Release: Online experience key to Black Friday
Online experience and core customers key to Black Friday success, says CIM
- Online experience crucial to converting Black Friday customers into brand advocates, with consumers looking to businesses they know and trust
- Event remains a key date for retailers, despite reports of Black Friday fatigue
The Chartered Institute of Marketing is calling on marketers to focus on core customers and online experience ahead of Black Friday weekend.
In what has been a challenging year for many businesses, retailers will be looking to the sales event to provide a much-needed boost in trade, particularly as the event now continues through to Christmas, rather than the traditional one day. However, amid economic uncertainty and lockdown restrictions, CIM has urged retailers to adapt their marketing strategies to avoid a Black Friday crunch.
Ewan Anderson, vice-chair of communications at CIM Scotland, says: “The challenge for marketers in an almost exclusively online Black Friday is cutting through the noise and raising your profile during an incredibly busy period. Despite the recession, people still love a bargain and will be looking to the businesses they know and trust.
“Marketing teams should be focusing on their core customers and reinforcing the value of their offering. Just because they won't be in store as much doesn't mean there should be a lack of focus on the experience.
“It’s therefore essential that you test your online presence and ensure it is functioning correctly – nothing will lose you a sale quicker than a poor online experience.”
Despite the upheaval of 2020, the Black Friday event remains a key period in the retail calendar, with past events suggesting reports of Black Friday fatigue among shoppers are wide of the mark.
Last year, Barclaycard revealed a sharp rise in Black Friday sales from 2018, reporting that transaction value and volume of transactions were up 16.5% and 7.2% respectively. However, this year OnePoll reports that, while more than 60% of shoppers are planning to buy Christmas presents by the end of November, of those, more than half said they plan to spend less on gifts this year.
Ewan adds: “I think, given the uneven nature of the recession, there will still be a large proportion of people who have money to spend, but there is bound to be some impact, unfortunately.
"Our experience of this year's Black Friday will almost certainly change the nature of the events in the future. While online retail still only represents around 35% of total sales, this figure is set to grow.
“The physical stores will continue to evolve to present more of an experience, while a great deal of the transactions will take place online. This will require a lot more coordination in the run up to Black Friday as customers clamour to experience products in the lead up to buying on the day.”
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