Emerging trends surrounding businesses’ plans for Black Friday 2020

29 October 2020 / Posted By Demi Edmunds

6 Min Read / SME - black friday Marketing Campaigns sms marketing

Latest research reveals 55.4% of UK businesses will be running their Black Friday campaigns either as originally planned or with further investment

This year, Black Friday is taking place on 27th November and following what has been a challenging period, there will be many businesses hoping to capitalise on what is usually the busiest shopping weekend of the year. 

Clothing store, BigClothing4U is looking to monopolise on the upcoming sale period “We have budgeted an additional £5,000 on top of our current advertising spend throughout the Black Friday weekend. The increased budget, which will focus on SMS marketing, paid social and influencer marketing, will allow us to target more prospects and have a more aggressive remarketing strategy to increase conversion.”

However our latest research reveals that while almost 50% of businesses will be launching their Black Friday promotions either as planned or with additional investment, over a third have completely cancelled their Black Friday campaigns.  

Given that just 8% of consumers think companies should cut their advertising spend and businesses with stronger brand awareness were able to recover x9 faster than others following the UK recession in 2008, it’s important for businesses to consider the longer term impact. Afterall, despite the fact that the UK will be in their second national lockdown for Black Friday, in terms of eCommerce it is still a significant opportunity for businesses to pull back any revenue lost as a result of the pandemic.  

Additionally, latest trends show that the activity around Black Friday is no longer restricted to just one day. In fact, Fountain Partnership takes it one step further; “The Autumn/Winter period are actually seeing a rise as a whole in ‘Black Friday’ search trends and, in many cases, a rise in transactions. What we’re seeing here is the death of Black Friday Day and the birth of a Black Friday Period and marketers must recognise this in order to execute successful campaigns across all channels.”

Our research below digs into some of the latest emerging trends surrounding businesses’ plans for Black Friday 2020.

What percentage of businesses are going ahead with their Black Friday campaigns?

Survey results to question - What percentage of businesses are going ahead with their Black Friday campaigns?

Based on our survey of hundreds of international businesses, 26.3% of businesses will be running their Black Friday campaigns as planned and 21.9% will be launching their campaigns with more investment than originally planned. 

On the other hand, 15.3% of recipients reported that their Black Friday campaigns would still be going ahead but with less investment and finally, 36.5% responded saying that they had cancelled their Black Friday plans altogether.

UK and Ireland

Are you going ahead with your Black Friday campaigns?

Survey results from UK and irish businesses to question - What percentage of businesses are going ahead with their Black Friday campaigns?

The UK and Ireland analysis shows that across the board, the majority of businesses will be continuing with their Black Friday campaigns either as planned (27.7%), or with even more investment (27.7%). 

When comparing these results to the other countries surveyed, businesses within the UK and Ireland were most likely to be increasing their investment in Black Friday campaigns, and also had the largest overall number at 55.4%, opting to either run Black Friday campaigns as planned, or to increase the planned investment. 

Finally, 8.5% of respondents reported that they would be running their businesses campaigns with a lower investment and over one third, 36.2% confirmed that they had cancelled their Black Friday campaigns for 2020. 

Despite Black Friday originating in America and swiftly spreading to the UK, in recent years the annual sale period has quickly become popular across Europe.

Italy

Are you going ahead with your Black Friday campaigns?

Survey results from Italian businesses to question - What percentage of businesses are going ahead with their Black Friday campaigns?

Looking at the results from Italian businesses, these most closely align with the answers given by UK and Irish companies with the majority of businesses planning to run their Black Friday campaigns either as planned or with more investment.

France

Are you going ahead with your Black Friday campaigns?

Survey results from French businesses to question - What percentage of businesses are going ahead with their Black Friday campaigns?

Interestingly, when it came to the question of whether companies had cancelled their Black Friday plans, only 28% of French companies confirmed this as their response which was the lowest percentage reported in our entire study. 

Germany

Are you going ahead with your Black Friday campaigns?

Survey results from German businesses to question - What percentage of businesses are going ahead with their Black Friday campaigns?

Analysis revealed that German businesses had opted for a more conservative approach to Black Friday, with a huge 42.9% of companies responding to say that they had cancelled their plans.

Spain

Are you going ahead with your Black Friday campaigns?

Survey results from Spanish businesses to question - What percentage of businesses are going ahead with their Black Friday campaigns?

Finally, 47.4% of Spanish businesses surveyed, reported that they had cancelled their Black Friday campaigns – the highest percentage in our research. 

What is the real size of the opportunity for businesses this Black Friday?

Although the UK is set for a very different Black Friday this year, Black Friday has matured to become a vital part of the commercial calendar and with so many companies either continuing with campaigns as planned or with additional investment; it’s clear many still believe there is a significant commercial opportunity.

Furthermore last year Brit’s spent an estimated £8.5 + billion on retail over Black Friday weekend, and Barclaycard which processes £1 of every £3 spent within the UK, also reported that in 2019, both the Black Friday transaction value 16.2% and overall volume 7.2% had increased when compared to 2018. Which in simple terms means that not only were more customers buying, but the total amount each customer was spending, also increased.

So, although eCommerce will play a much larger role, for businesses willing to get creative with their campaigns and offer real value to their customers, Black Friday still presents a significant opportunity. 

How to run an effective Black Friday 2020 campaign 

Last year on Black Friday alone, brands sent over 3 billion emails to customers, consequently, for your campaigns to be a success, you need to ensure they stand out from the competition. 

1. Remember to plan for peak season

Although many businesses and customers will refer to Black Friday, in actual fact the majority of sales are made over Black Friday weekend, which means Friday – Monday. In addition, this year Small Business Saturday falls on the weekend directly after Black Friday – December 5th, and more generally retailers also have Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year to cover. So, when planning offers and communications, it’s essential businesses plan for the peak season. Ideally brands want their customers to remain engaged throughout this period and communication plans need to be created with this in mind. 

2. Communicate offers early

Although Black Friday is still undoubtedly the day the majority of brands use to communicate with their audiences, the Wednesday before has become increasingly popular. So much so, that some companies actually saw their SMS campaigns earn a 75% higher order rate than those on Cyber Monday. 

What’s more, given that many shoppers make a purchase list prior to Black Friday, it’s worthwhile communicating offers early to make sure your brand makes it onto that list. The UK’s second national lockdown, means that e-commerce will take centre stage to an even greater extent than usual so it’s essential that your online offering is well advertised and easily accessible. 

3. Ensure campaigns are optimised for mobile

Last year Salesforce reported that 73% of all global digital traffic across the Black Friday weekend came from mobile and 54% of orders placed were also done via mobile. So it is vital that campaigns are designed mobile first. 

Furthermore, introducing SMS could really help your business stand out. Not only did some customers see SMS campaigns boast almost x7 the order rate of a single email campaign, but they are also 35 times more likely to be seen by a customer than a brand’s email. 

If you would like any help preparing your Black Friday campaigns, please get in touch with one of our experienced team at welcome@textanywhere.com.

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