Retailers shouldn’t squander the opportunity to use Black Friday to improve customer loyalty

Black Friday

With Cyber Week just over a week away retailers are urged to quit the race to the bottom and develop strategies that reward customer loyalty.

Consumer interest in Black Friday has increased year-on-year, though there are signs of a backlash this year in the UK with a number of major retailers, including House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer and Selfridges, announcing their intentions to ignore it.

However, according to eCommerce specialist Tryzens, rather than avoiding the shopping event entirely, retailers should view it as an opportunity to inspire and reward customer loyalty.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become a fixture in the global shopping calendar, though it has become a double-edged sword for many retailers who are expected to offer ever deeper discounts, while accommodating higher rates of returns, providing a double-hit to margins.

However, for Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, by developing pricing strategies that preserve the biggest discounts and/or gift with purchase options for loyal or repeat customers, retailers can still enjoy a Black Friday boost without overstretching themselves and jeopardising brand equity.

Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, commented: “Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are key milestones in the retail calendar, simply cutting prices to shift stock isn’t suited for all retailers. It has become a race to the bottom as retailers try to keep up with the online giants and many retailers are finding themselves struggling in terms of order fulfilment and returns, so it’s not entirely surprising that some are avoiding the event this year. However, there are ways to leverage this global shopping event to improve and reward customer loyalty, create brand awareness and safeguard the customer experience. 

“Unless you already have a well-entrenched reputation as a regular discounter, rather than just blunt discounting, many retailers would do well to develop strategies to appeal to both regular, loyal, customers as well as the casual Black Friday and Cyber Monday opportunists. This year, we expect to see retailers provide a more compelling offering for consumers, creating more of a sense of brand loyalty and connection. This could take the normal form of a greater discount offers for repeat customers, but equally it could be the option to receive a “thank you” gift with purchasing from full price ranges if signed up to a brand’s loyalty scheme, or it could take the form of a limited-edition item only available for the Cyber weekend period.”

Burton concludes: “Given that peak periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are naturally highly competitive for retailers, those that understand, and support effective customer journeys across channels will be best positioned to succeed. Therefore, retailers should be using their customer data to personalise their customers’ journey and experiences. In doing so, retailers can put the right product offer in front of customers in a more specific and tailored way which in turn will increase conversion rates. 

“A strategy that recognises the customer as a unique individual, and offers suggestions based on their browsing patterns and previous purchase history will help retailers maximise spend and capitalise on the shopping bonanza and beyond.