Black Friday: Strategy Can Be Global, But Business Must Be Local | NTT DATA

Wed, 11 October 2023

Black Friday: Strategy Can Be Global, But Business Must Be Local

Getting ready for the moment is key to success

The current scenario may be optimistic for Black Friday 2023, even with the COVID-19 pandemic that has left gaps in how we relate, as humans and with brands. But e-commerce has proved to be up to the challenge, helping physical retailers adapt to new consumer practices and bringing people closer together, even behind displays, creating what is known as phygital retail, where there is a symbiosis, coexistence, between the physical and the digital, where the consumer journey and experience can no longer be "split" but "added up." This trend has come to stay and faces the challenge of multiple channels (omnichannel).

However, we have to remember from experience that retail is and will be a local business for a very long time to come, even for the large global retailers who have their platforms, because knowing your consumer isn't everything - there are other variables influencing operations, such as taxes, shipping costs, local suppliers, and the local culture, thus shaping the local business environment.

Peter Drucker used to say, "Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right." In other words, there are five mistakes that retailers should avoid on Black Friday. Then there is plenty of time to get ready.

1. Not guaranteeing the reliability of sales channels - The high volume of traffic generated at this specific moment far exceeds other strategic dates, such as Mother's Day and Christmas, which is why load management and the company's capacity to monitor and respond quickly are essential, as it is unlikely that a customer who experiences slowdowns or issues with the application or website will return.

2. Offer multiple payment options - Optimize the checkout process with multiple payment options, making it easier for the customer.

3. Running promotions with no planning and logistics set up - As we said in item 1, in this case, logistics and supply need, like the technology areas, to plan the "load" this avalanche of orders will bring because once the order has been placed, logistics need to deliver the right product on the scheduled date.

4. Delaying promotional campaigns launch - Promotions for this date must be introduced at the right time to ensure that consumers know about them before their purchases. This is why disseminating information through digital channels, ahead of some of the categories on sale during Black Friday, such as the countdown, can make all the difference.

5. Transparency in pricing products and services - We must avoid the term "Black Fraud." Retailers need to be very transparent with their prices and conditions. We have seen cases where prices are increased before the date to offer false discounts. This can give your target audience a lousy impression and be "fatal" for your business.

Finally, how can local retailers compete with the major international retailers?

As we've said, retail is still a local business. Latin America still has certain traits, such as logistics systems, taxes on goods and distribution, protectionist government barriers, and many others. These factors create a business environment that often hinders the entry and operation of these large international retailers, thus increasing the learning curve.

Buying from local companies in countries with a retail and distribution culture can easily overcome these barriers. This year, we recommend that local retailers be obsessed with knowing their consumers, understanding what they are looking for, when they are looking for it, and how much they will pay, among others. This is combined with an obsession for a seamless omnichannel and phygital shopping experience that enchants the consumer and retains their loyalty to the brand. And all this in a journey where they feel unique and well looked after. In other words, first and foremost, it's about thinking about what's best for your customer. And what is everyone looking for? The chance to enjoy shopping without formalities, queues, or endless calls to customer service agents.

Regardless of the retailer's size, whether local, regional, or global, knowing about your customers' journeys and providing a seamless, frictionless experience is the secret to success.

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