Will Black Friday look different after GDPR?

Topic: Marketing, Retail

Usually, there’s just one big day for retailers – Black Friday; this year, however, there is two. With GDPR in effect from May 25th, how will this affect sales and marketing in the run-up to Christmas at the busiest time of the year?

Email will still be competitive but there are alternatives

MailChimp reported that in 2016 over 1.5 billion emails were sent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday wasn’t too far behind with 1.4 billion emails sent. This is of little surprise as most people would expect their email inbox to double or triple with new emails during ‘cyber week’.
In the weeks prior to GDPR day, you may have noticed a similar trend. An abundance of emails from businesses you hadn’t heard from for a long time were now actively asking if you wanted to hear from them again or if you wanted to see their updated privacy policies. While it’s up for discussion how necessary these emails were, many expected their email inboxes to look a little different post-GDPR.
Personally speaking, prior to GDPR’s implementation, I would receive an average of  40 emails every day without fail. More recently though, this has reduced to between 20 and 30. Some of these actually instigated a resubscription from myself or I regularly engage with them, but others I’ve not interacted with for a long time, and they didn’t seem to have changed anything.
One way you could be heard over the noise of your competitor’s emails is to target another inbox entirely. 95% of SMS messages are opened and read. Targeting text messaging inboxes could increase your visibility even after GDPR and can reawaken customers who are disengaged with your emails.
There are many creative ways to use SMS Marketing from rewarding loyal customers with free shipping or alerting customers to an exclusive deal that is time sensitive, but the easiest way to boost your sales is to make your customers happy. 80% of consumers haven’t received SMS marketing messages from their favourite brands and yet 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS. This presents your business with a huge opportunity to get ahead of the competition even after GDPR!

Cleaner data means better engagement

At first glance, it doesn’t look like much has changed post-GDPR. We’re still receiving marketing emails and text messages and if we didn’t want to receive them we could still opt-out or unsubscribe. From a consumer perspective, there should be a greater level of trust about where their personal data resides, how it’s processed, retained and secured when buying online.
Although preparing for GDPR was certainly no simple task, it did present a fantastic opportunity to clean up mailing lists. Return Path’s 2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report has revealed that 20% of all commercial email didn’t make it to the recipient. Although asking users & customers to opt-in may reduce mailing lists, it does ensure that those who do are providing genuine contact information leading to better conversion rates and a clearer indication of good and bad performing content.
In essence, from the consumer perspective it doesn’t appear that Black Friday will be any different than usual and for those working in the industry, it’ll be much the same. Perhaps ‘Buy Nothing Day’ will have a bigger effect on Black Friday sales in the future.
If you’re wondering how SMS, Email and multichannel marketing solutions fit into a post-GDPR world, our eBook may help.

Author Avatar
Jordana Makin

I'm the Marketing Team Lead for Esendex UK and Ireland, with a background in SEO and PPC. I'm always interested to see how our customers are using their products and want to deliver an excellent user experience.