Black Friday, or what you don’t want to know
Black Friday is a celebration of consumerism, a busy time for promotion hunters and e-commerce owners. An element of American culture, which has been adopted worldwide and is gradually gaining popularity also in Poland.
The black side of Black Friday
Black Friday, i.e. the last Friday of November, which this year falls on 24th, is a time of great excitement, which sometimes manifests itself in aggressive behaviour of consumers. There are times when Black Friday takes on a truly black face. There is even a website on the Internet, counting the fatalities and all the injured, who suffered during the whole sales chaos. It’s hard to believe that 11 people lost their lives in the whole frenzy. One of the fatal victims is an employee of the Wal Mart chain, who was trampled by the advancing crowd. Indeed, these drastic reports do not discourage promotion hunters. The U.S. National Retail Federation reports that Black Friday brought in 145 million shoppers in 2016. Each consumer spent an average of $668. In 2016, Black Friday saw an increase of over 21% in online transactions. For the first time, a record-breaking $3 billion was spent on online shopping.
Scalable and secure solutions
Fatal victims the most drastic, but not the only minus of Black Friday. The sales period is a real breeding ground for fraudsters. Opportunity to take advantage of attractive discounts puts internet users’ vigilance to sleep. Customers decide to make a purchase quickly, often without verifying website security. Black Friday may hurt the customer, but it’s certainly also a threat to the brand. The decision to participate in a marketing campaign should be carefully considered.
Seasonal discounts are a big challenge for e-shops. The whole action requires a stable background and preparation of IT infrastructure. Stores see a threefold increase in visitors during sales. Can websites withstand such a load? Not always. Mistakes happen even to the biggest ones. In 2016, the main page of Victoria’s Seacret store took longer than 30 seconds to load. It’s a big loss, according to Google’s research every extra 0.5s of page load time translates into a 20% drop in traffic. To avoid a Black Friday disaster, retailers prepare for the sales period well in advance, including choosing a scalable hosting service.
An opportunity for startups and small businesses?
Although the global idea involves even the biggest brands, niche industries are also taking advantage of the promotion. Properly prepared promotion allows for success. Hosted at Kei Data Center.en bicycle retailer grew 44% on Black Friday, instrument retailer grew 45%, and military retailer grew 53%. The potential for this day is high, as you can see. Smaller e-shops, which find it hard to compete with offers of market giants, can use the potential of Cyber Monday or Free Delivery Day.
In order to attract the customer’s attention, one should make sure that the discounts are appropriately attractive. The research conducted on a sample of 500 e-shops shows that the Black Friday action attracts consumers’ attention and the stores which got involved in the promotion, directed more traffic to their websites. It is worth mentioning that discounts of 10-30% are attractive for people who planned to buy a given product, but they will not encourage customers to spend money spontaneously. Artificial overpricing is also a problem of Polish online stores. According to research from consulting firm Deloitte, for 12% of the products analyzed, the price went up during Black Friday and 72% of product prices did not change at all.
Vendors pump up prices, hoping to get rid of unwanted goods. In the long run, such a strategy can be very detrimental to a brand. The store, in order to grow, needs new customers. Even the most loyal group of regular customers cannot ensure growth. Black Friday is an opportunity to reach new customers, which is why many e-stores choose to participate. In order to acquire a customer, keep and encourage them to return, tie them to the brand, you need to provide the best quality of service even, and perhaps above all, during the sales season.