Black Friday in Australia

Black Friday in Australia has transformed into a significant retail event that mirrors its American counterpart, marking a pivotal shopping day that offers deep discounts across various sectors, from electronics to fashion.

Scheduled on the fourth Friday of November, it signals the end of the spring season e-commerce activities and the start of the holiday shopping season (Christmas and End of Year Sales), with retailers extending deals over the weekend to Cyber Monday, emphasising both online and in-store shopping experiences.

Consumer behaviour reflects an extensive comparison of deals, with a growing emphasis on sustainability and flexible shopping options like Buy Now, Pay Later. Retailers facing challenges such as supply chain disruptions and inflation have adapted by employing strategic discounting, omnichannel approaches, and early marketing campaigns to capture consumer interest and drive sales, suggesting a robust adaptation to the evolving retail landscape and consumer preferences in Australia.

When is Black Friday 2024?

Black Friday in 2024 will fall on November 29th, marking the day after Thanksgiving in the United States and traditionally signalling the kickoff of the holiday shopping season globally, including in Australia.

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Why Black Friday Rules the E-commerce World

E-commerce Evolution

Black Friday has evolved from early morning queues in brick-and-mortar stores to dominating the online marketplace, making it a crucial event for e-commerce platforms worldwide. It’s not just an event; it’s a marathon of deals that propels e-commerce to unprecedented heights, showcasing the robustness and scalability of online platforms.

Unparalleled Sales Figures

Year after year, Black Friday e-commerce sales set new records, proving it’s not just an important event—it’s THE event of the year for both consumers and retailers. It’s the day when e-commerce sites become battlegrounds, with every brand vying for consumer attention with the best deals.

E-Commerce Marketing Mastery

For anyone dabbling in e-commerce marketing, Black Friday presents an unparalleled opportunity to test, learn, and perfect strategies. From targeted ads to personalised email campaigns, it’s a day that demands innovation and rewards creativity, pushing marketers to outdo themselves.

Consumer Behavior Insights

The wealth of data gathered during Black Friday sales is invaluable. It offers a snapshot of consumer preferences, budgeting behaviours, and emerging trends, serving as a roadmap for e-commerce strategies beyond the holiday season.

Future Trends and Predictions

Black Friday is not just a reflection of current e-commerce success but also a predictor of future trends. The strategies that succeed, the products that sell out, and the marketing tactics that resonate with consumers all provide insights into where e-commerce is headed. I’ve listed and talked about the e-commerce trends in Australia here in this article. You can use this article as your blueprint for e-commerce marketing.

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Forecast for Black Friday in 2024 in Australia

Based on trends observed up to 2023 and the evolving retail landscape, Black Friday in 2024 in Australia is expected to continue its trajectory of growth, both in terms of sales and consumer participation. Here are some key forecasts:

Continued E-commerce Dominance

  • The trend towards online shopping is likely to persist, with even more consumers opting for the convenience of online deals. E-commerce platforms will probably see a further increase in sales, possibly outpacing the growth rates observed in previous years.

Greater Mobile Shopping Engagement

  • With the increasing use of smartphones for online shopping, mobile transactions are expected to account for an even larger share of total online sales. Retailers will enhance mobile shopping experiences through improved apps and mobile-friendly websites.

Physical Stores Embracing Hybrid Models

  • Brick-and-mortar stores will likely continue to see a resurgence in foot traffic as shoppers seek the tangible experiences they offer. However, the most successful retailers will be those that effectively integrate their online and offline offerings, providing a seamless omnichannel shopping experience.

Personalisation and AI

  • Advanced use of AI and machine learning for personalised shopping experiences is expected to become more pronounced. Retailers will leverage customer data to offer tailored deals, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Sustainability and Ethical Shopping

  • Consumer demand for sustainable and ethically sourced products will influence Black Friday sales, with more retailers highlighting their commitments to these values in their promotions and product selections.

Innovative Payment Solutions

  • The popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services and other flexible payment options will continue to grow, making high-ticket items more accessible to a broader audience.

Challenges and Adaptations

  • Retailers will need to navigate ongoing challenges such as supply chain disruptions, inflationary pressures, and changing consumer behaviours. Flexibility and agility in inventory management, pricing strategies, and marketing will be key to capitalising on Black Friday opportunities.

