Black Friday has evolved from a one-day shopping event to a global retail phenomenon, attracting a staggering volume of consumer interest worldwide. Recent data highlights the sheer scale of this event: In the UK alone, offline Black Friday spending was expected to reach 3.9 billion GBP, while in the U.S., a projected 114.9 million shoppers were expected to participate online, contributing to an estimated online spend of 9.8 billion USD.

What’s more, consumer behaviour is shifting. In 2022, the average American planned to spend $833 during Black Friday, up from the previous year. This trend signifies more than just a spike in sales; it’s an indicator of evolving customer expectations and engagement patterns.

While Black Friday undoubtedly offers a lucrative opportunity for brands to boost their revenue, the challenge lies in making these sales meaningful. A mere discount is no longer sufficient. Marketers and businesses must design compelling offers that not only catch the eye but also foster long-term customer loyalty.

In this blog post, we will delve into crafting a winning Black Friday strategy that goes beyond the quest for short-term sales and focuses on building lasting customer engagement and relationships.

Whether it’s in-store discounts or online post-purchase rebates, the ultimate goal is the same: to add value and keep customers engaged long after the shopping frenzy has ended. From exploring creative promotional techniques to leveraging diverse sales channels—including partnerships with retailers and direct-to-consumer opportunities—this guide will arm you with the tools you need to develop a comprehensive Black Friday strategy that pays dividends well beyond November.

Crafting a Winning Black Friday Strategy

To excel, aim for offers that grab attention and build loyalty. Whether it’s in-store discounts or online post-purchase rebates, the goal is the same: add value and keep customers engaged.

By delving into creative promotional techniques and leveraging diverse sales channels—including partnerships with retailers and direct-to-consumer opportunities—you can develop a comprehensive Black Friday strategy that pays dividends well beyond November.

Where should you begin? Let’s break it down.

Set a Realistic Timeline

Black Friday isn’t just another sales event; it’s a retail phenomenon. Your timeline should reflect this uniqueness. Start with a detailed plan that includes the lead-up marketing activities—be prepared for teaser campaigns or early-bird specials. Also, consider the rapid inventory changes common to this shopping period, planning your stock levels well in advance. Special collaborations for Black Friday exclusives with third-party vendors should be initiated early enough to ensure smooth implementation. Importantly, don’t forget to add time blocks for last-minute deals or flash sales, hallmarks of Black Friday’s dynamic nature. Finally, integrate a post-Black Friday engagement strategy to keep your newly-acquired customers coming back. For a more complete guide on promotion planning, check out our post here.

Know Your Audience and Set Goals for Black Friday

The urgency and excitement around Black Friday can lead to varying customer behaviours that aren’t typically observed during the rest of the year. For example, some people may be willing to make more significant purchases if they perceive the deal as a once-a-year opportunity. Therefore, set goals that capitalise on these unique shopping behaviours.

Is one of your key performance indicators for Black Friday to reduce cart abandonment? If so, consider setting a specific, achievable goal like “Reduce cart abandonment rates by 15% through targeted exit-intent popups offering a bonus gift.” This makes use of Black Friday’s unique selling environment and also ties in directly with what you’re trying to achieve.

In a similar vein, if your data shows that a significant percentage of your Black Friday shoppers are new customers, set a goal around customer retention. An example goal could be, “Convert 25% of first-time buyers into repeat customers within the next quarter through a post-Black Friday engagement campaign.”

Crafting Innovative Promotional Offers for Black Friday

Black Friday isn’t just another sales event; it’s an opportunity for brands to shine amidst a noisy marketplace. Traditional discounts are expected; your goal is to exceed those expectations. From ‘Spend and Earn’ schemes that encourage future purchases to time-limited exclusive access to new releases, your promotional offer should serve as more than just a transaction. It should be a compelling invitation to your brand.

Once you’ve understood the tactical considerations, it’s time to unleash your creativity. Your Black Friday campaign’s success hinges on the types of promotions you deploy. Whether it’s discounts, competitions, gifts with purchase, or trade-ins, each has a role to play in a comprehensive strategy. Tailor these tactics to your audience’s needs and your key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure a resonant and effective campaign.

In today’s socio-economic landscape, marked by factors such as the cost of living crisis, promotions offering genuine value gain added significance. Whether it’s a cash rebate or a free gift, such promotions could be particularly compelling, attracting consumers making purchases for themselves or as gifts for others.

Let’s take a look at a few key promotions to consider this Black Friday that can drive sales, deepen customer relationships and foster repeat business for brands.

Strategic Cashback: Driving Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Cashback promotions go beyond mere partial refunds—they are strategic tools for customer engagement and loyalty. When properly implemented, they can be a significant deciding factor for consumers, enabling your brand to outshine competitors without resorting to trivial discounts.

