A concept imported from The United States, Black Friday marks the beginning of our festive spending. Its biggest advantage? It sparks a buying frenzy akin to a gold rush. In 2016 millions of consumers worldwide took advantage of the massive reductions available on this day to purchase items at unbeatable prices. France took up the trend just 3 years ago and Black Friday is slowly becoming more popular with both consumers and businesses. It’s a dream event for attracting new clients and getting to grips with foreign markets!

Black Friday in a nutshell

Black Friday takes place on the fourth Friday in November, the day after Thanksgiving. On the other side of the Atlantic it’s a true institution, and now the rest of the world is starting to see why: consumers get good deals and businesses get rid of surplus stock, expand their client base and sometimes even accelerate their international growth. The internet has no borders, on Black Friday consumers track down the best offers, wherever they are in the world.

What was once a simple day of sales has become more for many businesses as they really make it count! Increasingly Black Friday is being preceeded by a whole Black Friday Week and then followed by Cyber Weekend, which came from Cyber Monday…a day of high-tech sales born out of the success of Black Friday – interesting eh?

Black Friday throughout the world

In Canada just like in the States, Black Friday incites a huge rush of online and in store sales of specific, limited stock. The message? There won’t be enough for everyone. A model adopted, although watered down by Amazon, the worldwide leader for Black Friday sales: on the site you’ll find limited offers for certain stock with up to 80% off but these are regularly refreshed. It’s such a huge phenomenon that even Dentists in the US have promotions.

What about the rest of the world?
In Belgium or Germany, Media Markt kick off the festivities with 4 days of sales.
In Barcelona, several companies band together to boost sales in the local area.
In Africa, even travel agents offer discounts.
In Germany, Amazon is offering a bigger discount on the PS4 than in France, but they deliver to France…so a load of French consumers have been heading over to the German website!
In France, One Plus has been offering consumers higher discounts, the more they share the brand on social media.

Be prepared for Black Friday

Jumping on the Black Friday band wagon is one thing, making a success of it as a business is another. You need a ‘big picture’ plan for a productive Black Friday if you want to balance your end of year books!

1. Hypothesize

If Black Friday is synonymous with discounts, then what discounts will you offer? Do an inventory of products you need to get rid of and keep in mind that the idea is to increase publicity and get rid of surplus stocks, more than to make a profit. Worth noting that if you spread out your offers throughout the sale, alternating them, you’ll encourage clients to keep coming back without getting bored. Promotional codes, price strike outs, flash sales, games and competitions, use a variety of methods!

2. Plan

Your sales can start at the beginning of the week, Wednesday evening, Thursday at midnight etc. then finish Friday at midnight, last all weekend or run into Cyber Monday. It all depends on who is selling and where. In France, the peak buying time is Friday evening at 9pm. In Italy it’s 2pm. Whatever approach you take, consider spreading out your offers over enough hours to reach several time zones!

3. Go International

Black Friday sales are an international event, the perfect occasion to reach consumers you usually can’t. If you want the results to match you expectations try posting your prices in several currencies, showing international delivery costs and times, translating descriptions or better still localising your whole site in advance so that it’s perfectly adapted for your target market.

4. Think Technical

Black Friday at its best means unbelievable site traffic on a totally unprecedented level – to the point that site crashes are legendary! Take precautions in advance, warn your technical team, in stall interactive queues, open a dedicated temporary shop…everyone has their own solution. It’s also worth optimising your e-comerce site for mobile purchases as these count for an increasing amount of buying traffic.

5. Communicate

A promotion is nothing without communication: to attract customers you need to give them information. Prepare attractive visual material, both digital and printed, disseminate them on social media, organise targeted marketing campaigns. Revisit the graphics on your site to promote your event: post banners or a countdown and give visitors the chance to sign up to emails for reminders or alerts.

 

Black Friday offers more than an opportunity to sell surplus stock, it is an opportunity for growth. For this one day promotions are stronger than borders, so why not aim a little further afield? Make contact with a new public, get your company name out there and reach foreign markets with an international growth strategy!

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