What is the big deal around Black Friday?

Close your eyes and think of Black Friday. What are you picturing? Stress, pushing, shoving and lots of red, angry-looking signs detailing slashed prices on. Forcing people into a shopping frenzy all about making that split-second decision on a frivolous purchase, just to get that rush of a bargain.

Sounds awful, doesn’t it.

But across the globe, this consumer-led sales pitch that seemingly came out of nowhere continues to pull in the crowds, desperate for discounts, year after year.

Consumers will put off making big buys, such as buying a new TV or laptop until that weekend in late November, because they know those purchases aren’t going to hit their bank account quite so hard.

Whether you love it or loathe it, consumerism’s favourite weekend of the year sees a surge of shoppers take to the streets, and more recently, to the online shopping marketplace.

How Black Friday went global 

America is the consumer capital of the world, and what they make a big deal of, the rest of the globe follows in their footsteps. 

Black Friday is held over the last payday weekend before Christmas. Although Turkey does not traditionally celebrate Christmas, the famous discount weekend has crept its way into the marketplace, particularly in the shopping capital of Istanbul. 

Regardless of where the fad originated, brands across the globe want to get in on the action and offer consumers attractive deals to push those sales. Full on and offline marketing campaigns are rolled out to drum up interest and excitement for the Black Friday weekend. 

Retailers and brands who don’t join in and slash their prices over this weekend will end up lagging behind on this seasonal sales push, with shoppers taking a dim view and choosing to take their custom elsewhere that weekend. If someone else is cheaper, regardless of the affinity that a customer has with your brand, if someone else is selling the same product, but for less expensive on Black Friday, the customer will go elsewhere. 

Black Friday has given consumers the right to a discount. Price mark-downs over this late November weekend are no longer seen as a gesture of goodwill from a brand to their customer. Shoppers won’t shy away from taking a direct approach, getting in touch with a brand to ask when their Black Friday sale will start, or if a specific item that they’re planning to buy will be discounted. 

Creating a buzz around Black Friday for your brand is an essential part of your annual marketing calendar if it isn’t already – it needs to be. Customers should always be made aware of what you are planning for it before they have to ask. 

If you don’t tell them exactly why they should shop with you that weekend, you can be sure that another brand will be putting in that effort. 

You can do this by making sure that you’re one step ahead, by finding out how to target the correct audience, in the right way. 

Turkish shopping habits change owing to Covid-19 

The amount of Turkish people choosing to shop online has increased significantly in the last five years with a growth rate of 35%. However, the percentage of Turkish customers deciding to shop on their phone or laptop over an in-person shopping experience has jumped dramatically, from 59% to 159% in 2020. According to Group M, marketplace visits to retailers such as Hepsiburada, Trendyol, n11, Gittigidiyor, Morphinon and Lidyana increased by 30% in both mobile and desktop.

Granted, this may be out of necessity rather than personal preference, but it looks like the numbers are going to stay up for the foreseeable.

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on how people have decided to shop in Turkey, along with the rest of the globe, and brands and retailers need to concentrate on their e-commerce marketing tactics now more than ever to stay afloat.

Offering customers targeted ‘secret’ discount codes, or persuading them to sign up to your email mailing list for early Black Friday access are both tactics that lend themselves well to shopping online. These type of tactics offer an element of exclusivity that’s impossible to capture in a real-life shopping experience.

How has media consumption affected shopping?

Even though items have a considerable discount, retailers see a significant increase in profit over Black Friday event as the volume of shoppers looking for bargains increases year on year, mainly owing to media consumption.

Mobile and digital usage had already been increasing before 2020, with 74% people having access the at the beginning of the year, and mobile at 92% (bear in mind this figure includes multiple device ownership). People were not only choosing to use this technology to communicate, with 92% of device users having chat apps and social networking apps installed onto their phones, but 61% of mobile users have a shopping app installed too.

As the nightmare of 2020 progressed, people in Turkey turned to personal digital devices to get their news, with traffic over people referring to news content increasing w-o-w by 45% in March, and streaming services such as Netflix rising by 30%. Overall, Covid-19 has accelerated digital media consumption and habit forming (such as shopping) within the Turkish market as people adopt a more ‘home-based’ lifestyle.

Customer mindset in current economic climate

It’s no longer just physical stores who are expecting a massive stampede of sales over Black Friday weekend; it’s the biggest online shopping weekend of the year for e-commerce brands too. Due to the current situation, with more and more people wanting to avoid busy public places, 2020 is set to be the biggest one yet in terms of online sales.  

Covid-19 has had a significant effect on the economy, and Turkey is currently in a recession. However, people are now buying home devices to replace what they previously did outside of their home, such as;

  • Gadgets for home beauty treatments, as they’re unable to go to a salon
  • Gaming consoles and home entertainment
  • High-end kitchen appliances

Data-led customer personas for retail

Previously, stats typically showed that younger people under 35 did the majority of online shopping; however, Covid-19 has completely changed the way consumers of all ages choose to buy their goods. 

The people who used to be insistent on trying clothes on in the changing room before purchasing are no longer able to due to current restrictions – so what reason do they have now to go in the store? 

Creating the right customer profiles that are built off reliable, robust data is essential when preparing your Black Friday target audience. 

These customer personas will help you to;

  • Understand the audience mindset
  • Who the user actually is 
  • Where you are going to find them

Having a brainstorming session to map your ideal customer’s shopping habits is great, but is it enough? The short answer is no. Media buyers need to ensure even before starting the journey down the customer funnel; they are using the right strategies to target the audience they want.

To have a solid plan to get your potential customers from A to B, C or D, you need to start with a clearly defined map and route to that audience. And there is nothing more clearly defined for an effective journey of a successful media campaign than first-party, deterministic data that we know to be verified by a telco. 

Using this data not only gives a truthful picture of who they are but what they search for, sites they are likely to visit and what they do. It is this type of behavioural insight that allows you to determine, for example, whether your customer an impulsive shopper and therefore serve the optimal experience. Is it more beneficial to take them on a branding journey to your site, or more of direct digital advertising experience? Or for this impulse shopper customers, one that takes them directly to a product page, and check-out in just a couple of clicks? 

Creating a short, no-nonsense customer journey for the impulse customer with attractive bargains for this target audience is essential to make those sales.

Alternatively, if your target audience more of a ‘researcher’ slow burner, is it best to take them on a journey that not only exposes them to what they are initially interested in but also present other products that could pique their interest. This gives them the chance to browse your site and bookmark the items they’re thinking about. Which then allows you to take a more targeted approach as you know what they’re after and can then use an appropriate marketing strategy accordingly. 

Black Friday in Turkey

We’ve put together a suggested Black Friday strategy pack using the Novatiq platform, on how you can get those clicks and activate your audience’s interest (and shopping basket!) based on their mindset, generating the best possible performance for your campaign.

Novatiq helps to tailor a precise and direct audience activation process for your Black Friday marketing campaign to help you cash in on those sales.

Ender Zumrutel

Country Manager, Turkey

22 Oct

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