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Advice on attracting customers

Making the most of holiday sales

Black Friday is a date every shopper has saved in their diary

Operating around national events to bring in sales

As a business, it’s vital to start organising campaigns targeting specific events across the year early rather than later — we’re talking those big days that drive sales, from Black Friday to Boxing Day

But what have sales for Black Friday and Boxing Day looked like for the past two years? We’ve teamed up with Cleveland College of Art and Design, which offers a digital arts degree, to find out more.

The Black Friday boom!

Before Black Friday hit the UK audience, it was once a holiday across the pond which celebrated the end of Thanksgiving — the season of giving back and that is something retail stores with reduced prices intend on doing. In 2010, Amazon introduced ‘Black Friday discounts’ to its British consumers, which then had a snowball effect. Now, most retailers around Britain battle for consumer attention — and whether they’re successful or not comes down to their advertising techniques.

It’s a date that every shopper has saved in their diary, and this is one of the benefits of businesses planning to capitalise on that famous Black Friday adrenaline. It proves the perfect opportunity for consumers to get goods at a discounted price. November is the new December!

Consumers are looking for the best deals that will potentially go towards Christmas presents for loved ones — and that third cousin who buys for you, so you feel obliged to return the favour! Whatever the scenario, Black Friday has managed to market itself organically in the minds of British consumers.

Everyone loves a good bargain, and that’s proven by the increase of customer spend on Black Friday — with £1.23bn being cashed in during 2016, a 12.2% increase on the previous year. In 2015, £1.1bn was spent on Black Friday in the UK. The day after saw shoppers spend £561m with sales that continued across the weekend. Sunday saw a higher result of spend in Britain with consumers cashing out £676m. Cyber Monday, which has close ties to the Black Friday event, saw £968m worth of shopping.

However, in 2017, research carried out by Ometria found that customer orders on Black Friday went up by 9% — a growth that all brands are taking advantage of! The same source revealed that revenue increased for companies by 10% over the Black Friday weekend showing that this is a great marketing opportunity for businesses. In terms of advertising, mass emails accounted for 50% more total revenue than usual.

A high increase in sales was spotted with department store, John Lewis, with a 7.2% increase on 2016 generating a total of £214m. Products that sold well included those relating to beauty, with sales going up to 27.5%. Electrical products went up by 9.3% and women’s fashion by 8.3%.

Is this the death of Boxing Day sales?

Engraved in the mind of British consumers is Boxing Day — a day that heightens the inclination to enter the new year with discounted products. This is an event that happens across different British territories, too. However, many people believe that the introduction of Black Friday in the UK has had a huge impact on Boxing Day sales.

This day was once the most prominent date in a consumer’s diary and was the driving factor for business sales — but has Black Friday drowned this out? It seems like the anticipation for Boxing Day sales has vanished with the introduction of Black Friday.

A 9% decrease on 2015, Boxing Day only saw 23% of consumers brave shopping centres across Britain to catch some irresistible deals. Is it possible consumers already snapped up the best deals from the Black Friday sales that occurred a month earlier? The research shows that this was the likely cause. Boxing Day sales in 2016 had dipped by 6.7% on 2015’s results. This included clothing stores, where they had a small drop of 3.2%.

How do businesses get the most out of these days of sales?

Many techniques can be used to ensure the best results for your business around these events. It’s important to start with email marketing and communicating with your current newsletter subscribers first. They were kind enough to give you their details, now it’s your duty to give them a light and ‘exclusive’ reminder that your store will be providing sales on the corresponding date that you’re wanting to promote.

Use your email list to your advantage and generate a buzz around your brand, you should send emails out in different stages — start by informing your consumers that you’ll be participating in that event and that you’ll release some perks to them in the next few weeks, then release a discounted code to generate the feeling of exclusivity and show that you value them as a customer.

After you’ve sent your first, the news that your store will be offering discounts will travel through word of mouth and potentially get coverage from bloggers and seasonal discount posts by larger publications.

We recommend that you start your email advertising at the beginning of November for Black Friday and mid-December for Boxing Day sales, which doesn’t give your consumers too much of a long wait. According to Custora, 25.1% of Black Friday sales originated from email marketing, showing that this is a beneficial way to influence an audience.

It’s important to send your emails out at the appropriate time for your customers all around the world — you don’t want anyone missing out on your bargains. It’s also important to use language which will equal an action such as “Save the date!” or “Add this to your calendar”.

Remember that you could create a segmentation for different customers — those who have been loyal and those who are relatively new — the same campaign targeting two types of people in different styles.

Social media platforms for businesses is one of the most influential tools to work with. With 2.07 billion of monthly active users on Facebook, 800 million on Instagram and 330 million monthly active users on Twitter — it would be a mistake to ignore the huge opportunity that comes with a free platform that provides the potential to reach millions of people.

When it comes to advertising, start organically and reach your current followers. As the date comes closer, whether this is the 24th of November or 26th of December, start paid promotions to increase awareness for the deals that you have. Using influencers is another good way to get brand recognition, however, this is highly dependent on the type of industry you are operating in.

But to make a success of any campaign you plan on running around one of these events, early preparation is vital. Once you start advertising, people will be able to become more familiar with your brand and start looking at reviews. Online reputation becomes crucial at this point, as 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as if they were coming from a friend.


This article is supplied under the terms of the DB Direct service

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