Black Friday in France? A marketers guide 2021-2022

Black Friday has been a staple in the retail industry for years. Does France participate in Black Friday? The short answer is yes. 

The Black Friday phenomenon has taken the United States by storm. From 2015 to 2018, the spending volume during this day is constantly returning spectacular numbers. This trend has seen the adoption of Black Friday by other countries like France. 

On first thought, one could think that French consumers would be fascinated by the idea of ​​saving money on products sold at greatly reduced prices. Most French commerce platforms, however, do not participate in this day and some question its impact. 

The trend is slowly beginning to pick up, and in this article, we’ll be discussing what Black Friday in France entails and how to plan your campaign to increase your sales in France during this shopping season.

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Black Friday searches trend in France over years

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a day when many retailers and online stores offer discounts to promote their products. The goal of these campaigns is to attract more customers, especially new clients, and increase the retail sales volume. In France, this tradition has slowly gained ground over the past few years. Black Friday in France is seen as a promotional period that happens just before Christmas and the holiday season: discounts and offers vary from one store to another. 

In France, this tradition has slowly gained ground over the past few years. 

It’s essentially a way to attract new customers and increase sales volumes over the counter. Unlike what we might think, the French do not primarily look for these offers on this day, but throughout all of November.

The exact date of Black Friday varies each year, depending on the last Friday before the end of November. Black Friday in France is seen as an opportunity to start Christmas shopping early and enjoy offers, while other consumers prefer to start their Christmas shopping later.

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Black Friday searches trend during October / November 2020

Why is Black Friday important for companies?

Beyond community outreach, Black Friday 2021 was an excellent opportunity for companies to increase their brand image and notoriety by offering items at a reduced price. Black Friday in general has become a day of promotional offers that are mainly responsible for the success of commerce platforms and online stores such as Amazon or Spotify.

Is Black Friday big in France?

Black Friday was first adopted by the U.S. in the 1950s. It appears in France in 2013. Black Friday in France is pretty new, some commerce platforms have been trying to leverage this foreign event to increase their retail sales in France. This move is gaining ground in France but is still meeting with considerable resistance at numerous levels of French society.

Why Black Friday in France is frequently backlashed?

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Consumer opinion on the interest and usefulness of organizing Black Friday in France in 2020, by gender

According to the survey, more than 50 percent of men and 35 percent of women thought it was another invention to make us spend more money. Around the same amount of women thought, however, that it was a great way to save money, compared to 52 percent of French men, in 2020.

Black Friday can also be regarded as a conflictive moment in France.

  • It increases the competiton between big resellers and small local commerces. For example in November 2020, facing huge backlash increasing its sales in France by between 40% and 50% while small businesses remain closed, Amazon said it would postpone its sales event for a week.
  • It symbolizes excesive consumerism and has bad environmental impact. In 2019 for example a French legislative committee opened a wider debate to ban Black Friday in France. On the same time, environmental activists blocked an Amazon warehouse in the south of Paris to protest against Black Friday in France.
  • It comes from the USA… and French people are sometimes very critical with the american cultural and economical imperialism. Despite of an historic alliance between France and the Unites States over thecenturies, French people have always been strongly defending their independance, their own way of doing and thinking, and usually regard the american influence with distrust.

Black Friday vs Green Friday in France

Green Friday defines itself as a citizen’s event against Black Friday. The history of Green Friday begins in 2017 when members of the Envie network realized the growing importance of Black Friday in France. Their first intuition was to join in this day of retail sales by offering the Envie recycled household appliances at discounted prices on the model of the big classic retailers.

Very quickly, the Envie network realizes that Black Friday in France represents everything it has been campaigning against since 1984. So, rather than joining this day of unbridled consumption, the network decides to create its anti-Black Friday day: Green Friday. It has been joined by more than 150 companies in France in the last few years.

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Main factors leading to a preference for Green Friday over Black Friday in France from 2019 to 2021

In the previous two years, the percentage of French respondents who thought that the event should disappear was no lower than 40 percent, in 2021, it was at 34 percent.

