With Black Friday less than two months away, practically every retailer out there will be planning campaigns to pull in the maximum share of this bumper period for consumer spending.
And indeed, Black Friday is a huge opportunity in the retailer’s calendar. According to our weekly point-of-sales tracking data for technical consumer goods, in some countries, such as the UK, Black Friday week attracts more consumer spend than the week before Christmas1. And in other countries, like Spain, Italy, France and Germany, this is also true for many product groups such as television and mobile computing.
The week running up to Black Friday also generates considerably more sales than an average trading week. In Spain, week 47 in 2016 accounted for 5.2% of the overall annual sales – more than twice the average figure of 1.9% (100%/52 weeks, see table below).
In terms of bestselling product groups it was the “usual suspects” which commanded the biggest share in terms of sales value in the above mentioned countries – namely, mobile computers, PTVs, and smart/mobile phones.
Sales value share in % of Black Friday week 2016 compared to full year
On Black Friday, shoppers are eager to spend, but they are also waiting for deals. Promotions are effective sales drivers all year round, but some are more effective than others at influencing shoppers’ decisions.
This is illustrated in our FutureBuy 2017 data, where more than half of all shoppers of technical consumer goods (54%) rate price comparison/discount websites as “extremely” or “very” important in their shopping decisions, and just under half (41%) say the same of promotional leaflets.
Black Friday is therefore one of the most important promotional weeks of the year. For last year, our Promotion and Causal Retail Tracking shows that across the five countries mentioned above, 2% more promotions were run for smartphones in November than in December. For TVs it was even 9% more. In Germany, for example, the number of advertising flyers promoting TVs was 15% higher in November.
And, of course, Black Friday is “high season” for any competitive pricing activity. Looking across the three biggest European retail markets – Germany, France and UK – our online pricing data shows that twice as many products had price changes on Black Friday 2016 versus the same, regular Friday a month before. Also, the number of products that had multiple price changes increased.
However trading behavior across these markets varied: the UK had more of a focus on the Black Friday week with three times the level of pricing activity in that week versus a regular week. In Germany, the number of products that had prices changes wasn't much different from normal, although there was an increase in the number of price changes on the very day.
Black Friday price changing behavior
With so much competitive activity going on, retailers and manufacturers need to stand out in an extremely cluttered environment. It is vital to get your promotion activity and pricing perfectly judged, as Black Friday is not the time for experiments.
As a retailer you need to identify which retail promotions are most effective with your shoppers. How are your products priced versus your competitors? Are you advertising on the right channel with the right price?
And, as a manufacturer, you need to look at: Are you partnering with the right retailers? Are you investing the right amount in trade marketing?
Black Friday is a vast opportunity - but presented over a very short window, so there is very little time to ‘test and adjust’ during the show. Pulling in your maximum share of the spend over this time depends on having timely data allowing you to make the correct decision and react fast on the most effective activities for your specific product categories.
Our dedicated GfK Promotion and Causal Retail team shows retailers what promotions are most effective for your specific shoppers, and how you are currently performing in your promotional share and pricing in relation to your competitors. With this live tracking data, you can instantly see if your market performance is changing, and react immediately to adjust your promotional strategy. And manufacturers can see exactly how retailers are promoting and pricing their products, to evaluate effectiveness and see where and how much to invest in the future.
Make use of our Black Friday promotion and get two weeks of promotion and pricing tracking at a special price.
1 Data based on full weekly panel per country, Black Friday 2016: week 47 (20 – 26 November), week before Christmas 2016: week 51 (18 – 24 December)
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