Why Cashback Matters:

  • Increased Sales: Cashback can lure customers away from competitors, resulting in a sales lift.
  • Customer Loyalty: These promotions encourage repeat purchases, thus fostering brand loyalty.
  • Perceived Value: Cashback can raise the customer’s perception of a purchase’s value, potentially elevating overall satisfaction.
  • Brand Differentiation: Amidst a sea of Black Friday deals, cashback offers can distinguish your brand.

Crafting a Strategic Cashback Offer

Before diving into cashback promotions, it’s vital to align them with key metrics such as customer lifetime value and retention rates to avoid the erosion of profit margins.

The Psychological Aspect

Understanding how customers think and striking a balance between hedonistic and utilitarian appeals can lead to more compelling offers. Cashback promotions offer direct savings, which can resonate with customers’ practical considerations, while the prospect of future rewards can appeal to their long-term financial planning. Moreover, the sense of ‘winning’ a cashback can add emotional value to the transaction, making the purchase experience more satisfying.

Versatility in Implementation

While cashback offers from manufacturers are generally fulfilled post-purchase, their execution can vary. Customers may claim their cashback by submitting proof of purchase on the brand’s promotional portal. This makes them a flexible tool not just for retailers but also for manufacturers who wish to offer direct-to-consumer promotions via retail partners. Therefore, it’s crucial to have mechanisms for tracking claims and verifying purchases, especially for post-purchase cashback offers.

Advanced cashback strategies:

  • Tiered Cashback: Encourage higher spending by offering greater cashback values for higher purchase amounts.
  • Loyalty Programme Integration: Amplify the value proposition by incorporating the cashback into your existing loyalty programme.
  • Limited-Time Offers: Use the annual timing of Black Friday to create a sense of urgency, nudging hesitant customers to take action.

Caveats in Cashback Promotions

While low redemption rates may seem like a win from a cost perspective, they could signal a poor customer experience at the claim stage. Ensure that your cashback claiming process is straightforward to maintain your brand reputation.

Gift with Purchase: Elevating Customer Experience and Satisfaction

The appeal of Gift with Purchase promotions lies not only in the enhanced perceived value of a product but also in its power to introduce customers to new offerings. A well-chosen gift can significantly elevate the customer experience and create a strong emotional connection.

Making it Effective

Whether it’s done at the retail level or as a post-purchase offer, a Gift with Purchase is most effective when it aligns with your specific sales goals. For example, consumers could submit proof of purchase to claim their gift after the fact, allowing even manufacturer-level promotions to benefit. Remember, the method of delivery—whether in-store or post-purchase—can adapt to suit your business model.

Benefits of Offering a Gift with Purchase

  • Added Value: Research shows that offering a free gift can increase the perceived value of a deal, often more so than everyday discounts (Darke & Chung, 2005).
  • Customer Satisfaction and Emotional Engagement: A well-executed gift is a simple yet effective way to boost customer satisfaction and inspire long-term loyalty.
  • Product Introduction: A Gift with Purchase can serve as a risk-free introduction to another product in your range, adding an element of excitement and discovery to the shopping experience.
  • Driving Sales: Setting a minimum spend to qualify for the gift can encourage a higher order value, leveraging the appeal of the free gift to boost sales.

Advanced Gift with Purchase strategies

  • Tiered Gifts: One way to elevate this strategy is by offering tiered gifts based on purchase amounts. This can incentivise higher spending, but make sure the value proposition remains attractive.
  • Type of Gift: Seasonal gifts or exclusive new releases can add both relevance and a sense of urgency to your promotion.
  • Limited Time Offers: A time-sensitive gift offer can encourage quicker purchase decisions, making this strategy even more potent.

Measuring Success

Don’t forget, a Gift with Purchase promotion can impact your profit margins, so plan carefully. Ensure adequate stock levels to meet demand and avoid customer disappointment. Key metrics to monitor include Average Order Value (AOV) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign.

Thoughtful Bundling: Enhancing Perceived Value

Beyond merely grouping products together for a discounted price, strategic bundling serves as a powerful lever for enhancing customer perception of value. More than a fleeting Black Friday bargain, a carefully curated bundle provides a lasting solution to customer needs.

The Psychology of Bundling

Customers relish the sensation of getting more for less. But bundling isn’t merely about the thrill of a deal; it’s about crafting an offer that solves a problem for the consumer. Effective bundling delivers value that persists far beyond any initial price reductions.

