Jul 24 2023
11 minute read

4 Ways to Leverage Black Friday for Long-Term Profitability

Black Friday is regarded as the ultimate shopping extravaganza, with customers flocking to stores and online platforms for incredible deals and discounts. While the immediate revenue boost is undoubtedly appealing, forward-thinking retailers should consider looking beyond the quick wins and harness the power of Black Friday to drive long-term profitability. 

By strategically utilising this annual event, businesses can cultivate customer loyalty, enhance brand equity, extend engagement, and gain control over their promotions to secure sustainable growth. This article aims to inspire retailers to think beyond the immediate gains of Black Friday and explore how they can leverage this shopping holiday for long-term success.

1. Build customer loyalty


Acquiring new customers is undoubtedly important, but retaining existing ones can be even more profitable. Black Friday provides an excellent opportunity for retailers to create memorable shopping experiences that resonate with customers long after the event is over. 

Instead of focusing solely on transactional sales during Black Friday, retailers can prioritise building relationships that can enhance their reputation and establish trust with consumers to improve their customer lifetime value (CLV).

Some methods to improve customer loyalty from Black Friday include:

  • Personalised recommendations based on customers' previous purchases and browsing history to suggest relevant products for them during and after Black Friday.
  • Ensuring a seamless shopping journey by using easy-to-use filters, clear product descriptions, and a responsive customer support team to address any concerns promptly.
  • Going above and beyond by offering extended return periods, free shipping, and a hassle-free refund process.
  • Loyalty programs, such as Sephora and Adidas’ adiClub, where customers earn points for every purchase made during Black Friday, which can be redeemed for discounts or exclusive offers on future purchases.
  • Personalised emails to existing customers after Black Friday, offering them exclusive promotions and discounts as a token of appreciation for their loyalty.
  • Special gifts or additional discounts to customers who make a purchase on Black Friday, with a note encouraging them to come back for more great deals throughout the year.

By combining these approaches, retailers can make the most out of Black Friday by driving immediate sales while also building customer loyalty and long-term relationships.

2.  Emphasise brand value


Black Friday is an ideal time for retailers to showcase their brand values, personality, and unique selling points. By creating a cohesive brand experience, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and strengthen their brand equity. It’s important to develop a clear brand identity that resonates with target customers, and align Black Friday promotions with this identity.

Retailers should also leverage Black Friday as an opportunity to reinforce their commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and/or community engagement. 

For example, in 2021, Oskia Skincare discounted their full-size products by 25% and donated all Black Friday profits to the Women for Women International charity.

In 2022, Pantee implemented a unique strategy by turning off their website on Black Friday to everyone but ‘engaged members of the community’. Only customers who had signed up for their mailing list were given a password to access their site from email. The purpose was to get consumers to think about what they are purchasing, rather than impulse buying.

Another value-driven example is the London-based sustainable clothing shop, Birdsong’s ‘Transparent Friday’ movement. To shift the conversation toward the true costs of fashion and fair wages, Birdsong showed how the costs of their items are split between packaging, materials, and wages, and made comparisons with H&M. After reading the brand’s ‘Transparent Friday’ manifesto, Birdsong left it up to their customers to decide on a 10% or 15%.

Highlighting these aspects of brand identity can attract conscientious customers who look for businesses whose values align with their own. By weaving these initiatives into Black Friday campaigns and communicating them effectively, retailers can leave a positive mark on shoppers, cultivating a sense of trust and loyalty that leads them to return.

These types of investments into branding are a strategic long-term play. While they come with an upfront cost, they are a smart path toward future profitability; the brand recognition will gradually lead to a lower CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost).

3.  Continue engagement 


Successful companies recognise that the potential for increased revenue extends far beyond Black Friday. By strategically leveraging various marketing techniques and campaigns throughout the year, businesses can continue to drive sales and maximise profits beyond the holiday. Below are some effective targeted marketing campaigns that can help achieve this goal.

