Katrina Smart
Katrina Smart 23 November 2023

Why Getting Your Black Friday Marketing Right is Paramount to Festive Sales Success

Cutting through the Black Friday noise has never been harder. What better time, therefore, to explore the dos, don'ts, challenges, and opportunities for retail marketing before the big day.

As a stalwart date in the retail calendar, Black Friday remains a pivotal moment in time for retailers hoping to capture shoppers during the final payday weekend pre-Christmas.

The date itself remains the biggest in-store shopping fixture across the year. Despite the decline of the dominance of online shopping, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and persistently high inflation, recent years have shown that Black Friday sales are still a boon for high street retailers and brands.

Though the calendar has become increasingly saturated in recent years with consumer discounts and opportunities to attract new shoppers, getting Black Friday marketing right is still a key factor in a retailer’s potential festive sales success.

A strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday can really act as a springboard for the final few weeks of the year, and not doubling down on those milestones could be to a retailer’s detriment.

What then are the big opportunities, challenges, dos, don’ts, and tactics, that we can expect to see in retailers’ Black Friday marketing?

And how will said tactics increase the likelihood of success during the festive sales season?  

The Role of Transparency and Clarity

The most essential traits that retail marketing tactics exhibit around Black Friday are transparency and clarity in all external facing content.

Really highlighting the significant cost saving to customers, picking products that will drive in-store footfall and win new customers, and pushing consumers outside their normal buying routine to get them impulse shopping, are all key elements of this in action.

Whether you’re a retailer and you’re looking to win customers, drive market share and footfall, or a brand looking to drive customer traffic to a specific product or portfolio, you need to ensure that customers can shop for a range of products and offers with ease.

Simplicity in the Customer Journey is Make or Break

Making it easy for shoppers to shop from the beginning to the end of the customer journey is perennially important, but it’s arguably even more so around Black Friday.

Providing consumers with easy options to get their purchase over the line such as Apple Pay, guest checkout, and ads that truly reflect live offers all make the shopping experience that bit smoother.

Those few seconds when a customer may be required to locate their wallet, reset a password, or sign up to an account that they may never use again are the kind of inconveniences that can lead to consumers closing a tab on their phone, leaving a product in the basket, and ultimately, result in retailers losing out on a sale.  

There’s nothing more frustrating for a prospective customer than clicking on an ad, and the product is out of stock, or the discount isn’t reflective of what was pushed to them. Retailers need to be reactive with their marketing around Black Friday, ensuring that the customer experience is a positive one throughout.

When consumers can shop anywhere and get a price view of several retailers within a matter of seconds, if they can see better offers somewhere else, or they know there may actually be a less steep discount for Black Friday than expected, all these elements will only serve as a big deterrent for would-be customers.

Change Tactics Around Black Friday, or More of the Same?

Brands need to be shrewd in their approach and carefully consider which tactics will be most impactful for their sales in the near term.

Increasing paid search and always on is a great place to start. Retailers should be cementing their search ranking in the run up to the day, as their organic and digital presence is crucial. Brands need to be showing up prominently in areas like search and favourites, meaning that consumers can add to basket as quickly as possible.

Retailers should be broadening their tactics and investigating new channels around the day as there’s always an influx of active social and influencer campaigns to tag onto. Exploring tactics such as email targeting with retailers and trying to understand their challenges and work closely with them on how they can leverage Black Friday is a great way to maximise potential sales.

Being smart about your product selection, assessing co-branded opportunities, checking your inventory, ensuring you’re aligned on your basics, determining what your product display page will look like, and nailing your images and content to help convert a customer at the last point in their shopping journey collectively makes an enormous difference when it comes to aligning to a retailer’s corporate marketing agenda.

These checks and balances in the build-up to the day can help them win on Black Friday itself.

Avoiding Over Exposure

Retailers and brands should never underestimate the intelligence of their customers. Consumers are smart, and, understandably, they get frustrated when they’re over targeted. Understand your audience, tailor your targeting, pick relevant messaging and creative, and make sure you’re being laser focused with your offers.

No one likes being spammed and targeting simply must be personalised, otherwise it’s going to lead to a really poor customer experience. 

Black Friday is no longer a one day and done sales moment. Throughout the month of November, there are now a stream of discounts starting from Singles Day, led by the Chinese ecommerce marketing from 11/11, and then Black Friday and Cyber Monday come along thick and fast.

November is a critical month in the calendar for brands and retailers alike. The challenge for retailers is striking a balance between not discounting for too long and devaluing your products and reaching out to customers too much, but also ensuring that you’re on the radar of consumers and potential customers accordingly.

It may seem like a lot, and it can be a tricky mix to keep up with, however if executed well, Black Friday can not only be a major sales boost on the day, but also reach new customers and in turn drive lifetime value for both retailers and brands.

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