A huge thank you to all Khaos Family members who responded to our Black Friday survey. We’ve looked at the big trends for the UK, noting the rise of the mobile and volume of transactions, but we wanted to provide our customers with some context with regards to how they performed. To distil down what the Black Friday Bonanza was like for you in 2016, rather than for retail in general.
After all, we don’t (yet, at any rate!) do business with the whole of the UK. We’re partnered with you and want to understand how best we can support you ahead of Black Friday 2017.
And we know that we’re not the only ones who will learn from the survey. We’ve published its results so that Khaos Family members can learn what worked, what didn’t and can plan even more effectively for Black Friday 2017 and beyond.
So, how was Black Friday for the Khaos Family in 2016?

For starters, who took part and when?

A graph showing the participation of Khaos Control customers in Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The Black Friday Beanfeast isn’t for everyone, so we were keen to see what proportion of the Khaos Family took an active part in proceedings.
No surprises that Black Friday was the main event, seeing the greatest number of companies participate, but it was only on a par with those who didn’t. Indeed, asides from Black Friday, those who abstained from special offers were in the majority.
This reinforces our perception that whilst Black Friday is important, there are a decent number of retailers who it simply doesn’t impact and they’re not confined to the realm of B2B.
Most interesting with regards to companies taking part was the number who said they would be taking part in Black Friday in 2017. With Amazon having failed to destroy the event, more members of the Khaos Family than ever before have said they will be taking part in 2017.

Which channels worked and which didn’t?

A graph showing the change in sales across different channels on Black Friday compared to last year

We’re delighted it was a rosy picture:

  • No-one reported a decline for in store sales
  • An equal number replied they either went up or stayed the same on last year
  • ecommerce sales continued to increase, massively outstripping the growth we saw nationally, even with small number of companies seeing a drop in custom. Khaos Family members are obviously taking advantage of our multichannel integration and API in order to continue their rapid growth
  • We were delighted to see the more traditional MoTo channel also seeing significant growth. Alex Pratt and the team at DCA frequently remind us that the Catalogue and mail order continue to be an excellent source of sales and the Khaos Family’s experience bears this out.

“If you build it… you may still need Google AdWords.” – Jennifer Mesenbrink

A graph showing the success of different marketing channels on Black Friday

The spread of colours in the above pie chart is a testament to the Khaos Family combining marketing techniques, old and new, for maximum effect and demonstrates how our customers are leading the way in multi-channel retail.
Whilst companies’ results were spread across a range of marketing channels, it was interesting to note that email clearly proved to be the most successful method of converting customers and prospects into sales. It may evoke the world of 1999, where most addresses ended with @yahoo.com and were viewed on box-like CRT monitors, but email remains an integral part of the internet. For many logins, email addresses are usernames and, with smartphones, it’s more accessible than ever before.
Confirming the internet’s influence over the purchase funnel, enlarging marketing’s role, social media’s impact was equal to direct website visits/phone calls.
Natural search was the least effective – underscoring how difficult it can be for anyone who isn’t Argos or Currys, and outside the FTSE 100, to gain awareness. As we wrote in our Black Friday summary, the same 10 retailers were searched for in November 2016 as November 2015, with only minor difference in order.

Black Friday is all about discounts. What worked?

A graph showing the success of different types of discounts on Black Friday

With it being straightforward to configure and track promotions, it’s no surprise that those companies in the Khaos Family that took part in Black Friday offered a range of promotions to their customers.
Our survey revealed monetary discounts took the overwhelming share, followed by free delivery, a combination of free delivery and a percentage off, and just a percentage off.
This is a clear signal on what works, dovetailing with our findings that discounts drove most Black Friday sales – we hope it’ll help you plan for next Black Friday.

And what of Black Friday’s lasting influence – did it draw customers back in the run-up to Christmas?

A graph showing the difference in the number of customers since Black Friday

Respondents replied in equal numbers to the question of whether they’d seen more customers since Black Friday on last year with ‘More’ and ‘About the Same’. Only a small minority indicated they’d seen fewer.
For a sales event that is so heavily focused on discounting, it’s interesting to see that Black Friday exerted a positive influence beyond the day itself, with companies obviously taking the opportunity to deliver a great experience and then market to their new customers effectively in order to turn them into repeat business, the holy grail of multi-channel retail!
Overall, for those Khaos Family members who participated in Black Friday, we’ve seen similar and often greater levels of growth than nationally. It’s an impressive feat, given the prevailing mood of uncertainty affecting UK business, and we hope the trend continues in 2017 and beyond. Economic growth has consistently surpassed expectations since the EU referendum, but there are obstacles down the line, such as a higher rate of inflation from a weakened pound, and the National Living Wage increase and the auto-enrolment rollout.
We are there for you in any event, simplifying business management and enhancing productivity, in order to provide you with an edge over your competition.
Thanks again to those who took the time to fill in our survey. It was great to get a handle on your Black Friday experience 2016.
Whether you’re an existing member of our family, or are yet to have a little Khaos in your lives, get in touch today to find out how we can help your business to deliver sustained growth in 2017 and beyond.