Think Black Friday and images spring to mind of mobs of determined bargain hunters, poised with elbows sharpened ready to burst through the doors of their favourite store, prepared to wrestle fellow shoppers to the ground to get their hands on irresistible deals.
These chaotic scenes are largely a thing of the past thanks to extended Black Friday sales, advancements in technology plus, of course, the impact of the pandemic all resulting in an accelerated shift in shopping habits and the retail experience as a whole.
While brands and retailers expect to see a significant rise in physical footfall across this year’s Black Friday, digital shopping trends continue to grow.
In a survey carried out by Statista, it was revealed UK consumers are twice as likely to seek out Black Friday deals virtually in 2022 when purchasing clothing, beauty and children’s items and three times as likely when it comes to electronics and entertainment.
Additionally, shoppers still eager to visit high streets and malls are now, more often than not, making purchasing decisions informed by research carried out online before their spree commences.
It is clear omnichannel retail will play a huge role in the success of 2022’s November shopping extravaganza, reinforcing the importance for businesses to strike an effective balance between on and offline experiences for their customers.
Syncing brand spaces
After two years of stores closing and reopening multiple times, the curtailing of all lockdown rules has seen a surprising and joyful upsurge in physical shopping – although now with the caveat that brands must provide a seamless hybrid experience across their in-person and virtual offerings.
Embracing tech is a no-brainer in the pursuit of successfully blending the two and, in order to entice online shoppers to your bricks and mortar store, models such as click-and-collect and web-to-store are proven methods of doing so.
Rather than viewing e-commerce as a threat to physical retail, the two can complement each other beautifully, creating a symbiotic experience for customers and encouraging them to connect with brands on multiple platforms.
Social media provides a space to not only sell, but also to build communities and promote physical experiences, encouraging audiences to come together in person for specific encounters or unmissable in-store events, such as Black Friday.
Read more on Stellar’s partnership with Sage Studios TikTok Shop for an insight into the effectiveness of social selling later in this article.
Technology should also play a major role in the in-store experience. From QR codes, touch screens loaded with extra product information and AI capabilities, to self-checkout tills helping to reduce queues and replicate the speed and convenience of shopping online, leveraging tech can elevate the shopping experience for customers.
Flying Tiger is one example of a non-essential store to have taken the self-checkout leap, allowing shoppers to move more quickly through the shop, particularly during busier periods such as Black Friday, when patience is thin and tempers are fraught.
Progress and invest
Successful omnichannel experiences this Black Friday rely heavily on the tools already in place to understand and connect with customers on a deeper level as the event gets underway.
Investing in intelligent systems that gather important data at both physical and virtual points of sale is an effective means of reacting to individuals’ needs, ensuring store assistants are well equipped to provide tailored customer service. This attention to detail allows interactions to be personalised, meaning shoppers feel seen and valued, growing their love for the brand and locking in loyalty.
When strategising for Black Friday, marketers should consider the use of brand apps, as well as websites and socials, as a quick and convenient way for followers to access up-to-the-minute information on products, events, launches and, of course, mouthwatering deals.
Enabling in-app shopping with a fuss-free checkout process is a smart move, as users are encouraged to buy, safe in the knowledge the transaction will only take a minute or two. At the same time, further data is gathered, building on the customer’s profile allowing future connections to be curated to better meet their needs.
Furthermore, using data collected from myriad sources, predictions and forecasts can be made regarding the shopping behaviours of the next generation, enabling brands to plan and prepare to stay aligned with trends in order to succeed going forward.
Keeping it social for Sage
At Stellar, we believe in the power of social selling and Black Friday is the perfect example of an event that enables brands to benefit hugely from the creative use of social media.
Platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have become viable assets in the bid to push sales and stand out in crowded markets.
For our client Sage, we built and manage a now well established TikTok shop to support the engaging and immersive content we regularly post to showcase its luxury kitchen appliances – specifically focussed on Sage’s high-end coffee machines.
For Black Friday 2022, we are hosting an innovative eight-hour live stream for Sage, broadcast from its dedicated backdrop, Sage Studios, to promote the wide range of products in this year’s sale.
Our creators have devised fun and interactive video content to boost in-feed sales, as well as a host of giveaways with must-have prizes to be won, all carefully planned to align with the existing Sage audience and to entice new customers to the brand.
Built from scratch, Sage Studios is now a level two partner with TikTok, giving it a premium spot on the platform, revealing some outstanding results; the account has seen a 1600% increase in followers and reached more than one million views within its first month.
With social engagement at an all-time high for the brand, Sage TikTok Shop will undoubtedly see phenomenal success across the Black Friday period.
A great deal can be learned from this by other brands regarding the power of social selling in contemporary retail – a means by which to engage with future generations and meet them where they already are.
Placing social selling at the heart of your strategy will guarantee success, as retail trends continue to evolve and omnichannel becomes increasingly powerful.