• Work Hard
  • 11th Nov 2021
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  • 6 minutes

Marketing geniuses Fabric share how capitalising on Black Friday could make your business boom

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Managing director Lisa Eaton spills the marketing secrets behind this retail phenomenon

In 2020 alone, British shoppers spent a whopping £5.9 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Crazy, right? But what would be even crazier is if some of that £5.9 billion was going into your business. After all, as well as being a chance for shoppers to grab themselves a bargain, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also excellent opportunities for marketing teams to earn a huge uplift in revenue for their business.

But where do the events even come from? Well, the Black Friday tradition originates from the United States and marks the end of Thanksgiving celebrations, while also welcoming the beginning of the festive period. With the pressure to please your loved ones, but also not wanting to break the bank, many of us find this the perfect time to take advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Meaning it’s also the perfect time to implement a targeted marketing strategy. But where to start? With Fabric, that’s who. The marketing geniuses who’ve been building winning marketing strategies for over 20 years help the most ambitious marketers thrive by sharing their masterful marketing knowledge and giving them the tools to accelerate in their careers.

With the big weekend just around the corner (26th and 29th November), now is the best time to get planning your marketing strategy. That’s why we caught Fabric’s Managing Director, Lisa Eaton, to get all her top hints and tips on how you can make the most of Black Friday…

The psychology behind Black Friday and Cyber Monday

‘The love for a bargain stems from deep within our psyche’, says Lisa. ‘In fact, it’s in our chemical make-up – which explains a lot about those B&M trips!

‘We all know how good it feels when buying gifts for others. That’s because the brain has structures known as the “reward system”, which houses the pleasure centre. When these structures are triggered, a feeling of satisfaction is experienced. This is also amplified when you see words such as “sale”, “deal” or “discount” – the rational part of your brain struggles to remain objective and figure out whether this purchase is necessary or not, a bit like the angel and devil inside your head!

‘These words are magnified over cyber weekend, which sends your shopping habits into overdrive. Also, colours are used to trigger this positive feeling. Ever seen a red “sale” sign and immediately felt drawn in? That doesn’t happen by chance – again, the colour red helps stimulate the pleasure centre in your brain.’

When it comes to capitalising on the eager shopping around Black Friday, then understanding why Black Friday even exists is key. ‘Ensure you have a clear communications strategy to keep your customers informed, so they know exactly what to expect from you around Black Friday,’ suggests Lisa. ‘And try not to let anything get in the way of those good feeling brainwaves you need to ensure your shopping experience is the very best it can be for your customers. Where possible, direct shoppers to purchase online, too.’

How these dates affect our shopping behaviour

‘The “Fear Of Missing Out”, or FOMO, is a huge factor in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales,’ Lisa explains. ‘Companies exploit this feeling and create artificial exclusivity by setting impulse limitations on stock to make their products appear to be selling out quickly. This creates a huge sense of urgency and makes you feel that you need to act immediately before it’s too late.’

The FOMO feeling can also be heightened by the increased media attention leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With more social media use and even the events’ timing (at the end of the week and on payday for many), Lisa says both can work to make us feel like we’re missing out if we don’t buy anything.

‘Even your method of payment can change how your mind processes shopping,’ Lisa says. ‘We’re all guilty of paying by card and Lisa tells us why cashless spending feels so easy (and dangerous). Nine times out of 10, paying by card, especially using credit, fools your brain into thinking you haven’t spent a penny. Whereas when you hand over your hard-earned cash, you feel a sense of physical loss and your brain registers what’s happening. Paying by cash is also known to increase your emotional attachment to your purchase, instead of paying by card.’

Lisa points out that lockdown has likely changed our shopping behaviours forever, too. ‘Being unable to go to the shops to browse and purchase in lockdown meant we have had to adopt new habits and embrace digital shopping,’ she says. ‘Although some of us will return to old habits, many will retain this new way of shopping. Especially as cases begin to rise again, shoppers may worry about being in crowded spaces.’

Last year, sales were up by 61% in the first week of November, compared to the same period the year before due to lockdown restrictions and Covid. So, we can expect to see an even bigger jump this year, with record-breaking numbers recorded via online sales.

That’s why Lisa would recommend that business owners encourage their consumers to shop early, spread demand before their competitors and create excitement around their offer. ‘Ensure you allow for increased orders, stock backlogs and processing orders and make sure your website is geared up to manage increased traffic and purchases – the last thing you want is a site crash on the busiest day of the year!’ Lisa advises. ‘Finally, as Covid is still present, be clear about how you’re controlling your space and ensure all your customers’ health and safety.

What to take away

Thanks to Fabric, we now understand the psychology behind Black Friday and how the use of colours and words like sale’, ‘deal’ or ‘discount’ can draw customers in, not forgetting how card payments lead your customers to buy more without realising, and how creating a sense of urgency and FOMO can lead to more sales.

With the numbers of consumers set to be recording-breaking this year, any business owners would be foolish to miss out – otherwise, they’re the ones who’ll be experiencing FOMO! Good job Lisa and the Fabric team were here to keep us in hand, eh?

Want to know more?

Enrol on Fabric’s training course and better understand consumer psychology, which is key to the success of any marketing strategy. Sign up for their training programme here.

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Rachael Nichol
Creative Solutions Manager

After gaining a first in her BA Media and Journalism degree at Northumbria University, Rachael worked at Newcastle’s leading regional newspaper with her stories being picked up in national and global newspapers She spent two very successful years giving a voice to those communities across the North East who otherwise…


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