It’s that time of year again, when websites start loading more slowly and partners splurge on the family credit card.
This year, IMRG are predicting Black Friday online sales to increase by +15% to over £7b, whilst GlobalData predict overall spending online and offline to hit over £10b.
This is in no small part due to the fact that, over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a shift from a single day of deals, to some now offering an entire week of discounted goods.
So when should consumers take the plunge and buy their Christmas gifts? Should they hold off and wait until the Friday? Or should they make their purchases as the sales start, so as not to miss out on the items they really want?
This uncertainty and fragmented slashing of prices will quickly become an annoyance for customers and ultimately impact retailers too, as hesitation leads to lost sales. Purchases will spike on Friday 24th November, but are retailers doing enough to communicate and clarify their week-long deals to consumers, and allay about missing out on further price reductions?
Argos, the UK’s number 1 multichannel retailer, is a prime example of how to do this well, using their homepage to grab attention and communicate their sale clearly. With strong black backgrounds and their iconic vivid purple paint design above the fold, and their ‘Black Friday Price Promise’ clearly explained, they are drawing attention to their sale, yet counteracting any uncertainty with a guarantee that they won’t reduce their prices further on Black Friday itself. Instantly, they are encouraging purchasing in a smart way, letting consumers know that it’s fine to proceed with their spending in the knowledge that they won’t miss out a few days later – thus not losing valuable drop offs and non-returners who might be lured into deals from other retailers instead.
I’m sure we’ll see more stores implementing this type of reassuring messaging next year.
From our side, we’d like to start seeing some more creative, thought-provoking Black Friday campaigns next year. There’s a definite opportunity for retailers to stand out from the usual Black Friday rhetoric.