Our Black Friday Predictions for 2020
Covid-19 has certainly changed the retail landscape this year with many brands pushing digital transformation forward more than they thought possible in a short time frame.
With the resounding message of 2020 being ‘stay home’ online shopping has become even more important to consumers. With Black Friday around the corner, we’ve been thinking about how it will look this year. We’ve been listening and supporting our retail brands as they’ve adapted their strategy to be ready for what could be the busiest online Black Friday ever. Here’s some of our predictions for what Black Friday might look like in the inbox this year…
First things first
Black Friday won’t be cancelled. In store events might be, but it will certainly be alive and kicking online. Email will be the main promotional channel with content in the email heavily promotional but also informative. If stores are open, email will be used to promote offers but also to highlight in-store health and safety. We’re expecting to see emails ahead of Black Friday dedicated to keeping safe in store.
Discounting & promotional window
Discounting will go either of two ways. Many retailers that sell online have seen huge increases in online sales already this year. We predict that higher end brands will discount significantly less and for a smaller time frame than in previous years. For example, if a retailer offered a 30% discount for 7 days around Black Friday, they might offer 20% for Black Friday weekend only.
At the other end of the scale, we’re expecting to see lower price point retailers slashing prices with huge discounts and promotions. We think these promotions will run for longer than average, rolling into December to boost early December sales.
There will be more ways to shop than ever before. If the stores are open there will be a split focus on in-store and online shopping. If stores aren’t open, everything will be focused on making sales online. We’re expecting to see an increased number of collection/delivery options for example more click and collect options and perhaps more delivery options than the usual ‘standard’ or ‘next day’.
With many restrictions in place, lockdowns and government advice to stay home, expect to see almost all retailers slashing shipping costs. Free shipping will be standard. Not only will this reinforce the stay home mantra, it will also remove one of the most common barriers to abandoned transactions.
It’s been a hard year for many people and for that reason we’re expecting to see lots of retail messaging highlighting different payment options such as ‘buy now pay later’ or finance options for higher ticket items. Being empathetic with consumers and providing flexible financing options to help them through the holiday season is going to be high on the agenda.
Creative subject lines
If there ever was a time to stand out from the crowd, it’s now. I’m expecting to see excellent examples of creativity. There will be the standard promo led subject lines, but we’re expecting to see some real gems in there too that people will copy for years to come.
With the UK in lockdown for Black Friday, and with expected upturn in online shopping around the globe, it’s likely that there could be some inventory challenges. With higher traffic onsite and limited stock available, it’s possible that there could be some disparity with what stock is actually available. For email specifically, and those that aren’t leveraging live products in particular, we’re expecting to see a lot of people clicking through to out of stock products.
There will be more live content than ever before. We’re expecting to see more countdown timers than ever before. Timers will be used to highlight the time remaining to shop and to drive urgency to close the sale. There will also be a surge in live polls ahead of Black Friday to collect vital indicators of what subscribers are looking to shop. To maximise email revenue potential, we’re expecting more retailers to implement live products so they only show in stock products in email and we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for live click counters and social proofing in email to reinforce brand reputation and trust.
The email stakes are high so we’re expecting to see more calls to action. Wherever there’s a promotional offer or a product, there will be a CTA. This might differ slightly to BAU email where there may be one CTA for a large section of the email.
Of course, these predictions might not come true but one thing we’re certain about is that brands will be capitalising on the power of email to reach their customers.