Despite the harsh retail environment, retailers’ predictions for peak and Black Friday are overwhelmingly optimistic. On average retailers’ expect to see a revenue increase of 28.7% versus 2018 peak, according to Yielify’s report The Shape of Peak to Come.

Around 400 retail marketers in the US and the UK, across the whole spectrum from fashion to home and garden were interviewed. Among them were both multi-channel retailers and new pureplay e-commerce outfits. 

Revenue and predictions

When it came to revenue expectations, more than two-thirds (72.9%) expect to see a year-on-year online revenue increase of 10% or more, and less than a tenth (8.9%) of those surveyed predict flat or negative Q4 results compared to last year.

Overall, retailers predict a 25% average year-on-year revenue growth for Black Friday, rising to a 28% increase for the holiday season as a whole.

All about the discounts

While it’s a given that Black Friday is all about discounts, this approach holds throughout the holiday season, with 85% planning to offer discounts, dropping to 80% on Cyber Monday.

Meanwhile, more than half of retailers (50.6%) will be offering discounts across their entire range on Black Friday, rising to 62% for US retailers.

However, not everyone will be going for the discount approach. Pureplay e-commerce retailers were more likely than multichannel retailers to opt-out of Black Friday (22%), and those who do participate will offer fewer discounts.

Furthermore, there appears to be a greater focus from retailers on acquiring and retaining customers throughout peak, with website personalisation their top-rated method for doing so.

For everyone else, email is still the king of marketing strategies. This was cited as a top tactic for promoting peak offers as well as converting visitors into customers. Retailers will need to have a solid lead capture strategy in place long ahead of peak to capitalise fully.

Lastly, at the time of the study, 75% of retailers have already kicked off planning for peak and Black Friday and are set to launch their first marketing campaigns in the coming weeks.

“It’s about delivering a personalised message when visitors return. Which channel have they arrived from? Which session are they on? Do they have an account or are they a member of your loyalty program? ,” said Caitlin Sweeney, director of client services US at Yieldify.

“There are so many opportunities like these to tailor the customer journey, depending on how your acquisition strategy looks, or which segments you’ve identified as most valuable. We work closely with our clients to pinpoint the approaches that will have the most impact during this key trading period.” 

For a deeper analysis into the study, access the report in full here.