Dotted your Is? Crossed your Ts? Marketers weigh in on Black Friday preparation

On the eve of one of the world’s most revered retail events, Marketing hears from top Australian marketers on how to best prepare for Black Friday.

The old story goes that Black Friday inherited its name because it was the first day of the year that many retailers would turn a profit – bringing their books from red to black.

We’ve all seen the videos. Hoards of manic shoppers descending on stores the moment the doors are opened, all in the name of a hot deal. However, the crowds have since dispersed.

Online shopping has migrated fierce bargain hunters from stores to laptops, and nevertheless spending on Black Friday has remained consistent, if not seen some healthy growth. Here, Marketing hears from three industry experts on all the things retailers should have checked off their lists for Black Friday.

Head of Braintree Carolyn Breeze tells Marketing online retailers should be hyper-aware of the security risks an influx of traffic may bring.

“If you think about electronics, fashion, particularly kids toys with things like scooters… they have a significant street value,” says Breeze.

“So there is a lot of fraud around Christmas; and although there is always fraud in every vertical, everywhere you’re accepting credit cards, we see during these periods that as there is an increase in sales, there is an increase in fraud.

“For a retailer around Christmas time, with the money they invest in marketing and products… they want to make sure that when they are attracting all of those people – whether they be fraudsters or legitimate – to the site, they have that protection in place.

“Having a great fraud solution in place, whether they do that internally themselves or they have a payments platform like PayPal or Braintree to support them, making sure that they have a robust, trusted partner in place to help them with fraud is important.”

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According to Jordan Sim, group product manager at BigCommerce, online retailers need to be double and triple checking that their systems will be as robust and smooth as possible on the big day.

“Not only do these sales get bigger every year, but they’re also attracting a record number of retailers, providing consumers with more choice than ever before, meaning competition for cut-through is fierce,” says Sim.

“BigCommerce research from earlier this month revealed that Aussies are more prudent shoppers than their global counterparts online, capping online shopping at AU$670 per month – compared to the equivalent of AU$1305 in the UK and AU$1130 in the US.

“Given Aussies tend to spend less online, vendors must prioritise the online shopping experience to attract customers and tempt them to spend their limited budgets with their brands, or run the risk of being left in the dust as their competitors fight for this valuable segment of the market.

“One of the most valuable aspects of a merchant’s online presence is checkout. Figures from last year suggest Australia had a staggering cart abandonment rate of 71%, so ensuring that the online shopping experience is smooth from start to finish will be essential for success over this sales period.”

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Kylie Gleeson-Long, managing director ANZ at dunnhumby says retailers should consider not what consumers can do for them on Black Friday, but how they can make everyday feel like Black Friday.

“With personalised offers, a renewed focus on the customer experience, and creative ways to sell products, Black Friday is rightly revered as one of the highlights of the shopping calendar,” says Gleeson-Long.

“And with the holiday season fast approaching, we encourage retailers to take stock and consider how applying a ‘Black Friday mentality’ through the rest of the year will reap benefits long-term – rather than just on one day of the year.

“It’s important for businesses to constantly seek new ways to delight loyal customers. They can start by optimising the application of the amounts of customer data at their disposal, to truly put the customer first in all touch points.”

 

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Image credit:Rob Curran

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 22 November 2018
Josh Loh is a newswriter and editorial assistant at MarketingMag.com.au