on your hook, whilst simultaneously proliferating your deals to a wider audience.
Don’t forget that 39%, though. The evidence suggests that consumers are now highly likely to ditch their tried-and-tested spending habits in search of the best deal – especially now with the cost of living crisis taking a major grip upon disposable income. With this in mind, your Black Friday marketing campaigns should have an eye on capturing those nomadic consumers who are wandering the web and on the hunt for the deal that suits their pocket.
Be Prepared to Play the Long Game
It is widely anticipated that we will not see such a huge focus from shoppers on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, but will see sales spread over a longer period of time. Endorsing this, Awin’s Black Friday 2021 review found that both the UK and USA saw a 9% drop in revenue for the actual day itself last year.
Part of this will come from the novelty of Black Friday wearing off on these more mature markets. The rush to the stores that was originally seen on Black Friday, has been replaced by a shift to online shopping – Black Friday sales actually bring in more ‘Cyber’ sales than Cyber Monday in most countries, and we have also seen more shopping days such as Singles’ Day and Giving Tuesday emerge, diluting the focus on the original two key days. Add into the mix that the likes of Amazon starting to share their deals earlier and earlier in November, and it’s obvious that the primary focus of marketing the single day really has dissolved. This year, for example, Amazon have just announced that their next Prime Day sales will take place on the 11th and 12th October – a very early signal of the beginning to this year’s gifting season. Furthermore, this year’s Black Friday sees England and the USA face each other in the FIFA World Cup group stage, so it will be interesting to see how businesses’ Black Friday marketing campaigns and deals take advantage of this twist of fate to try and elevate their activity on that day.
With all of this in mind, we would encourage clients to adopt a longer term strategy for this gifting season. For example, sportswear brands might consider launching Black Friday marketing activity alongside the World Cup, running incentives for the duration or around specific matches in the tournament. Food companies on the other hand can consider strategic pushes like encouraging people to stock up before entertaining for a ‘Big Game’, or marketing takeaway options just ahead of kick off or at half time. Similarly, as the UK endures a cost of living crisis, it would make sense for retailers to spread their incentives and Black Friday deals for shoppers over a longer period as it feels inevitable that shoppers will need to spread their gift buying over an extended period of time.
Customers Will Expect Value
We have seen clients working really hard to improve customer experience in the past 12 months, be that with completely new websites or improved checkout journeys that make the process increasingly seamless. What we are finding more and more though, is that this is becoming ‘expected’ by shoppers and a great website alone isn’t enough to ensure a purchase.
There is very much a shopping group that is driven by the best price point, however it’s very important to not ignore the importance of trust, engagement and experience when it comes to the consumer journey on your site. Striking a balance between price point and customer experience is especially important when you consider just how much shopping consumers engage in during Q4 – getting as much for your money has never been so important, but neither has catering for the changing attitudes towards online shopping. These should be key considerations when it comes to your Black Friday marketing campaign strategies – how can you best communicate that your products present a cracking deal, whilst also showing off your positive UX and customer-journey credentials?
Another way to display value, and one which we are seeing become increasingly important, is through company values. Shoppers, according to research from Deloitte, are four times more likely to trust a brand and buy from them if they have a well-articulated purpose. It is also reported that 67% of consumers consider sustainable materials to be a factor in purchasing a fashion item – so the ‘Why’ really does matter. Again, being overt with your brand values through all of your Black Friday marketing materials will provide another hook to potentially engage a customer base that is invested in your moral standpoint.
Is Black Friday For You?
Here’s an interesting take – should you even consider going ahead with a Black Friday campaign in the first place?
If your business runs on very tight margins, you would be very hard-pushed to be able to provide the price-point hooks which are likely to capture the stereotypical Black Friday shopper. After all, It’s not just consumers who are feeling the pinch of everything that recent months has thrown at them – businesses are also having to think outside the box with their strategies and pricing so as to protect themselves from any future dangers.
With this in mind, it could well be that the best Black Friday marketing tip for you is – forget Black Friday! Probably not what you would expect to hear from a marketing agency, I’ll give you that, but it’s vital to remember that any marketing strategy must be fully aligned with your business goals – that’s a basic. So if slashing the margin of your products is not right for your business right now, then you’d be best rethinking any Black Friday marketing ideas that you currently have tabled.
Remember, as we said above, value comes in many forms. If you can market your business as the best solution or end destination for a prospective customer, that could well be the best strategy to go for.
This year’s gifting season and Black Friday bonanza will certainly be one impacted by a multitude of factors going on in the wider world. Whilst savvy shoppers will, as always, continue to hunt down the best Black Friday deals, it’s vital that all eCommerce businesses consider how current trends are signalling yet another change in buying behaviour, with shoppers expected to start early and, thus, retailers reacting accordingly. With this in mind, we strongly advise that your Black Friday marketing and wider Q4 strategies consider all of these factors to ensure that your deals don’t fall flat, and that you hit the ground running before your competition beats you to it. Furthermore, carefully consider if Black Friday is even something that you should be pushing in the first place – it’s easy to jump on that bandwagon without giving it much thought, so don’t fall into the trap of riding the wave of a strategy that isn’t properly aligned with your business goals.
For advice on how best to position yourself and your strategy this gifting season, be sure to contact us and talk to our experts!