11 Nov Find out how Irish retailers are getting the most out of Black Friday
Black Friday has moved from being something of a sales oddity in Ireland to being fully embraced and integrated into any business’ sales calendar.
This year, businesses are more ready than ever to boost transactions on Black Friday weekend, particularly with consumers feeling the pinch and looking for deals and bargains.
In this blog, we shine a light on some key approaches retailers are taking to get the most out of Black Friday each year without needing to over-invest on advertising.
Build buyer interest early
Businesses are beginning the end of year sales season earlier every year to sow seeds that grow buyers’ intent. With noise and choice around deals being offered to consumers increasing as we get closer to Black Friday, retailers are trying more than ever to get their message out early. They are doing this by offering early bird deals online, engaging in direct marketing campaigns and having limited-time offers on products in-store before November 25th. For some, the lead-in to Black Friday begins a full four to six weeks before the day.
Utilise digital platforms to attract a larger consumer market
Whether businesses are bricks and mortar based, online or a mix of both it’s likely that the online world will be a touchpoint along the customer purchasing journey regardless of whether they prefer to buy online or in-store. Websites, marketplaces and social media platform are a key part of merchants being able get their sales message out to a larger customer base.
Planning social media posts in advance and posting more regularly before Black Friday, directing customers to your eCommerce website or to your store is a cost-effective way of getting your message out there. It’s also an opportunity to build brand awareness around your business as well as the special offers you have for one of the busiest shopping days of the year. If you have a website ensure it’s up to date and product descriptions are accurate to maximize your appeal.
Bundle special offers to deliver more value for buying more to customers
While the cost of living crisis is expected to limit customer spending, consumers both in the UK are still willing to make purchases if they believe they are being offered value. Bundling your deals together can help drive more sales by increasing customer savings if they get a better deal for buying more.
While the event is an ideal time to gain new customers, businesses are also using it to support their regular customers, with exclusive deals and offerings just for them. Given the benefits associated through word of mouth recommendations, regulars should certainly feel they are getting the white-gloved treatment for being recurring shoppers. It also reduces the chances of losing their custom to competitors during the sales period.
Start and maintain new customer relationships
Given that Black Friday is still relatively new this side of the pond, its full potential is only now being realized by businesses as they move away from viewing it as a one-off, isolated sales event.
More prolonged business value comes from the opportunity it presents for businesses to build lasting relationships with new customers through follow-up offers and post-sales support and engagement.
Offering time sensitive discounts on their next purchases can help drive Christmas Season sales and it can also cut back on the potential for after sales issues. With buyer regret growing as a reason for friendly fraud chargeback disputes, as well as customers deciding to bring products back for a refund, having a clear engagement channel and support can help reduce the potential for unnecessary returns happening.
Offer convenient payments
While the number of payment avenues available for customers has increased with the growing popularity in digital payment options, it has heightened customer expectation when it comes to completing a purchase and how they view businesses with card acceptance options. Customers expect businesses to accept card, with most customers also preferring to pay for larger transactions through their debit or credit card with 98% of customers use some form of digital payment option.
The options are no longer limited to in-store POS card terminal transactions and payment gateways for online payments.
Businesses can take payments over the phone through Virtual Terminals or by using the MOTO option on their card terminal with customers buying online/ over the phone and picking up in store – a customer journey that has grown in popularity since the pandemic. Pay-by-link is also growing popular with consumers paying through a secure link or by scanning a QR code.
Having card acceptance payment options and understanding how to benefit from them, through loyalty schemes, accepting gift cards and offering DCC for example, can boost business’ bottom-line during the busy sales season.