In recent years, retailers have increasingly relied on the juggernaut that is Black Friday to drive sales and revenue. However, the traditional approach of concentrating all efforts on a single day might not be the most effective strategy. In this thought leadership piece, we explore the potential benefits of spreading promotions and offers throughout the entire month, creating a sustained shopping celebration that maximises traffic and revenue.
It’s no secret that Q4 and the key trading dates that it brings can often mean it can make or break your year in eCommerce. Black Friday and Cyber Monday in particular can bring huge revenue contributions in a frenzied 4 day period. But what if it doesn’t go well? And what if it goes well, but it’s not profitable?
In recent years, retailers have increasingly relied on the juggernaut that is Black Friday to drive sales and revenue. At Built for Growth Digital, we are firm believers of spreading our bets and increasing our odds. In 2023, we wanted to explore the potential benefits of spreading promotions, offers and traffic driving activity across the entire month to test out a sustained shopping celebration that would maximise revenue and protect profitability.
The way Black Friday fell in 2023 meant that a high % of British and Irish consumers had not yet been paid and we wanted to mitigate against the performance risks that this may bring.
Where we had an influential position for many of our clients, we put it to good use with a more rounded approach to November that didn’t hinge on 4 frenzied days. We harnessed the power of the month and the results were pretty telling! Here’s a great example from a client with have in the Surfing and Lifestyle vertical:
BFCM | 31.5% of November revenue (11.5% less reliance YoY)
Weekend Performance | 16% up Year over Year
Rest of Month Performance | 39% up Year over Year
November Performance | 31% up Year over Year
Profitability | 55% up Year over Year
The way we played it made us much more profitable. We’d made sure to deliver strong revenue numbers well ahead of the weekend itself. The fact it performed well was a bonus, but not critical. We’d already laid the foundations for a successful, profitable month.
It doesn’t always work out exactly like that, and we help curate bespoke strategies to play into the strengths (and weaknesses) of each of our merchants to help deliver the best possible outcomes. See below for some great YoY figures:
|Reliance on BFCM
Seven Reasons to Build out a Longer, Stronger Event for Black Friday in 2024
Distributing Consumer Spending:
Instead of concentrating consumer spending on a single day, spreading offers across the month encourages consistent purchasing behaviour. This can result in a steadier stream of revenue, mitigating the risk associated with a one-day performance. It gives more time for consideration purchases to take root and that can be very important. Particularly at times of intense competition, when consumer’s disposable income is under more pressure than ever.
Mitigating Black Friday Fatigue:
Black Friday fatigue is a real concern for both consumers and retailers. By stretching promotions across the month, retailers can capture the attention of consumers without overwhelming them with a single, high-pressure day. It also gives the opportunity to effectively signpost different parts of your inventory in a more focused, considered way.
Encouraging Repeat Business:
Offering promotions throughout the month encourages repeat business as customers return to take advantage of different deals. This builds customer loyalty and establishes a continuous relationship beyond a one-time transaction. The perception of ‘missing out’ in a very active calendar of deals and events will keep returning traffic numbers high all month. This in itself makes better use of your marketing spend. You’re hopefully not just paying for one fruitless click, rather a month of shopping and return visits.
Creating a Festival Atmosphere:
Transforming the shopping experience into a month-long celebration creates a festive atmosphere. This can generate excitement, anticipation and a sense of community for your customers. This all encourages customer loyalty and heightened participation in your various offerings across the month.
Adapting to Changing Consumer Behaviour:
Modern consumers value convenience and flexibility. By providing a longer promotional period, retailers align with evolving consumer preferences and behaviours, ultimately enhancing the overall shopping experience.
Leveraging Social Media Engagement:
A month-long celebration offers more opportunities for engaging content and social media interactions. This extended period allows retailers to build anticipation, showcase diverse products, and interact with customers on a more personal level.
Data-Driven Decision Making:
Spreading promotions throughout the month provides retailers with a wealth of data on consumer behaviour. This data can be analysed in real-time, allowing for agile adjustments to marketing strategies based on what’s working well (and not so well) as we move through the month.
Reducing Pressure in the Stock Room:
A month-long approach allows retailers to manage stock more effectively. By pacing promotions, retailers can avoid the pressure to stock massive quantities for a single day and reduce the risk of overstocking. A longer period also gives room for agile changes to your marketing calendar to ensure you can sell through the right products, with the right level of margin without ever having to resort to panic ‘everything must go’ tactics that rarely end profitably!
In conclusion, reimagining the traditional Black Friday strategy by spreading promotions across the entire month offers numerous advantages. By creating a month-long shopping celebration, retailers can enjoy more consistent revenue, reduced risks, and increased customer loyalty. If you haven’t already, it’s time to shift focus (and risk) into a more sustainable, engaging approach that brings benefits to retailers and consumers in parallel.
If you’d like our help in planning for a winning 2024 online, please do not hesitate to reach out. At Built for Growth we are passionate about helping eCommerce businesses realise their online potential. We’re Built for Growth…. Are you?