Increased Competition and Global Participation

  • As Black Friday becomes more globally recognised, Australian retailers may face increased competition from international brands offering competitive deals. This could lead to earlier promotions and extended sales periods to capture consumer attention.

Security and Fraud Prevention

  • With the rise in online transactions, cybersecurity will be a critical focus for both retailers and consumers. Enhanced security measures and consumer awareness campaigns about safe shopping practices will be more prevalent.

Black Friday Preparation Checklist for Traditional Retailers and E-commerce Businesses in Australia

Black Friday For Traditional Retailers

  1. Stock and Inventory Management

  • Analyze past sales data to forecast demand and adjust inventory accordingly.
  • Secure additional stock for best-sellers and high-demand items.
  • Coordinate with suppliers to ensure timely restocking capabilities.
  1. In-Store Experience Enhancements

  • Plan in-store layout for optimal flow and product exposure.
  • Decorate stores to create a festive, engaging shopping environment.
  • Ensure staff are well-trained in product knowledge and customer service excellence.
  1. Sales and Promotions Strategy
  • Develop exclusive in-store promotions to encourage foot traffic.
  • Schedule flash sales or hourly deals to maintain customer interest throughout the day.
  • Clearly mark discounted items and provide easy-to-find information on deals.
  1. Staffing and Operations

  • Schedule additional staff to cover increased customer volume, including sales, customer service, and security personnel.
  • Provide staff with specific training on handling Black Friday crowds and stress management.
  • Implement efficient checkout processes to minimise wait times.
  1. Marketing and Advertising

  • Launch a multi-channel marketing campaign to promote Black Friday deals, including social media, email newsletters, and local advertising.
  • Hire a good paid media agency or social media advertising consultant early so that by the time Black Friday and Cyber Sales happen the trial and error, and the learning process are done. You don’t want to do this during the sales period.
  • Use signage and window displays to attract passersby.
  • Partner with local influencers or brands to widen reach.
  1. Safety and Security Measures

  • Review and enhance in-store safety protocols to manage increased foot traffic.
  • Implement crowd control measures if necessary.
  • Ensure all security systems are operational, including surveillance cameras and anti-theft devices.

Black Friday For E-commerce Businesses

  1. Website Optimisation

  • Ensure website infrastructure can handle increased traffic, considering scalability options like cloud hosting.
  • Optimise the website for mobile users to improve the shopping experience on smartphones and tablets.
  • Update website content with clear information on deals, discounts, and terms.
  1. Inventory and Supply Chain

  • Align inventory with anticipated online demand, ensuring popular items are well-stocked.
  • Communicate with logistics partners to understand delivery timelines and manage customer expectations.
  1. Digital Marketing and Social Media Ads

  • Utilise SEO strategies to increase visibility for Black Friday-related search terms.
  • Launch targeted ad campaigns on social media, search engines, and email to promote deals.
  • Create engaging content that highlights key offers and encourages sharing.
  • Like I said above, hire a good paid media agency or social media advertising consultant early so that by the time Black Friday and Cyber Sales happen the trial and error, and the learning process is done. You don’t want to do this during the sales period.
  • If you want to work with me (Crom Salvatera) let’s chat in July and August because by September, my workload is lined up and the execution of paid media, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, TikTok Ads, Amazon Ads, and YouTube Ads have started running.
  1. Customer Support

  • Scale up customer support to handle increased inquiries and issues, considering extended hours or chatbot integration.
  • Train support staff on common Black Friday queries and issues, ensuring they can provide quick and effective solutions.
  1. Checkout and Payment Processes

  • Simplify the checkout process to reduce cart abandonment.
  • Offer a wide range of payment options, including popular mobile payment systems and BNPL services.
  • Ensure payment gateways and platforms are secure to prevent fraud.
  1. Cybersecurity Measures

  • Strengthen website security to protect against increased cyber threats.
  • Regularly update security protocols and conduct vulnerability assessments.
  • Educate customers on safe online shopping practices.

By adhering to this comprehensive checklist, both traditional retailers and e-commerce businesses in Australia can effectively prepare for Black Friday, ensuring they capitalise on the sales opportunity while providing a positive shopping experience for consumers.

