Three quarters (76%) of Brits will stop spending up to a month before Black Friday so that they’re ready to splurge in the sales, according to new research aimed at helping businesses prepare their seasonal campaigns.
Last year in the UK, Black Friday generated £9.2 billion in sales, which is 15% more than the previous year, with electronics proving to be the most popular type of product to shop, followed by clothing and footwear.
In a survey of 1,000 Brits by telecommunications provider, Esendex, more than half (56%) say they are happy to hear from businesses about their Black Friday plans up to two weeks in advance of the date, which is set for November 25 this year. A further 27% would be receptive to promotional messages being sent three to four weeks in advance.
Laura Brown, head of demand generation at Esendex, comments: “The good news for businesses is that Black Friday appears to be shifting earlier and getting longer each year. For example, multiple retailers including Currys and Argos launched their sales events nearly a month prior in 2021 – starting from late October onwards. To be competitive, it’s important to start planning your marketing activity well ahead of time and make the most of this peak shopping period.
“With the cost of living crisis in mind, shoppers will be keen to snap up a bargain and be well-informed of the best deals in advance. Considering that one-third of all UK shoppers use their mobile devices to make a purchase, it’s worth exploring SMS marketing as part of any strategy this year to deliver Black Friday communications and drive traffic and sales.”
The findings of the survey, which have been published in a report, also reveals how 40% of people would be willing to opt in to receiving Black Friday-related text messages from businesses this year. The same can be said of 43% of shoppers who would consider having communications with a brand via WhatsApp, if this was an option.
More than a quarter (79%) of consumers would consider purchasing a product from a company as a result of a marketing message received via text or WhatsApp, with notifications of a sale, one-time discount or alert that an item they wanted is back in stock being most likely to lure them in.
Top Tips for Successful Customer Communications on Black Friday
In order for businesses to make the most of the buzz around Black Friday, it’s vital customer communications are effective enough to stand out from those of their competitors. With this in mind, below are some considerations to take into account when planning seasonal sales.
1. Understand Your Customers
For customer communications and marketing more generally to be a success, it pays for you to know your audience. Understanding their likes and dislikes means that you can tailor your messages appropriately and have better engagement as a result.
When planning for your Black Friday sales and promotions, it makes sense to engage with your audience and ask for feedback. For example, try to figure out what their plans are for Black Friday. Will they be making early Christmas purchases, or perhaps planning to buy a specific product? This type of feedback can be invaluable as it allows businesses to plan campaigns accordingly.
2. Communicate Offers Early
Businesses that communicate their offers early benefit by ensuring their brand is firmly on a consumer’s shopping list ahead of time.
As mentioned, more than half of Brits would be happy to hear from businesses about their Black Friday plans up to two weeks in advance of the date; a further 27% would be responsive to marketing campaigns sent three to four weeks in advance.
Some well known brands, such as Kate Spade, even run surprise sales in advance of Black Friday, honing in on the fact some people may be too impatient to wait. That being said, it’s always worth sending some form of communication on the day just to remind shoppers, and convert any last-minute browsers.
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3. Personalise Your Messaging
Black Friday can be a frenzy of discounts and sales so for communications to really stand out against competitors, they need to provide value beyond the offer itself. Brands should aim to segment their audience to ensure all communications are both relevant and personal to recipients.
While a blanket offer may seem tempting, each message is an opportunity for your business to build an even better relationship with your customers and secure more sales in the long-term by building brand loyalty.
4. Optimise Campaigns for Mobile
Mobile has become a huge part of ecommerce and this is certainly true when it comes to Black Friday shopping. Last year, 52% of all orders placed over the Black Friday weekend were done via mobile.
It’s also worth looking into your own Google Analytics – or even using Google data – to establish the areas that may be best to target via Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or SMS marketing, and therefore provide a better ROI. Last year, Esendex carried out some research to discover that shoppers living in Bristol, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester are most likely to be interested in Black Friday sales.