This conversation was recorded on Black Friday when the main topic of is around discounts and sale offers and joining us were
Des Frawley – Account Executive at ReverseLogix
Yinka Martin – Founder and CEO of HairWeavon
Akshay Kumar – Ecommerce Manager at Kinvara Skincare
it soon transitioned to discussing how to engage deeply with your audience and stay true to your own brand beliefs as a better long-term strategy to build your success online. This is where you can compete versus the bigger players and of course return and reverse logistics is one of the biggest concerns for customers and pains for retailers so how can you actually turn this to your advantage – hint by making it easy and part of an excellent service experience.
So while we have to play in the area of discounts and promotions treating them as a once-off event where you drop your prices then that generally is not the basis of a successful strategy.
So Black Friday – which is a new Shopping Day in this part of the world and an import from our colleagues across the ocean. I suppose we have gotten away from some of the hysteria of 2 or 3 years ago with people literally fighting in the isles to get their hands on bargains.
This is the weekend (four days) where I do live with Real-Time Analytics live on my desktop for the weekend and watched minute by minute how things were progressing.
One of the challenges in today’s landscape is that there seem to be perpetual sales on and consumers get weary and fatigued with that.
We have Amazon Prime Day, Singles Day the big Chinese sales period, we still have the traditional January Sales (and those emails start to arrive on the evening of Christmas eve now)
Sales also tend to work better for the larger retailers and brands and are much more difficult for small retailers to complete as they might not have the buying power to get the type of manufacturer discounts and deals that make this possible. Also if you are effectively promoting clear-out stocks or loss leaders then you need a broad catalogue to avail of other cross-sells and upsells in order to recover those margins and there is that feeling that maybe I am just giving margin away here – would I still have gotten the sale without the deep discount.
I was really interested to see Roe Books in Dundalk come out and say – do you know what I don’t agree with this madness – I am going to close my shop for Black Friday. Partly as a stand against big brand consumerism and a nod to Environmental sustainability and a concern that all these sales are basically pushing people to buy stuff they either don’t need or don’t want. Which might be great in the short term but can give you issues with long-term customer loyalty and repeats.
Which nicely prompts one of the discussions I am looking forward to this morning around Returns and Buyer Remorse and how retailers and eCommerce merchants need to handle returns effectively and efficiently. Having the Right to return as enshrined by the EU Distance Selling directive is a huge trust element for online shoppers but it is still a relatively difficult process and costly.
Also delighted to be joined by HairWeavon or Kinvara Skin Care – so looking forward to hearing how their Black Friday promotions are getting on and how they feel about them.
Here is my thinking on Sale Periods – they are a key piece of your merchandising and revenue growing activity in any online store. But Black Friday or the new year sales should be the culmination of a process where you have built a promotional process that runs through the year. Maybe minimum 4 but normally 6 or more campaigns that are timed depending on the retail segment you are in.
You have to hone your ability to attract relevant traffic to each campaign, Test different Landing page formats to improve conversion rates, and those landing pages when not in your main navigation are left there to build up some SEO equity over time and develop a means to nurture these new customers for your brand into lifelong customers – with really valuable long term value. To do that it isn’t always about the sale on the day but can you get them to engage with you – even just exchange contact details in return for something of value now you have the opportunity to talk to them directly and over time deliver what they are looking for.
So it’s easy to get a sale by giving 50- 60% whatever % off but if that is all you do you won’t be around for long. Competing solely on price is rarely a good long-term strategy.
Like Puppies sales are not just for Christmas they are a process that needs to be tuned and developed throughout all of the year and even if the rest of the year is a rehearsal for the big one but without that learning your chances of profitable success is severely limited.
Enjoy the listen.