Black Friday: These Four Marketing Strategies Trick You Into Impulse Shopping

“Do you really need it?” you may be repeating to yourself when shopping for that cute shirt at 85% off. Don’t be surprised if you succumb to the temptation all the same, since the merchants do everything they can to tickle your eye and make you live the Fear of missing out (FOMO), or the fear of missing a good opportunity to buy. Here are four marketing strategies that play on that rope and that could inspire you to loosen your purse strings this Friday.

• Read also: Black Friday: 24 local businesses to encourage that offer discounts [2022]

1 – Pre-pre-sales, pre-sales, and sales

Was Black Friday yesterday? Last week? You are not alone in asking yourself this question. It is clear that merchants are increasingly stretching the duration of their discounts because of the ripple effect. Result: we multiply the opportunities to buy and we insist on the feeling of “urgency”.

“You cannot play alone as a trader. If our competitor starts selling the week before Black Friday, we will do the same,” explains visiting professor in the HEC Montreal Marketing Department, Jean-Luc Geha.

During these periods, merchants invest large amounts to target their customers with micro-segmentation strategies on social networks. This method subdivides individuals with common characteristics into several groups to present them with targeted advertisements.

You will then be confronted more often with articles that you have recently viewed until you give in to the temptation!


2 – Sales flash and countdowns

“You only have an hour and a half left to take advantage of the biggest discount of the year”: have you ever read this sentence? Several traders use sometimes underhanded tactics like a countdown timer that exacerbates FOMO sentiment.

Selling for just a few hours creates a “sense of excitement” that can make you buy more compulsively.

Please note: just because these items are on sale during the Black Friday period does not mean that they will not be later in the year.

When the British consumer media Which? reviewed the price history of items sold during the sales of the Black-Friday in 2019, he found that 85% of items were available at the same price or cheaper in the previous six months.

• Read also: Black Friday: furniture and decoration stores that offer good discounts [2022]

3- Impressive discounts

You could find yourself in front of impressive discounts during Black Friday, in the order of 50% or even 75% of the original price, but is there any reason to jump to the ceiling?

“Often, we lower the price on products that we want to get rid of or that will find themselves obsolete very soon, summarizes Professor Jean-Luc Geha. Sometimes we lower prices because we bought too much of a certain product and we want to liquidate it.

Another tactic used by traders is to display the price before and after the discount, or the anchor price. This strategy can magnify actual savings if it targets items that are on sale more often than at regular price. This display nevertheless gives the impression of having made a good deal.

Some discounted items can also be “loss leaders”: the merchant will make virtually no profit from the sale, but will push you to make further purchases from their store.

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France Media Agency

4 – Free delivery

Your online cart is filled with items and now we add to your subtotal of $60 a delivery charge of $10.99. You have two options: you bear the costs or you complete your basket with another item to reach a subtotal of $75 to take advantage of free shipping. It’s only $15, after all!

But why does this strategy seem to work every time? It is that it exploits a behavioral reflex known under the name of “Power of free” or the “power of free” in French. This concept is particularly detailed in the book “It’s (really?) me who decides: The hidden reasons for our choices” by Dan Ariely.

Offering free shipping above a certain threshold incentivizes purchasing one more item to reach that threshold. The buyer then has the impression of having had a discount on this additional item and therefore of having had a gain rather than a loss, as explained by the digital marketing firm Click & Mortar in a blog post.

It’s not for nothing that free delivery is the most common way to persuade buyers (64%), according to data from the Conseil québécois du commerce au retail (CQCD). Same observation at Google Canada, which estimates that 73% of Canadian buyers will make their purchases from Black-Friday and the holidays at stores that offer free shipping.



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