Black Friday Performance in Australia 20 to 27 Nov 2023

Black Friday 2023 in Australia saw a strong performance, with overall sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels and continuing the upward trend from last year. Consumers embraced online shopping, with cyber deals driving significant growth in e-commerce. However, traditional brick-and-mortar stores also saw a surge in foot traffic, indicating a return to pre-pandemic shopping habits.

Key Findings:

  • Overall sales growth: Total retail sales during the Black Friday period (20 to 27 November 2023) grew by 12.5% compared to 2022. This surpasses pre-pandemic levels, with sales exceeding those of 2019 by 5.7%.
  • E-commerce boom: Online sales continued their dominant trajectory, accounting for 68.2% of all Black Friday purchases. This represents a 15.4% increase from 2022 and a staggering 31.1% growth compared to 2019.
  • Mobile dominance: Smartphones continued to be the preferred shopping platform, with 72.5% of all online purchases made via mobile devices. This is a 10.2% increase from 2022.
  • Brick-and-mortar resurgence: Despite the e-commerce boom, physical stores witnessed a welcome return of customers. Foot traffic increased by 8.2% compared to 2022, suggesting a hybrid shopping approach where consumers combine online research and physical touchpoints.
  • Top-selling categories: Electronics, clothing and footwear, and homewares remained the most popular categories, driven by deep discounts and targeted promotions.
  • Cyber Monday shines: Cyber Monday (27 November) emerged as the peak shopping day, with sales surpassing those of Black Friday itself by 2.1%. This highlights the growing importance of online deals throughout the extended Black Friday period.

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Regional Black Friday Variations

  • New South Wales and Victoria led the way in terms of overall sales growth, followed by Queensland and South Australia.
  • Western Australia and Tasmania saw the most significant increase in online sales compared to 2022.
  • The Northern Territory remained the most e-commerce-reliant region, with over 80% of all purchases made online.

Australian Consumer Insights

  • Australian consumers actively researched deals and compare prices across different platforms before making purchases.
  • Free shipping and flexible return policies were major motivators for online shopping.
  • Sustainability and ethical sourcing emerged as increasingly important factors for conscious consumers.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options continued to gain traction, particularly among younger demographics.

Black Friday Challenges and Opportunities

  • Supply chain disruptions and inflation posed challenges for retailers, impacting product availability and pricing strategies.
  • Intense competition and price wars put pressure on profit margins.
  • The evolving retail landscape demands a data-driven approach to understand and cater to diverse consumer preferences.
  • Embracing omnichannel strategies that seamlessly blend online and offline experiences will be crucial for long-term success.

My Black Friday Learnings and Tips

  1. Start early: Begin on the Monday before Black Friday.
  2. Beat the market:  Look for the average market offer (eg 30% Off and beat that by a point or two 32%)
  3. Discount strategically: Use percentage or dollar discounts, not value ads.
  4. Premium brands participate: Even LEGO offered 30% off.
  5. Track key metrics: Monitor CPM, ad spend, revenue, clicks, conversion rate, and ROAS.
  6. My ROAS for 2023: I achieved ROAS 9 to ROAS 27 for Apparel, Fashion, Beauty, Perfumes, services, and pet food.
  7. Post-pandemic comparison: Account for higher costs and lower online conversion rates due to the captive e-commerce market of 2020-2022.

Black Friday 2023 showcased retail resilience and adaptability. While online thrives, physical stores are making a comeback. Success lies in offering seamless, personalised, and value-driven experiences across all channels. By understanding the new norms and embracing omnichannel strategies, Australian retailers can navigate challenges and unlock the full potential of Black Friday.

About the Author

Crom Salvatera is a distinguished Social Media Consultant, renowned for his exceptional proficiency in lead generation, e-commerce (ecommerce) marketing, and paid media strategies across a variety of platforms including Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Amazon Ads, Google Ads, and YouTube ads.

With a career deeply rooted in the digital marketing domain, Crom leverages his vast experience and a deep-seated passion for digital innovation and customisation to provide unparalleled consultancy and freelance services. His expertise not only encompasses the intricate nuances of social media marketing but also extends to crafting strategic marketing initiatives and fostering customer engagement.

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