What is Black Friday?

Well, Black Friday is traditionally from America and it is the day after Thanksgiving. It was named “Black Friday” in reference to the congested traffic, however as years have gone by, it’s now more about retailers going from being in the red to moving in to the black. In America, there are always stories about people lining up in the cold, to be one of the first to get in to the doors of retailers like Walmart or Target or Macy’s, to be one of the first to get through the doors to grab the best deals.

So how has this American shopping event made it to down under? Well, to be honest the scope of retail has changed so much over the years. In the past, we would have never had retailers discounting products this close to Christmas – it was often the one time of the year that retailers were able to sell products at the full price as people did their Christmas shopping. However as retail has changed, with more competition in regards to more shops, more shopping centres, more retailers, and increase of online stores and the ease of being able to order anything online from any country, has meant the lucrative disposal income spend is spread out thinner and thinner – so retailers have to do something.

From my perspective, being on social media over the weekend was interesting – there was a love or hate relationship with this retail event. Some people disliked it due to the shopping event being American, and nothing to do with Australia or New Zealand, others loved the idea as it was a chance to have an offer that they could give to consumers. I noted in one Facebook Business group I am in, a fellow marketer had the opinion that Black Friday shouldn’t be a shopping event that happens here, and that they were over all the emails, ads and notifications they received from retailers with their deals – and it was “jumping on the bandwagon”

However in a lot of consumer Facebook groups – I saw there were loads of threads asking about which places had the best Black Friday deals and people were ready to shop!

So, as a business – should you participate in Black Friday and all the hype?

To be honest, that is a decision that you have to make and decide if it is right for your business.

Here are some advantages to taking part in Black Friday

  • Consumers are already hyped up about this sale event.
  • Consumers are already in a warm buying mode – meaning they are more likely to “Add to Cart”
  • Some of the awareness has already been done for you in regards to consumers talking about shopping.
  • Consumers are actively looking for Christmas presents etc.
  • Consumers are looking to purchase considered and impulse buy products.

Here are some disadvantages to taking part in Black Friday

  • You are competing for air space as other retailers are advertising their deals.
  • If you’ve had a sale recently – it becomes “another sale” and whether you’re keen to do another sale.
  • Consumers are still going to be conscious of how much they spend and what they are spending their money on.

Here are my tips, should you decide to take part in Black Friday next year;

  • Plan your deals early.
  • Look at your marketing plan overall and decide if it the right “Sale” time for you.
  • Plan your communication with your target market – e.g. schedule your social media posts, plan your e-newsletters.
  • Keep an eye out for communication from place like Laybuy or After Pay to see what promotion they are doing for Black Friday.

From my perspective, it is going to be interesting to see what Retail information comes out in the media as to how much people have spent over this past weekend and how it compares to previous years.

The next “Sale” event is Boxing Day sales – start thinking about whether this is an event that you’d like to take part of, for your business.