Black Friday, 27 November 2020, is sure to be different to the Black Fridays we have known in previous years. With the US elections and the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a year like no other.
The need to be able to shop online is becoming all the more prevalent for customers across the globe. In our previous article, What Is Happening To Print Ecommerce In 2020? We discussed that online sales during the last UK lockdown were shown to account for 28% of all retail sales.
With the recent second lockdown in the UK, it is clear is that ecommerce sales as a percentage of all total retail sales will be up year on year. What is not clear is how those sales will be distributed during the busiest quarter of the retail year and over the Black Friday period.
What We Know So Far
On Thursday 5 November 2020, the UK entered its second national lockdown. Whilst it’s apparent the lockdown in early 2020 caused a growth in online sales, it is likely that the timing of this lockdown in the retail calendar will cause an impact on this growth figure.
As people gear up to complete their Christmas shopping, the only businesses that are allowed to stay open are those that are deemed to be ‘essential’. Many retail businesses will have to shut their high street premises and will look towards their ecommerce offer to meet sales targets.
What Does This Mean For The Consumer?
The only option for the UK consumer will be to buy online or to buy their gifts from businesses that have been allowed to stay open as they are deemed ‘essential’. It seems likely that gift sales for supermarket retailers will increase as will online sales.
There is also an undercurrent of ‘buy local’ to support your local small businesses that, although has been around for quite some time, is gaining momentum in the current economic climate. It has now become more important than ever for businesses, large or small, to increase their online presence by providing a good ecommerce offer and by engaging with their target customers through online marketing.
What Does This Mean For Black Friday?
Whilst Amazon have grown to stretch their Black Friday deals longevity over recent years, this year they have really upped the ante by starting Black Friday at the end of October. Whilst their sales strategy is usually to lead the market and be ahead of the game, it seems likely that other retailers will feel the need to follow suit in order to compete with their rivals. We should expect to see a stretched Black Friday, and sales to be stretched similarly.
Another driving force behind the retails sales for Black Friday in the UK, will be the previously mentioned lockdown. Consumers are likely to look to buying their Christmas gifts sooner rather than later, again stretching the usual hard hit of Black Friday over the month of November.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
As mentioned earlier, it is now more important than ever that businesses ensure their online offer is fit for purpose and provides an excellent user experience. Online marketing, such as onsite optimisation, paid advertising, and social media engagement will become an imperative part of finding the sales, not only during this quarter but moving forward into 2021 and beyond.
For those that already provide a good ecommerce offer and are proactive with their online marketing, the key question is when to start your Black Friday offer.
It seems that we will see more businesses providing an earlier or stretched Black Friday this year following in the footsteps of Amazon.
What Does This Mean For The Print Industry?
For those in the print industry that sell business to business, it is likely that any ‘essential’ businesses you serve will be looking to make their sales sooner rather than later, whilst the B2B market doesn’t traditionally use Black Friday as a marketing tool, this may be an opportunity to garner interest from new customers and to provide a discount to loyal customers in an increasingly competitive market.
Whilst trading becomes more competitive it is also a good time to ask if you need to do more with your online offer. Printer ecommerce can provide you with online selling options that make it easier for your customers to buy directly from you. The easier it is for the customer to buy the more likely it is that you will convert a sale.
For those in the industry that sell business to consumer, printer ecommerce has never been more important. At B2C level, if customers cannot find the gift they want from the print industry they may choose a different gift meaning the competition for B2C serving businesses is wider.
Web to print software will help those with B2C customers secure sales in what is becoming an increasingly ecommerce driven market.
Flex4 have an experienced eCommerce team with skills and experience in business development, marketing, ecommerce, project management, software development, website management, and digital marketing.
The Online Print Solution – the OPS – has been developed by Flex4 and is based on over 15 years’ experience in designing, developing and supporting web to print software solutions and services for print businesses in both the UK and overseas.
Our objective is to help your business to both grow print revenues and reduce administration costs for a better margin and a more efficient process.