Beyond Black Friday
Alternatives to Deep Discounting
Marketers can leverage other motivations to incent consumer engagement that mass channels cannot. Take a step back and consider the consumer pull of Black Friday discounts. Typically, the offer is extremely limited in duration, supplies are limited, and consumers know that this is a one-time-only offer. Offers are simple in nature, as marketers recognize the limited attention span of the Black Friday shopper. These factors all combine to promote a sense of urgency for consumers to commit to the sale.
We encourage our clients to look at targeted promotions to evaluate if they adhere to any of those same guidelines during this crucial week. Given the data we have about our consumers and their shopping preferences, there is ample opportunity to provide that same call-to-action for specific customer segments, but without the deep discounts. Value proposition does not always equate to price; compelling offers may be centered on service, quality or limited supply as well.
Reward Best Customers With Experience
One alternative strategy is rewarding your best customers with a unique experience, rather than a discount. One retailer offered a unique in-store experience to their very best customers that had the same one-time-only feel of Black Friday. The copy of this offer (distributed via email and direct mail, with limited mobile touch points) thanked loyal customers for their business and explicitly stated this was a unique opportunity only for their most valued shoppers. It was positioned as a benefit of being a great customer rather than a typical "Black Friday" event.
Rather than investing in discounts, the company invested in customer service to ensure flawless execution of the events and exceptional customer satisfaction. This approach was very successful for the retailer, driving an increase in topline sales (over 15 percent year-on-year), and a significant increase in bottom-line profit due to reduced discounting from the previous heavy discount year. Equity research demonstrated that they maintained the brand image of high-end products while still remaining competitive with lower-tier competition that focused exclusively on deep discounts that weekend.