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Strategising for a Cost Of Living-Proof Black Friday?

Mia Haworth, Digital Marketing Executive at Seventy7.
Mia HaworthDigital Marketing Executive

When we say Black Friday, most people picture madness. In the age of ecommerce, however, things have changed. Gone are the days of mass queuing outside retailers to run in and grab what you can and as much as you can. It is expected that this year, like the Black Fridays in Covid times, will be predominantly online. Ecommerce retailers can expect huge increases of traffic and purchases online vs in person shopping. It’s not only an easier way for customers to browse products, shop around multiple brands at once and do it all from the comfort of their home, the post Covid public anxiety is a significant factor. It is reported that anxiety disorders have globally seen ‘an increase of 25.6%’ post-pandemic. So it makes sense for brands to cater to the comfort and convenience of their customers.

What will Black Friday 2023 look like?

Will there be good discounts like previous years due to businesses not being financially stable yet? Publications have already started rounding up the best Black Friday deals, along with Cyber Monday deals. Top leading retailers like Amazon, Very, Currys and John Lewis being mentioned as their sales are being predicted based on previous years to be the best value for money sales. Keep an eye out for pre Black Friday sales like Amazon’s Prime Big Deals Days kicking off October 10 until October 11. 

The Cost of Living during shopping season

As many of us have faced the reality of tightening the budget month by month, it is no surprise that the cost of living crisis has changed the way a lot of people now shop. Consumers no longer have the capacity to spend frivolously as Stastita reports the average household disposable income will have “fallen by 3.7 percent” in the 2022/23 fiscal year, which will be “the biggest fall in living standards since 1956”.

With increased energy bills, food prices and inflation on fuel costs, Black Friday 2023 is predicted to look a little different than previous years. As costs continue to fluctuate, consumers are more tight with their budgets as, “7 in 10 adults are spending less on non-essentials because the cost of living increases”. But far from making Black Friday feel out of date, it simply means retailers should look more closely at what they’re offering - and how they’re promoting it.

How will Cost of Living affect retail?

The cost of living crisis could potentially dampen the enthusiasm and impact of Black Friday by reducing consumer spending, shifting priorities, and influencing shopping behaviour. However, the exact effects will depend on various factors, including how retailers and consumers respond to the challenges it presents. 

This is where we come in. As teams of specialists in marketing, SEO to management and strategy we know our way around an economic marketing problem. We predict that in a cost of living squeeze, banner sales are more important to consumers than ever. Black Friday may be set to see a rush in people shopping to save, especially preparing for the Christmas season’s demands. For retailers, it’s important to offer the savings your customers are looking for, and to promote things responsibly and positively. No more clearing out stock-rooms, this is a time to consider seriously discounting the most desirable items, and building customer loyalty as a result.

It isn’t all doom and gloom! There are several strategic approaches that can be taken to improve consumer spending on Black Friday, even during a cost of living crisis. While economic challenges can make consumers more cautious, there are ways to attract and retain customers during this time.

What marketing strategies should you be using this Black Friday?

Value-Oriented Messaging: Emphasise the value and savings that consumers can get from Black Friday deals. Use messaging that highlights how shopping during the event can help them save money on essential and non-essential items.

Targeted Promotions: Tailor promotions to address the specific needs and concerns of consumers during the cost of living crisis. For example, offer discounts on everyday essentials like groceries or household goods alongside traditional Black Friday deals. Leveraging customer data to personalise offers and recommendations will show customers products that align with their preferences and needs.

Digital Marketing: Focus on digital marketing channels, including social media, email marketing, and online advertising. Consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping, and a strong online presence is essential.

Loyalty Programs: Encourage customer loyalty by offering exclusive deals or early access to loyal customers. This can help build long-term relationships with shoppers.

Flexibility in Payment Options: Provide flexible payment options such as instalment plans or deferred payment plans to make it easier for consumers to manage their budgets.

Bundle Deals: Create bundle deals that offer a combination of products at a discounted price. Bundles can provide perceived value and encourage larger purchases.

Emphasise Convenience: Promote the convenience of online shopping, including options like in-store pickup, home delivery and next day priority delivery.

Remember that during a cost of living crisis, consumers may be more price-sensitive and cautious, so empathy and understanding of their financial situations should guide marketing efforts. A business that is seen as sensitive, responsible and generous, builds a lasting reputation with customers. And who wouldn’t want to be the brand they come to when they feel more flush in the future?

If you need help planning your promotional strategies, for Black Friday, Christmas, or the year beyond, we’ve got it covered. Speak to our team to learn how you can maximize your profits and go against the grain.

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