Most searched product during Black Friday in France

According to Statist, in 2021, a keyword analysis looked at the most searched products for Black Friday in France, which took place on November 26th. According to results, gaming consoles were the most popular product among French consumers, accumulating approximately 140,000 queries. It was followed by phones and home appliances, with 100,000 and 55,000 searches, respectively.

How to make Black Friday in France successful

The French are known for their love of quality over quantity and value for money. It is common to find stores with empty shelves displaying signs that say “sold out”. 

Create punchy ads for the occasion

First, you need a well thought out ad campaign that you can use in your stores and on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snaptchat (2nd market for France). 

  • People love good visuals, so make sure you have quality images of the deals being offered during Black Friday. 
  • Social proof plays a vital role in online shopping, so having testimonials from previous customers can be a great way to convince people.
  • Incorporate some paid search into your campaign as it’s going to help you reach more potential clients and will increase visibility on Google Shopping (Google Search Results). However, the downside is that these ads are expensive and can eat up your marketing budget.

Update your online store product catalogue

  • The best way to secure higher sales during Black Friday is by having a well-planned product catalogue.  Introduce reasonable inventory levels and prices so that people don’t feel like they’re being tricked into buying something. At the same time, you need to offer some desirable deals to meet your financial goals for this campaign.

Offer good discounts

  • As a general rule, you should have at least 1/3 of your ecommerce platform products discounted during Black Friday week in France and offer 2 or 3 times more deals than usual. If not, people will see it as an ordinary retail sale that they’ll ignore because so many other stores offer great discounts to their customers.

Communicate around your brand values & engagements

  • French people are very sensitive to brands’ engagements so it will definitly be important to communicate around your brand’s values. Promote your product isn’t enough! French people attach meaning to their purchase, a transaction is a commitment.
  • Communicate on how your business is acting concretely to help consumers to adopt better habits. What is your company doing to reduce its carboon foothold? Do you have internal plan to promote diversity and be inclusive toward minority? Don’t be afraid to spread the word about every good actions your company is doing!
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How to prepare your campaign for the Black Friday in France?

Right, so you are ready to set up your campaign and propel your company to the next level for Black Friday in France. But how do you go about it in France? As with any campaign, planning is integral to the success of initiatives. Keep the following tips in mind when organizing your campaign.

Research your target audience

First, determine who your company’s potential clientele will be. For instance, if you’re a fashion retailer and you wish to partake in Black Friday next year, it is essential to study the habits of your desired customer base.

Set up a promotion strategy

A good strategy will allow you to maximize the impact of your campaign. Decide on a budget. Keep in mind that this amount will depend on the products you wish to promote and whether or not these are sold at a discounted price.

Also, consider your timing. Start slowly with small promotions before increasing the volume of your discount later in the day.

Select your channels

Companies should choose the appropriate social media channels for their campaigns. 

For example, if you want to target young buyers aged between 18 and 25 years old, Snapchat is definitly a relevant channel in France. This platform allows users to share photos and videos with their friends.

Time your campaign to boost sales

To increase the impact of your campaign, time it correctly. 

For example, marketing experts recommend that companies begin their campaigns on a Monday or Tuesday. This allows them to build momentum and attract more customers over the following days.

Update your customers through social media

To keep in touch with your audience, you can use your campaign’s hashtag and discuss it on your company’s social media channels. This will help spread the word about the discounts that you’re offering to attract new clientele.

Final words: is Black Friday in France worth it?

Yes, Black Friday offers companies a great way to increase revenue, but you need to plan everything carefully to avoid a disaster.

Retailers can offer many types of promotions during Black Friday weekend; coupons and discounts on specific products or simple price reductions on all items.

You can also try offering your customers exclusive deals that are only available one weekend or create special offers depending on how much they spend in your store.

There are plenty of ways you can stand out from other retailers during Black Friday week. The more creative you get, the better the results you are likely to have.

One of the best ways to achieve this is having a well-planned product catalogue that offers your customers good value for money. 

You don’t want all your products discounted, just some desirable deals that make people come back and shop with you in future sales events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

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