Black Friday originates from the USA where major retailers offer huge promotional discounts to consumers the day after Thanksgiving to officially commence with festive season shopping.
While this retail phenomenon was started by Bricks and Mortar, and the name Black Friday of which a more popular explanation is the point when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being ‘in the red’ to being ‘in the black’, SA retailers have also in recent years launched their own innovative Black Friday campaigns.
With South African consumers hyped for today, local e-commerce players and traditional retailers are set to reap the rewards of the global Black Friday sales craze.
Although a relatively new concept in SA, over the past three years retailers have recorded in excess of a 200% spike in sales – deeming it the busiest shopping day of the year. #BlackFriday has dominated the online conversation over the past few days, this according to global media intelligence provider, Meltwater.
To guide Retail and ecommerce brands on just how popular Black Friday is getting, during the past week alone, Meltwater has tracked mentions of #BlackFriday across social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, as well as message boards, blogs and forums, including the monitoring of editorial coverage across more than 270000 media sources worldwide.
Some noteworthy results that are sure to get B2C marketers excited are the results around social conversations. For Twitter alone, the conversations around ‘#BlackFriday, #blackfridaydeals, #blackfridaydiscounts, or Black Friday’ grew a whopping 2200% year over year in South Africa.
This is a clear indication that Black Friday is growing in popularity in South Africa and retailers need to take note. However, amongst the chatter of users giddy with excitement about brands promoting their sales and deals on social, there were also some users who were cynical about Black Friday:
“If only my rent was also part of Black Friday”, quoted one user and “MTN won’t steal nor make your airtime or data disappear for 1 day only”, quoted another. Smart marketers can leverage even these types of skeptical comments to target individuals with clever promotions or messaging.
Adele Coelho, Head of Marketing at Meltwater for India, Middle East, Africa explains, “We’re entering into the busiest shopping season of the year and brands are overly competitive with their promotions and campaigns. While these campaigns are planned months in advance, one secret weapon that will set some retailers ahead of others is the ability to quickly mine social conversations and leverage those insights to tweak their marketing strategy in order to strengthen brand affinity and sales this season.”