As a retail nerd, I always have high expectations for the industry when it comes to creative, slick and sophisticated ways of getting the customers to their store and/or website. So imagine my disappointment when I checked my mobile and mailbox flooded with SMS and emails during Black Friday.
There was truly no sophistication in the offers sent out; it was discount, discount and again discount. Even retailers I regularly shop with, who should know that I don’t fit in a tight black dress, sent mass marketing SPAM messages pushing 30 percent or more off.
It was a race: which retailer could get the lowest price to get the customer and persuade them to make a purchase?
Following this, I took advantage of having my home Capgemini office on the top floor of one of Scandinavia’s largest shopping malls, touring the mall during Black Friday to watch what the Retailers were offering. What was interesting was the upscale of fashion brands and more common brands, which were all advertising in the same way. Imagine it; big black signs and white letters - 'Black Friday, 30% off'.
What’s unique about that? Nothing.
Over previous years, we have seen retailers get Black Friday wrong; they enter the season with an overstock, resulting in margins taking a hit when post-Christmas sales start.
It begs the question: have retailers considered what is needed? For example:
Promotions: silly or spot on?
Retailers are often running so fast, they’re not able to take a step back before setting the wheels in motion ahead of the holiday season. Yet, spending time considering these three key factors could help them to run more profitable and successful promotions:
Let’s ensure retail has a happier Christmas this year.
Ensuring a few key measures are in place before the Black Friday onslaught could help retailers better manage their profitability, and indeed any other promotional event. For many, particularly in the run up to Christmas, this is the most profitable time in the retail calendar (and for some the only opportunity to get back in to the black).
By not taking heed and applying these three concepts retailers will risk creating a ‘black hole’ in their balance sheets.