Black Friday, the biggest shopping event, takes place each year on the last Friday of November, the next day after the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Since the early 2000s, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
This year I was chairperson of the debate “Black Friday Strategies”, at TeCOMM Conference & Expo. Our guest speakers were:
- Dragos Sirbu – CEO, Flanco Retail
- Adrian Mihai – Managing Partner, FAN Courier
- Sergiu Mircea – Head Of Marketing, Communications, Products and Segments at Banca Transilvania
In this article I will summarize the most important ideas from the debate and, also, I will give you some tips & tricks to consider about Black Friday.
Did you know that, in Romania, the event was first brought in 2011 by eMag (in online) and by Flanco (in offline)? Now, more than 50% of Romanians know about Black Friday. Last year the online shops earned the revenues of 2 or 3 regular months of sales just on this special day.
At TeCOMM, Dragos Sirbu announced that, this year too, Flanco will organize Black Friday sales with one week in advance, starting on the 20th of November. He stated 3 business reasons why they organize the event earlier than the regular date:
1. Romanian transportation infrastructure is very poor and the couriers have a hard time delivering all the orders on the actual Black Friday. Therefore, they organize their Black Friday earlier, so the couriers can deliver all their packages faster.
2. In the last week of November, Flanco prefers to redo the stocks and prepare for the Christmas season in December, instead of taking care of Black Friday orders.
3. After Black Friday, the employees are tired and have to recover. The last week of November is more appropriate for a smaller volume of work, since, in December, the amount of work is bigger than in any other month.
Adrian Mihai, from Fan Courier, told us what happened last year. They asked their employees to come to work during the weekend after Black Friday, but, unfortunately, the online shops weren’t prepared to give them the products to be shipped, because of server problems.
Learning from last year’s story, Adrian encourages all of the online shops to do the following 3 things:
1. Be prepared technically to support high website traffic and a big number of orders;
2. Find out if their courier company works during the weekend as well;
3. Talk with their courier collaborators and prepare them for Black Friday by telling them how many products they estimate to be sent during Black Friday and in the following weekend.
Last year, Banca Transilvania was the first bank in Romania to organize a special shopping event during Black Friday, named Bank Friday. Their good results prove that even companies that sell intangible products or services can jump on the Black Friday bandwagon.
Sergiu Mircea said that it’s very important for online shops to prepare their clients before Black Friday for using their credit or debit cards. It’s important that customers activate their cards that have 3D secure before Black Friday and also check with their bank if they have a spending limit for online shopping.
Before closing this article, I want to give you some more tips and tricks for Black Friday:
1. Prepare your communication ahead. Write all newsletters, create all the banners/landing pages/cover photos etc. and talk with your affiliates within one month before the actual event. During the special Black Friday or Black Week, all your focus should be on the customers and how to serve them best;
2. Be sincere with your customers and give them realistic estimated times for when they will get the products they bought;
3. Don’t increase the prices before Black Friday just so you can give bigger discounts. This will backfire if you do it. The customers are looking not only at the discounts, but also at the final price that they will get;
4. Differentiate your business not only by price. Be the best in client service, offer special bundles, organize contests etc.
5. Attract communication partners;
6. Be excited and get your existing clients excited about the event. This is a great experience and we should enjoy it.
Black Friday is like an exposition of marketing ideas. During November, I enjoy watching all the players, big or small, giving their best to attract new customers.
What do you love most about Black Friday?