Here at Leapfrogg, we have a panel of over 1000 retail consumers that we engage with on a regular basis to help us understand customer needs and expectations from the brands and retailers they buy from.
Every month, we question them on a range of topics from buying behaviours and brand opinion, to emotional purchase triggers and their recent shopping experiences.
The Insight Edit is our weekly bite size edit of the insight we gain from our panel in our search to truly understand the mind of the premium customer.
Christmas is looming and the press are already whipping up a frenzy over Black Friday. Apparently this is going to be the biggest Black Friday yet, and consumers must be ready to snap up the amazing deals that are going to be on offer.
However, through many discussions with our retail clients, we’ve heard first-hand that Black Friday does not actually have a beneficial impact on Christmas revenue. At best, it simply moves consumers spend within the period and at worst – it can actually have a negative impact on revenue and the perception of the retailers and brands that take part.
Our advice has always been to be as strategic as possible about your involvement. Don’t jump on the discount bandwagon and carefully select the products you are going to offer on sale and avoid the peak trading crunch that can lead to logistical problems and a poor experience for your customers.
We are also unconvinced that all of hype around Black Friday will really have that big an effect on consumers shopping plans this year.
So of course we asked our Premium Panel, and guess what? Consumers couldn’t really give a hoot.
Yes, that’s right – 40% said they had no intention of waiting until Black Friday to do their Christmas shopping, and another 40% said they might make a purchase if something takes their eye on the day, but they won’t base their shopping plans around it.
A further 10% said they had not even thought about Black Friday yet.
Only 2% of consumers stated they were waiting for the arrival of Black Friday to start their Christmas shopping, showing there seems to be very little enthusiasm for the event so far this season.
We looked at whether answers differed according to household income and gender, but opinions were similar across all segments.
So is Black Friday just hype by the media? Perhaps so. We have started to see a backlash in America, where larger retailers have decided to shut their stores on Black Friday. Will retailers follow suit over here?
Our advice to retailers? Stick to your usual Christmas strategy and ensure you are offering an exceptional shopping experience throughout the entire period. Don’t get caught up in offering crazy discounting as it may well disrupt your entire trading period or encourage low value customers who are unlikely to have a high potential lifetime value.
By all means, offer a Black Friday discount or offer, but perhaps focus on a specific range of items for that period and ensure your high earning products are available consistently at good value for the whole of the shopping season.