Personalised email marketing: Email remains one of the most effective channels for reaching customers. By leveraging customer data and segmentation, businesses can personalise their email campaigns to target specific customer groups. This could include sending tailored recommendations, exclusive discounts, or personalised offers based on their Black Friday purchases. By delivering relevant content directly to customers' inboxes, businesses can build stronger connections, drive engagement, and ultimately increase sales after Black Friday.

Social media advertising: Social media platforms continue to play a significant role in consumers' lives, making them an ideal channel for targeted marketing campaigns. By utilising the robust targeting options offered by platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, businesses can narrow down their audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviours. This allows them to create highly relevant and engaging advertisements that resonate with their target market. By continuously monitoring and optimising their campaigns, businesses can ensure they are reaching the right audience and driving conversions throughout the year.

Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. Collaborating with influencers who align with a brand's target audience and values can significantly impact Black Friday purchase decisions. By taking advantage of influencers' reach, retailers can effectively promote their products for Black Friday and throughout the year. Whether through product reviews, sponsored content, or brand collaborations, influencer marketing campaigns can create buzz, drive awareness, and ultimately increase sales beyond Black Friday.

Seasonal and event-based campaigns: While Black Friday may be the most well-known shopping event, businesses can also capitalise on other holidays, seasons, or events throughout the year to boost profits. By tailoring marketing campaigns around these occasions, such as Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, or back-to-school season, businesses can tap into the specific needs and desires of their target audience during those times. Themed collections, special promotions, or limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency and drive sales beyond the traditional holiday season.

4.   Promote the right products


Black Friday generates a wealth of data that retailers can leverage to inform their long-term strategies, but there is a crucial type of data that retailers should prioritise before, during, and after Black Friday, called product performance data.

Product performance data helps retailers understand the performance of each product through metrics like margin, revenue, and ad spend, so they can determine the best products to focus the budget on for each campaign, enabling the retailer to boost profitability or achieve any other goal they are focused on. 

And this is crucial, because the cost of running campaigns on Black Friday can cut deep into margins and make it hard for retailers, especially smaller ones, to turn a profit.

Additionally, on average, 80% of a retailer’s social ad budget is spent promoting just 5% of their catalogue. Furthermore, retailers don’t have control over which 5% of their catalogue gets promoted.

A product performance management (PPM) platform can alleviate this problem by ensuring the right products are being promoted. 

With a PPM platform, retailers can gain visibility into their product performance, and control over which products the ad networks promote. The PPMp helps retailers integrate data from across their channels and custom sources, enabling them to understand how each product is performing. They can use this data to create product sets/groups for specific goals (bestseller  products for scaling revenue, high margin products for increasing profits, new arrivals for increasing visibility on a new product launch, etc.), and launch them as campaigns on the ad networks with their own bids and budgets.

The algorithms will pick from the selected groups rather than from the retailer’s entire catalogue, ensuring that the right products are promoted.

In addition, retailers can use product performance data to find products with a high chance of return, which is a major problem, not just for Black Friday, but all year round. They can then form a rule to automatically limit the promotion of items with high a return rate, create a special post-Black Friday promo campaign, or handle them in whichever way they prefer.

Finally, once retailers know which products perform poorly or are more likely to get returned, they can improve their demand forecasting strategy for the rest of the year by not restocking these items.

Final thoughts

Black Friday represents a tremendous opportunity for retailers to not only drive short-term sales but also establish a foundation for long-term profitability. By focusing on building customer loyalty, emphasising brand value, and continuing engagement after Black Friday, businesses can secure sustainable growth and maximise their revenue. 

Additionally, leveraging product performance data enables retailers to promote the right products and optimise their advertising budget, ultimately increasing profitability. 

By adopting these strategies, businesses can transform Black Friday into a launching pad for long-term success and sustainable growth.

Looking for more ways to improve your profitability year round? Learn more here.

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