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9 areas for retailer action to ensure a successful Black Friday – and beyond

With our recent study highlighting that just 1% of retailers said they would have no involvement in Black Friday, setting yourself up for success over this time is essential, even if you’re a reluctant participant.

But what can you do to prepare? Well, these 9 areas will allow you to build a foundation that puts you in a good position for Black Friday.

  1. Know your customers even better.
    Achieving this requires an effective data strategy. After all, better data means better insights, targeting, marketing, and results. Invest in a Customer Data Platform to unify all your information centrally.  Collect first-party data and work with partners that can enhance it with additional third-party data to identify your most valuable opportunities over Black Friday. And use it to understand customers recruited during this time to find those that can be transitioned into long-term loyal ones.  
  2. Anchor your marketing around a strong identifier.
    Invest in a unified, persistent ID to recognise individuals on the open web. It ensures you target people, not devices, so you can deliver personalised messages. And as site traffic intensifies over Black Friday, an ID lets you split out customers from prospects so you can message each segment correctly.
  3. Get closer to your customers. Set up a loyalty programme to gain first-party data and customer insights, allowing you to drive cross-sell opportunities and reduce churn. It also allows you to discount strategically around Black Friday, so you can protect margins while rewarding your loyal customers.
  4. Focus on the long term. Recognise who has the potential to become a long-term loyal customer from those recruited over Black Friday by introducing a nurture programme.  Use all your different touchpoints to build familiarity and encourage that second order. But focus on those channels that can make an emotional connection.  Direct response ads don’t move audience behaviours. However, new ones, like CTV, can.
  5. Get personal. Ensure your communications are relevant, timely and focused. This requires data and technology to personalise your messages quickly and at scale across the whole customer journey. Individualise onsite experiences using off and onsite data. In doing so, you can move people along their sales journey and encourage that purchase over Black Friday.
  6. Don’t underestimate the value of email. It’s a traditional channel, but make sure your email marketing approach is data-driven. Real-time triggered emails prime and move your customers along the purchase path. Over Black Friday, people are bombarded with emails, so make sure yours stand out, and, critically, drive conversions.
  7. Go early if you can. This can reduce operational pressures, avoid being lost in the promotional melee noise closer to Black Friday and let you reach customers before they’ve made their purchasing decisions.
  8. Measure what matters. Focus on using actionable metrics that prove outcomes and commercial impact. Today’s economic pressures mean accountability and profitability are even more important. Adopt iROAS to gain deeper insights into your channel performances to make better marketing decisions that positively influence revenue.
  9. Don’t go it alone. While technology is an enabler, investing in platforms that don’t work for your business is costly in terms of budgets and lost opportunities.  The complexity of marketing today means you must choose the right partner so your technologies work in harmony and are fit for purpose.  Do your due diligence.  Make sure you get it right by ensuring any partner can provide for and support your needs, solve your challenges and future-proof your approach.

Taking action in some of or all these areas will set you on your way to success over Black Friday and the long term.

To find out more about Black Friday 2023, particularly retailer sentiments around it, how they are planning for it this year and what they see as the future of Black Friday, download What retailers really think about Black Friday. Based on responses from over 100 retailers, this sheds new light on this crucial trading period and their true feelings towards it.