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  • Writer's pictureOCOCO Media

Black Friday 2023: Team Yay or Team Nay?

Huge sales. Exclusive discounts. High-street chaos. Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but is it a smart choice for your business?

Whilst the post-Thanksgiving event is marked in our calendars for November 24th, for many retailers, the celebration starts much earlier. In recent years, Black Friday has, rather ironically, evolved from a solitary ‘Friday’ to a lengthy shopping bonanza.

With so many retailers vying for the best discounts, it’s easy to understand why you may feel pressured to join the Black Friday bandwagon. However, it’s important to think about the long-term benefits to your business strategy and your customers. Here’s some ways that opting in or out of Black Friday could work in your favour…

Team Nay:

Over the 2022 Black Friday weekend, total UK sales reached an estimated £12.3 billion (Mintel). Despite this staggering figure, there is currently a growing movement against Black Friday, with some socially and environmentally conscious retailers actively not taking part. By saying no to a flash sale, businesses may have the potential to establish something more meaningful—corporate values!

For example, UK-based underwear brand Pantee plans to close its website on November 24th; access will only be granted to engaged community members via a mailing list. In doing so, Pantee takes a strategic stance against overconsumption and the hysteria of impulse buying, upholding its reputation as a sustainably-focused brand that puts customer satisfaction first.

An Instagram post from Pantee describing their Black Friday sales approach, white text on a black background reading "Black Friday is a way out of our comfort zone so to discourage impulse buys and overconsumption, next Friday, we're blacking out and locking in. See you on the inside or the other side"

Similarly, eco-conscious clothing brand Lucy & Yak will eschew mega-discounts for a more people and planet-friendly alternative. Since 2018, Black Friday has been used to celebrate the company’s partnership with The Fior Di Logo Foundation, a charity that provides education to girls in India. By donating a large percentage of profits from the weekend to charity, Lucy & Yak reinforces its company mission to ‘Re-Invest for Good’, enabling customers to help them make a lasting impact to communities with each purchase.

So, the choice to snub a sale does not necessarily take you out of the Black Friday conversation. Rather, it has the potential to put you at the centre of it, serving as a unique opportunity to define your company’s image and ethos.

Team Yay:

If reaching a wider audience and attracting new customers is the driving force of your business strategy, Black Friday could be an unmissable opportunity. With millions scouring the internet for the best deals, it enables retailers to capitalise on customer demand and bring additional traffic to their sites and socials. From time-sensitive discounts to exclusive giveaways, there’s lots of ways to outshine your competitors and boost sales!

Furthermore, Shopify states that 64% of e-commerce customers acquired during Black Friday/Cyber Monday have a lower lifetime value than any other time of year (Shopify). The trick to success, therefore, is to know how to convert seasonal discount-driven consumers into loyal long-term customers. A one-off sale simply won’t cut it.

With a firm grasp on this concept, cult skincare brand Deciem are radically taking on the November shopping frenzy with their ‘Slowvember’ campaign, offering 23% off their products for the entire month. The genius behind this? Consumers can take the time to research products that are going to genuinely work for their skin, without the pressure of impulse buying. It offers considered, discounted purchases with 100% transparency, building trust and increasing the likelihood that customers will return to make repeat purchases.

Ultimately, alongside sales and traffic, customer satisfaction should be a key consideration when measuring the success of a Black Friday event.

Do it your way:

Love it or hate it, Black Friday is going nowhere. There are several reasons why a business may opt in or out of the celebration, but at the heart of it, is how it will support your business strategy. Whichever approach you take this year, consider how it will help you achieve your overarching goals, whether they be sales or community-focused.

Watch this space for our Black Friday Social Media Guide, featuring some handy tips and tricks to help you tap into the power of social to supercharge your Black Friday campaigns!


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