As strange as it may well feel to already be staring the end of 2022 in the eye, the reality is that online vendors are ramping up their plans for the holiday season accordingly. That includes not only the festive period itself, of course, but those classic and highly anticipated sales periods that customers love too.
As far as those are concerned, those don’t come much bigger than Black Friday. Originally coined as a term for shop floor retail workers in the United States to mark the period of customer desperation that kicks in when the holiday season rolls around, the phrase has now been repurposed into a more positive one – both for online businesses, and for customers keen to see the best deals around.
That means every company needs a Black Friday strategy – including yours. Whatever your level of experience in ecommerce, 2022 is yet another year that has proven impossible to predict – but hopefully our Black Friday marketing guide will ease the road ahead for you.
Preparing your Black Friday strategy for 2022
However, ours is undoubtedly an era of caution and anxiety, as much as it is opportunity and potential. With economic concerns, ongoing aftershocks from the global pandemic, and strains continuing to pile on the pressure onto international supply chains, there are plenty of worries hanging over the heads of even the most confident consumers.
A successful Black Friday strategy is one that takes these considerations in mind, but that also positions your ecommerce business as a pillar of trust and reliability in a world that seems to only ever become more unpredictable.
Creating trust in an ecommerce world gone crazy
When was the last time any of us read a headline that seemed tedious? It seems that each new day seems to bring new economic uncertainty and – as a running theme in 2022 that is certain to affect your Black Friday strategy – far less disposable income in your customer base.
Yet any Black Friday marketing guide that advises you to smash your prices down as low as they will go is presenting a one-dimensional outlook at best. True understanding of how to lead your ecommerce business through and beyond the end of 2022 comes only with understanding the motivations of your customers.
That’s why trust is so pivotal. With world leaders seeming to behave ever more erratically, and the value of people’s working lives and take home pay constantly being called into question, a sense of certainty is sorely missing in most customers’ lives in 2022. Make this part of your Black Friday strategy, and you will be in a powerful position.
We’re going into uncharted territory here, with both businesses and consumers feeling out a new kind of society together, and discovering how we’re all going to do business. That means you have the opportunity to establish not only brand authority in the ecommerce space, but also a solid rapport of repeat business with your customers.
We’ve moved beyond the ‘new normal’
So much is said about the ‘new normal’ – flexible working, family values, less commuting, greater community spirit. Take a look at these growth areas closely, and you’ll see a common thread emerging – they’re all led by consumer behaviour.
In an era of uncertainty, customers are taking it upon themselves to create the stability, security and satisfaction they haven’t been able to feel elsewhere. That’s made all the more apparent by their ecommerce buying habits.
For example, a key consumer behaviour outlook highlighted in the Nielsen Behavioural Reset report is that news and media is having less sway over how and what people buy.
Instead, consumers are using their resources to create stability and promise for themselves and their communities. Value, quality and convenience have become the shopping habits that shape consumer behaviour more than ever before.
Budgets are being stretched, household by household, and consumers’ patience for delays, shady deals and merchants not fulfilling their promises has never been more razor-thin.
Part of any good Black Friday strategy, which encourages positive buying habits in the year that follows, is about creating a rapport with your consumers that’s every bit as persuasive and engaging as those classic face-to-face conversations with the best in-store sales clerks.
In other words, ecommerce is evolving to the point that it’s not just about the product listings and photos any more – but also the conversations surrounding that. It’s your social media, the values you stand for, and the support you offer each and every individual who buys from you.
Every Black Friday marketing guide needs to know this
Today, the relationship between physical and digital shopping is a lot less of a rivalry, as the strengths of one approach have been seen for how they enhance the benefits of the other. Consumer behaviour has got savvy fast in this regard, and that’s more than likely to continue into your Black Friday strategy for 2022, and far beyond.
It’s not just omnichannel selling, where physical and digital retail pool their resources to help customers shop in ways that make them feel the safest and most efficient. It’s also about considering shopping overall as a unified activity, leaving the distinction between physical stores and ecommerce behind altogether.
A key secret to instil into your Black Friday strategy is the ‘treat yourself’ mentality of your customers. As consumers remain bombarded by difficult lifestyles and negative headlines, the need to feel a sense of equilibrium and joy is that much more enhanced.
As such, market not only for gift ideas, but tailor your Black Friday marketing guide to be used internally in your company to also target things people will want to buy for themselves to help lift their spirits.
It’s very true that people are concerned about the future, especially when so much looks uncertain. Yet it also makes consumer behaviour more inclined to enjoy the now, and to prioritise the health, happiness and positive mindset of those closest to them.