Crafting Your Perfect Bundle

The magic in bundling lies in the combination of products or services that organically fit together. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Complete the Set: If you sell products that are part of a set or collection, bundle them together. For example, if you sell skincare products, bundle a cleanser, toner, and moisturiser as a complete skincare regimen.
  2. Cross-Sell: Pair related items that are commonly used together. If you sell cameras, bundle them with camera bags, memory cards, and tripods.
  3. Upgrade Path: Create bundles that encourage customers to upgrade. For instance, bundle a basic version of your software with a discounted upgrade to the premium version.
  4. Seasonal or Themed Bundles: Align your bundles with the season or a specific theme. For example, create a “Winter Warmth” bundle with a coat, scarf, and gloves.

Extending Bundling Strategies

Beyond these fundamental strategies, bundling can offer unique opportunities for companies with varied distribution channels. For example, if your products are sold both directly and through retailers, consider cooperative bundling. This involves offering a package deal that includes both your items and complementary products from a retail partner’s assortment, thereby capitalising on cross-promotional opportunities. This approach can be particularly beneficial for manufacturers looking to drive both in-store and online sales during the Black Friday period.

Charity-Linked Promotions: Making Black Friday a Force for Good

Black Friday doesn’t have to be all about consumerism. Why not seize the opportunity to channel some of the day’s revenue into creating positive social impact? Let’s explore how charity-linked promotions can elevate your brand and offer your customers a fulfilling shopping experience.

Why This Matters

  • Shared Values: When your brand’s and customers’ values align, especially in a philanthropic context, you’re building much more than just a customer base; you’re building a community.
  • Impact Over Discounts: A donation might not give customers a direct price cut, but it gives them something possibly more valuable: the feeling of making a difference.

Crafting a Charitable Promotion

  1. Identify the Cause: Choose a cause or charity that has genuine importance to your brand ethos and your target audience. Make sure it’s a fit that feels organic, not forced.
  2. Full Transparency: Be upfront about how contributions will be managed. Whether it’s a percentage of sales or a fixed donation per purchase, make it clear and offer regular updates on the positive impact generated.
  3. Community Engagement: Involve your community in the selection of the charitable cause or even in the activities supported. Empower them to feel like they’re part of something bigger.

Important Points

  • Regulatory Guidelines: Be sure to adhere to any legal obligations surrounding charitable giving, ensuring that your efforts are beyond reproach.

By incorporating charitable giving into your Black Friday strategy, you can offer your customers the unique opportunity to turn their purchases into positive social change, creating a lasting impression that extends well beyond a one-day event.


Find the Perfect Fit For Your Brand


Tactics to Create a Sense of Urgency on Black Friday

Contrary to popular belief, creating a sense of urgency doesn’t have to be synonymous with slashing prices. Brands can inspire immediate action by pre-announcing exclusive post-purchase rebates or special gifts, thereby not only driving retail footfall but also sustaining increased sales over an extended period.

Here are some clever tactics to weave a compelling sense of urgency into your Black Friday promotions for maximum impact:

  • Time-Bound Promotions: Instead of relying solely on typical “limited-time offers,” consider specifying the exact duration of your Black Friday event. Phrases like “Ends in 48 Hours!” or “Last Chance: Sale Closes at Midnight!” can create a more palpable sense of urgency.
  • Countdown Clocks: A digital countdown timer on your website or embedded in your promotional emails can serve as a constant, visual reminder of the fleeting opportunity, thereby amplifying the urgency.
  • Scarcity Alerts: Instead of merely stating that a product is available at a reduced rate, go one step further by highlighting the limited availability. Phrases like “Only 20 units remaining!” can spur immediate action through FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
  • VIP Previews: Provide your loyal customers or email subscribers with early access to your Black Friday deals. This adds an extra layer of exclusivity, rewarding their loyalty whilst simultaneously driving urgency.

Strategising for Black Friday: It’s More than Just a One-Day Win

Designing a truly impactful Black Friday promotion is a complex undertaking, demanding a blend of careful planning, creative thinking, and consumer insight. The objective extends beyond immediate sales; it aims to create memorable consumer experiences that encourage brand loyalty and repeat business. By meticulously aligning your offers with your audience’s needs and preferences, you set the stage for long-term success, not just a momentary spike in sales.

To achieve this, consider employing a phased Black Friday strategy that caters to various consumer needs and behaviours at different times. This multi-layered approach can involve distinct tactics for the Pre-Black Friday build-up, Black Friday itself, and the ensuing Cyber Monday. Whether you’re reaching out directly to consumers or collaborating with retail partners, this allows you to engage with your audience through multiple touchpoints and channels, making your campaign not only flexible but also cohesive.

But remember, the ultimate objective is to dovetail your Black Friday campaign into your overarching marketing goals for the season and the year. Customising your promotional offers for different customer segments—such as those who prefer post-purchase rebates or gifts—adds nuance to your strategy, fortifying both immediate and long-term growth objectives.

If you need tailored guidance in crafting your Black Friday promotion strategy, reach out to Benamic today. Our team of professionals is here to help you make the most of this incredible shopping event.