Flipping our calendars from October to November seems to switch off our self-control gland. For example, who wants boring coffee when you can order whipped cream with a side of Pumpkin Spice? A second helping of dessert? Both are completely valid when you can blame your wintertime sweet tooth on evolution and instinct. (Thanks, Sapiens!) What’s not to love between the presents, the people, the liquor, and the laughs?
And let’s not forget about the lines, right? Lines to shop, lines to return. We’re here for it. Don’t good things come to those who wait?
C’mon, Get a Q(l)ueue
Last week, we talked about waiting rooms. We discussed why people hate waiting for things, and recommended ways that brands can offer consumers relief from the holiday purchase purgatory. The supply chain is broken and is not going to be fixed anytime soon.
Lucky for you, we’re here to talk about waiting again. More specifically, about not waiting. Same, same. But different.
The reality now is that consumers are starting to get a clue about what’s going on with the supply chain. Not surprising, because everyone is talking about it. Even my mom, who still thinks Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick are dating (they’re not), has already purchased, wrapped, and “hidden” our holiday presents in the supply closet. As news of shortages starts to spread, panic will likely set in.
Panic! At the Check-Out
And what do people do when panic sets in? Do you remember what Costco shelves looked like at the beginning of the pandemic? Bleak. Not a square of TP in sight.
This year, the panic for goods will peak on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
How do we know? In October, we conducted a poll of 2,000 consumers in the U.S. and UK to find out how they were thinking about this holiday season. 54% of respondents reported they would spend more this year than in previous years. When asked what they were waiting for, a whopping majority said sales and promotions. Finally, we asked when they would be shopping this season. The top response? Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In years past, Black Friday signaled the start of the holiday shopping season. But this year, low stock and supply chain hold-ups will condense the shopping window.
Like so many things in life, traditions are meant to evolve. Marketers can spread cheer this season by changing the Black Friday narrative, and give consumers the opportunity to shop sales ahead of schedule. Give back the gift of more shopping time, and we guarantee you’ll make it onto Santa’s “Preferred Vendors” list.
We’re Back to Black Friday
Black Friday was created by brands to drive revenue. It’s transformed from a sales tactic to a central part of American
capitalism culture. And it’s gone global. Would you believe that 195 countries across the world celebrate Black Friday sales, in one form or another?
This year, consumers have given brands a fairly simple task: deliver on expectations. They’ve told us when they are going to shop (during sales) and where they are going to shop (mostly online). They even let us know that they will shop with brands they have an emotional connection with, for goodness’ sake!
With pressures on the supply chain, businesses and brands need to change the narrative and timing of Black Friday. Sticking sales to a single day will exacerbate an already strained system, and (worse?) exasperate shoppers.
To capture hearts, minds, and market share this season, here are some tips:
1. Timing is EVERYTHING
We encourage you to extend the runway of Black Friday to give consumers a little wiggle room to do their shopping. Consumers don’t need a countdown clock yelling “YOUR ITEMS WILL ONLY BE HELD FOR 6 MORE MINUTES” to incentivize a checkout. They’ll appreciate the respect and space you give them to shop.
But on the other side of the coin, don’t make every day Black Friday. There’s still something special about exclusivity. Everyday sales might work in the short run, but will decrease the value of your logo over time.
2. Trickle-Down Effect
Sephora loyalty members have seen for years how well the cosmetics brand understands their consumer psychology. Their week-long sales events categorized by product line—Monday sales on skincare, Tuesday promotions on perfumes — result in high engagement and repeat purchases. There’s nothing stopping 7 days of online ordering when shipping is free (for Sephora’s Beauty Insiders).
A trickle-down approach to sales removes the stressful rush of having only one day to purchase an item (which, in Sephora’s case, would likely result in an uptick in anti-aging skincare purchases). It also, perhaps more crucially, builds excitement, interest, and engagement in your brand for an extended period where you can learn more and more about your customers.
3. Take care
At this point, it’s industry knowledge that empathy was all the rage during the pandemic. Brands that cared about customers made connections and stayed competitive. With the holiday season this year riddled with uncertainty, consumers still need a helping hand.
Ask how consumers are doing, see how your brand can make a stressful season less so, and make it known that your sales are equitable across the board. Consumers will appreciate that you’re leveraging your channels to spread good vibes over quick conversions. Empathy builds relationships with consumers, which, in turn, lead to extended lifetime value and long-term revenue.
4. Abandonment Issues?
Have you ever abandoned a cart in-store? We have. Why? Because the lines were long. This is a classic case of abandonment—cart abandonment— and it hurts the brand and the buyer.
Online, brands are still at risk of customers exiting the shopping process early—either after browsing (browse abandonment) or after adding an item to a cart (cart abandonment). Price, process, and peer reviews can impact a shopper’s final decision, but abandoned browse or abandoned cart messaging can help get shoppers to convert.
By understanding when a customer left the buying cycle, brands can take advantage of the holiday season and send shoppers marketing messages featuring deep discounts on the items they may have researched or added to their carts in the past. Because customers will be in a shopping mindset during the holidays, double-down and send this messaging when they’re most likely to engage—when they’re on your site or in your app.
Celebration Over Competition this Black Friday
A lot has changed in the last two years and, while change is hard, it can be good. Especially if you can guide and lead the evolution.
This season, brands have a chance to change the narrative of Black Friday. The holidays are a time for celebration, not competition and queuing. Take Black Friday back—for the people.
Learn more about how to capture more market share by scheduling a demo with one of our experts.