How has Black Friday been adopted in your local market? Has it had a big impact upon your own business?
Unlike previous years, Black Friday has been fully integrated into the Dutch market this year. In recent years we have seen that on an international level, such as in the US of course, but also in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy, Black Friday was seized by retailers on a much larger scale. As in previous years, Black Friday is the most important day of the year for us and we expect that the growth we have seen for years will continue this year.
Tell us about how your company is preparing for Black Friday 2018.
Our preparations for Black Friday 2018 actually started right after Black Friday last year. When all the hustle and bustle of Cyber Week and Christmas is over, we discuss with all countries last season's learnings and opportunities for the next season. We have been preparing for Black Friday for months. We make sure that our domains in the run-up to and during Black Friday are in perfect condition so that we can guarantee our advertisers maximum visibility and conversion.
What do you think of global retail events like Black Friday? Are they a positive thing for your business or do they make your job harder?
Events such as Black Friday and Singles Day offer many great opportunities for our partners and advertisers. Until now, none of the retail events have come close to the size of Black Friday. Besides closing great deals, it’s therefore also important to plan such events well and we are continuously very busy with that. It certainly doesn't make the work any more difficult, perhaps a little more intense, but they are also very positive months. November and December are the 'top' months, during this period we don’t only receive the most attention and interest from advertisers but also from consumers.
In addition, it’s a great opportunity for many web shops to get through overstock by stunting with prices, they get rid of previous collections and the consumer has a better deal.
What value can affiliates contribute to an advertiser’s objectives during Black Friday?
Everyone is taking part in Black Friday nowadays. That's beautiful. But it also means that it is difficult for advertisers to stand out and be noticed. Affiliates can contribute to the realisation of their goals through their specific expertise. Each affiliate has its own target audience with its own network. Through our platforms we can offer advertisers a very large number of shopping consumers who are looking for the best deal. The vast majority of online shoppers will find a deal through our domains.
How do you think Black Friday and the wider Cyber Weekend are evolving? What do you think these events will look like in the future?
For the coming years I expect Black Friday to be less and less of a one-day event for retailers. Because of the growing competition, everyone wants to distinguish themselves by starting with the outlet sales even earlier, to be the first to attract the attention of the buyers. In addition, it is no longer the case that retailers keep to the traditional dates of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The sale continues much longer than Cyber Monday and thus becomes Cyber Week. Whereas previously December was the busiest month of the year, November took over this position. And that will continue to be the case, especially since many people buy for Christmas and Sinterklaas (a Dutch holiday on December 5th) in November.
What one tip would you give to fellow companies participating in Black Friday activity this year?
Try to be creative in your promotion, just giving a discount is not enough to get above the crowd. Most participants will create a campaign with a landing page running a week or longer. It’s therefore important to be present everywhere and to give your visitors something extra in order to persuade them to buy something from you.
Good planning is also very important. Black Friday is almost there, but there are a number of things that you as an online seller still have to take into account. Keep in mind, for example, that you have enough of the products in stock that you’re putting on sale. That may seem obvious, but last year we still saw a number of shops go wrong. Also, don't underestimate the number of visitors to your website, make sure your servers are in order and that your employees are on standby during Cyber Week. Other than that, be transparent and point out that delivery could take a little longer, this way you avoid disappointed - new - customers.
All in all, especially for web shops these events are great opportunities, but also challenges to make everything run smoothly. For them, it's important to sell old stock and, among other things, to attract and retain new consumers.
Check out the rest of our Black Friday insights on our hub.