A woman browsing through a clothes rail looking at sale items
Portrait of author Catherine Frame
Catherine Frame

Head of Commercial Product Marketing

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Black Friday strategy: top tips for retailers

By Catherine Frame on May 27, 2022

Don’t panic. But there’s only six months to go until Black Friday, and it’s time to act – now! Is your business Black Friday-ready?

Is it a little premature to be thinking about Black Friday? We don’t think so, and neither do our retail customers. In an ever-changing competitive landscape, those businesses that have a well-prepared, strategic Black Friday battle plan will be the ones that win.

Why is Black Friday important for retailers?

For retailers, the Black Friday trading period is a big, big deal. Falling on the last Friday of November each year, the term ‘Black Friday’ originally referred to companies reaching profitability – therefore using black ink as opposed to losses being recorded in red ink.

Nowadays, Black Friday is typically associated with being the start of the Christmas shopping season – a crucial period in the retail ‘Golden Quarter’ – with retailers offering discounts, launching new promotions and even releasing new products in order to entice sales. However, contrary to popular belief, Black Friday isn’t the busiest shopping day of the year – the Saturday before Christmas is!

With the countdown to Black Friday 2022 well and truly on, we’ve pulled together our top five Black Friday tips for retailers to ensure your business is in the strongest possible position this peak trading season.

Black Friday top tips for retailers

1. Accurate buying and stock allocation

Making the right buying decisions and ensuring you’re allocating your stock more accurately is a crucial part of winning the Black Friday battle. With supply chains and stock levels continuing to be constrained, make sure you’re planning for the key lines, themes and levels now. This will help to ensure you’ve got the best stock availability possible.

In addition, get a head start with your pricing and markdown strategies. Consider an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven approach to price reductions; this will help to drive frenzied buying and sell-through of Black Friday lines whilst avoiding the unnecessary erosion of precious margin.

2. Know your Black Friday customers

It’s important to leverage your data to its full potential so that you can paint a clearer picture of who your key Black Friday customers are. With this insight, you can identify your VIPs and potential VIPs and take steps to ensure they’re provided with the best possible customer experience. 

Whilst Black Friday is a great time for acquiring new customers, it’s also integral that you continue to surprise and delight your key existing customer cohorts. Consider tactics such as providing early access to sale events, premium shipping options or exclusive access to particular lines; these are just three ways of improving repeat purchase rates which could prove to be invaluable.

3. Nail your Black Friday acquisition strategy

Get started on a best-in-class customer acquisition strategy now to build a strong, highly-engaged customer base ready for this year’s Black Friday period. Invest the time to delve into your customer data at a more granular level in order to understand key customer traits that indicate strong lifetime value, high repeat purchase rates or high profitability. This approach will help you ensure that the new customers you acquire this year will help to contribute positively to your business before, during and after the peak trading season.

items of clothing on a discount rale with a 20% markdown

4. Build up the Black Friday anticipation

Whilst Black Friday is best known as a singular day (although this has expanded for many retailers in recent years!) many brands consider the days – or even weeks – before the actual date to be of equal importance. With this in mind, begin your campaign strategies and activities early. 

This could be as simple as including teaser banners in email and social media communications, or by creating Black Friday-specific sign up lists for early access. This would allow you to let customers know of key launch dates, tease potential future offers or new products to keep your customers intrigued as the build-up to the big day approaches – ensuring that they’re focused on your offering, not that of your competitors.

5. Leverage the power of personalization

Black Friday is the perfect time to get closer to your customers, using intelligent personalization techniques to drive an improved customer experience. Personalization powers loyalty, it’s just that simple. Your strategy could be as straightforward as implementing an effective product recommender to only show products that are predicted to resonate with a particular customer. Considering your customers as individuals will ensure that they feel valued by your brand and, in turn, increase the likelihood that they’ll return to purchase from you this year’s Black Friday trading period.

Discover the power of personalization

Want to learn more about how personalization can help retailers drive an unbeatable customer experience? Read our latest blog.

If you’re looking for a helping hand when it comes to implementing any of our Black Friday top tips, look no further than Decision Intelligence from Peak. Decision Intelligence is the commercial application of AI to the decision making process. It is outcome focused and must deliver on commercial objectives, with the unique ability to leverage data from across an entire business, not just siloed functions. This gives retailers a truly holistic view of what’s happening across the board. 

With all of your data in one place, AI is then applied to spot patterns, trends and future possibilities; allowing teams to go from data, to real-time insight, to a great commercial decision. From a personalization perspective, for instance, Decision Intelligence enables you to power great human interactions – driven by AI – to forge closer relationships with customers and increase brand loyalty.

Ready to supercharge your Black Friday retail strategy?

Get in touch with our team and we’ll talk you through how we’re helping brands like yours win with Decision Intelligence.

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