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Black Friday: it’s the early bird that catches the worm

Black Friday promotions are getting earlier as the Black Friday event has expanded as a sales period. This is forcing retailers to bring forward their promotional plans, with some starting as early as October.  

Why it matters 

By promoting early, retailers can benefit financially, influence purchasing decisions and reduce operational stresses. 


Deeper dive – the four factors driving a ‘go early approach. 

Going early helps retailers benefit in four ways over this critical trading season. 

It allows them to: 

  1. Minimise operational issues: By spreading promotions over an extended sales window, retailers can better manage demand over a longer period. This reduces the pressure on operations, especially fulfilment, helping minimise operational efficiencies.   
  2. Avoid being lost in the promotional noise: Going early means your marketing is more effective, and your messages get across to consumers. Leaving promotions until close to Black Friday and you’re competing with so much promotional noise your message can be drowned out. 

  3. Reach customers when they’re making their buying decisions. Consumers are making purchasing decisions earlier, so brands must be reaching them in time to influence their thinking. And with supply chain issues bringing potential shortages this year, people will be bringing forward their actual purchasing earlier, meaning brands must act soon. 
  4. Promoting earlier means more money. Promoting early has a financial benefit. Epsilon research shows that consumers that are messaged earlier have a conversion rate two times higher during Black Friday than those who only started receiving messages in November. And these new customers generate more orders and revenue than existing ones over Black Friday. 



The bottom line 

Promoting earlier makes commercial sense – it’s not just jumping on the promotional bandwagon. In this challenging year, where supply and stock issues will influence purchasing behaviours, brands must reach consumers early. But leaving it too late reduces your chances of driving purchases. By waiting until near Black Friday, retailers risk losing revenue, the opportunity to be considered when consumers make their buying decisions and getting lost in the promotional noise.  

Communicating early is over Black Friday is critical, but how should you be marketing over this crucial period? Download our report to find out the six Black Friday retailer types and the strategies each type should adopt to have a successful Black Friday.