How can Retailers Plan for Black Friday and beyond

On 18th June 2020, Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, was joined by our Head of Analytics, Michele Masnaghetti to discuss Black Friday 2019, what Black Friday 2020 will look like, the consequences of the Coronavirus and how to plan for the good, the bad and the ugly. You can watch it again here.

Fast forward a couple of months and it’s safe to say that the only certainty is change.  Those businesses that have adapted well to the dramatic changes in consumer behaviour we’ve all experienced are the ones that will set the precedent for the ‘new normal’. And with the latest announcement from Boris it seems like the ‘new normal’ is here to stay for quite some time.

This year, much like everything else, planning for black Friday is very different and very difficult ,however from what we’ve learned from Friday's IMRG webinar, the uplift for online sales during black Friday period is predicted to spike above 30%. While there is so much we don’t know, we need to focus on what we do know.  To put it simply, even in the Covid world the air is going to get a bit fresher when October comes, and Christmas will still fall on December 25th. Black Friday is going to move a little, but that’s what it has always done!

In order to help you navigate through this ‘new world’, we believe it’s still worth examining what happened last year in the home shopping market during Black Friday to help guide your decision making going forward. 

Request Black Friday Trends Report here


A few key points to consider:


  1. It's no surprise that online shopping have skyrocketed. Lockdown has resulted for online shopping volumes to spike.  Even now that shops have reopened, online has continued to grow and forecasted to maintain this trend into the autumn/ winter season. As a result of the rapid online adoption it has put pressure across the entire chain, for fulfilment and shipment as well as carriers and customers. In order to avoid lost sales and unhappy customers, retailers will have to make sure they have enough stock to carry them through.
  2. We are entering a new era for Retailers as shopping habits have changed significantly.  Over a quarter of UK adults (28%) say they’ve been spending more online, and a third (32%) say they intend to make more use of online shopping or delivery. It goes without saying that consumers spent less in physical stores during lockdown, yet this loss in spend was largely made up for online.  While discounts during black Friday may provide a short- term boost, it is looking like the longer-term trend will see fewer stores and make online their primary focus.  Retailers need to start introducing new buying options that work for shopper’s post-lockdown.
  3. Demand for gifting services is increasing:  In our report above Gift, Gadgets and Entertainment actually display the highest Black Friday peak of all categories, with the index in 2019 hitting 409% of average sales on that day. Cyber Monday is also very significant at 316% of average sales. With personal connections harder to foster online, make the effort to form those 1:1 relationships with gifting service it'll make a difference.
  4. Last, but not least brands will need to innovate to stand out online and hedge their bets in an omnichannel approach else face the risk of losing to algorithms online. Direct mail is such a great way to get your brand directly in the hands of the consumer, especially when you don’t get to have the human touch through your traditional high street in-store experience.

If you’re looking for more resources on how direct mail can help you this holiday season send us a message at enquiriesuk@epsilon.com