Yet beneath this determination to get everything straightened out, the truth is that anxiety is high in customers’ minds these days, and it’s affecting their buying habits. In any Black Friday strategy for 2022, the ecommerce sellers who do their best work will be those best able to offer certainty, compassion, transparency and the fulfilment of consumer agency.
The Black Friday Marketing Guide to Going Global
Black Friday originated in the United States of America, yet is now a turn of phrase – and indeed, an annual marketing event – that is anticipated throughout the world.
However, it would be remiss to believe that every nation on the planet marks Black Friday with the same fervour and sense of anticipation that the United States does. In fact, if you take some time to tailor your Black Friday strategy to meet the needs of each country you offer ecommerce services to, you are far more likely to enjoy a very healthy bottom line for Q4 2022.
Naturally, Black Friday is marked everywhere that shops online these days, but in many countries it is regarded in a far different way than it is in markets such as the United States or the United Kingdom.
For example, in France, ecommerce customers are very likely to use Black Friday to get good deals on consumer electronics and other high-end items. However, the healthy cynicism of French people, and their remarkable talent for not being taken for fools, means that they do not necessarily mesh well with the hype and continuous consumerism shouted about by a Black Friday strategy that markets the same way as an American company would.
Likewise, practically minded ecommerce consumers such as shoppers in Germany do not necessarily use Black Friday as an excuse for excitement and random impulse purchases, but rather as a key event in the year to time large expenditures for to save money overall. Indeed, it is not uncommon for ecommerce businesses operating in Germany to see a slowdown in sales just before their Black Friday strategy kicks in – it’s as if the entire country holds its breath and refuses to press the buy button until the big day arrives.
When that buy button is pressed, it’s likely to be on a mobile device too. If you have been putting off optimising your ecommerce store for mobile devices as much as desktop browsing, this should definitely be part of your Black Friday strategy before the end of this year.
Looking to the East in your Black Friday marketing strategy
Many of the world’s biggest ecommerce markets are in Asia, and this can make the continent an incredibly lucrative market for those who have referred to a good Black Friday marketing guide for the region.
However, it’s vital to once again remember the sense of perspective that ecommerce shoppers in Asia have with American concepts such as Black Friday. While nobody in that part of the world is going to turn down a good bargain, you ought to also keep the cultural events of the Asian ecommerce calendar in mind when planning your Black Friday marketing guide for your team.
A great example of that is Single’s Day, celebrated in numerous parts of Asia and itself a huge part of the ecommerce spending cycle of that part of the globe. Create your Black Friday strategy the wrong way, and you will end up competing against the likes of Single’s Day by mistake – instead of weaving it into a unified Q4 2022 strategy.
Any effective Black Friday marketing guide needs to factor in the different perspectives that different global territories have towards the event as a whole. This helps tailor your own approach too.
Are you looking to cash in on a streamlined strategy of making noise, emphasising FOMO and feeding the hype machine? Markets like the United States are where you are most likely to see the best response for such a Black Friday strategy.
Do you instead want to optimise your niches, emphasise your value for money or simply make the most of the fact that you know ecommerce customers are waiting for you to drop prices before committing to a purchase? A Black Friday strategy like that is certain to have better luck in mainland Europe.
The common consumer concerns underpinning any Black Friday strategy
While we have spoken at length on the differences in perception on Black Friday that affect how ecommerce businesses can best move forward, it’s just as important to focus on the common details that every citizen of every country feels in a world as unpredictable as the one we share today.
Alongside the matters of trust and strong relations between customers and ecommerce businesses that we have spoken of already, much of your Black Friday strategy needs to tie in with the consumer mindsets of a post-pandemic world.
The Pivotree 2021 Guide to eCommerce suggests that the ‘survival mode’ consumer behaviour mentality of 2020 is being replaced by very high expectations, in a much larger customer base, which is altogether shaping how both the end of this year and the near future pans out for ecommerce vendors.
Buyers will demonstrate far less leniency for businesses who are taking time to adapt – customers expect ecommerce sellers to offer a flawless experience from purchase to delivery, and even in aftersales support.
Their buying habits make this all too clear, and unfortunately even situations out of your control – such as supply chain shortages and the like – are less likely to receive sympathy from customers today, compared to the height of the global health crisis.
Naturally, this means that a Black Friday marketing guide that emphasises high standards of service, effortless scalability, a keen understanding of every region you sell to and – of course – an inventory packed with the deals customers are craving is certain to enjoy a very lucrative season indeed.
The key to excelling in the ecommerce market of today is resilience, adaptiveness and consistency – and nowhere should this be more true than in your Black Friday strategy for 2022.