Everything you need to know for Black Friday 2023


Everything you need to know for Black Friday 2023

Black Friday is coming

There is a huge opportunity for hospitality businesses over Black Friday and so we've brought in our friends Toggle - hospitality gift card providers to explain in this blog post how you can make the most of it.

Guest blog by Toggle:

Black Friday 2023 05

What's the opportunity?

Black Friday 2022 was a rollercoaster. We saw over £3m worth of hospitality gift cards purchased via Toggle, in just one weekend.

So, over this last week we’ve been working closely with our data analyst to understand the nitty gritty details of how certain brands saw such success, and discover trends and patterns that you can utilise to boost your revenue this Black Friday.

Here’s all the fun, facts and figures that we found:

Black Friday is a week long

Many brands are feeding out their Black Friday offers on the Monday before, and running them all week. However, while the offers and purchases lurch upwards on the Monday, there is still a huge spike on Black Friday itself. So, people are happy to spend early, and are on the lookout for early deals, but the allure of the big day still exists.

You have to be in it, to win it.

Sure, you could run no discounts during November and still see 20% of all your Q4 gifting sales happen in this month. (Spoiler: December is where all the magic happens, even if you’re not trying!)

However, we did some research and found that if you ran a 20% discount on Black Friday, you’ll see 45% of your gifting sales happen in November. More than doubling your revenue in a month that is already the second busiest of the calendar.

Conversion rates from emails are amazing

Honestly, this is so powerful and may be one of the biggest takeaways from our research.

The average conversion rate (that is, the percentage of people who landed on a webshop that then went on to make a purchase) across the week of Black Friday was 11.2%. That’s really, really good.

When people arrived on a webshop from an email, however, the conversion rate was consistently around 20%. We know you’re good at maths, but that’s 1 in 5 people who landed on your webshop from an email made a purchase. That’s crazy high.

Those who landed on your page from social media on the other hand, generally had a conversion rate around 4%. Let’s be clear, that’s still a pretty good ecommerce conversion rate - but it’s nothing compared to what you can achieve.

The lower the gift card value…

Our analyst is always knee deep in data, and the things he pulls out of the mud is pretty miraculous.

For example, he found that the lower the gift card value, the more likely it is to go unredeemed! For cards that have a 365 day expiry period, 49% of £5 gift cards (purchased by the customer, not FOC cards sent as gifts), goes undeemed. This trend continues with 30% of £10 cards being unredeemed, 21% of £20 and even all the way to £200 cards, where 11% of them are unredeemed! Two. Hundred. Pounds.

Digital rules

As you might expect, the majority of cards purchased across the Black Friday week were digital. 79% of all purchases were digital / online purchases. 14% opted for a physical card purchased online, and 7% were physical bought in-venue.

People spend a lot longer on your webshop on the big day

This is a stat that surprised us a little, but there must be something in it.

People spend twice as long on webshops on Black Friday itself than any other day: 3 minutes. So, make sure your shop is looking as good as it can be; full of information, and loaded with all sorts of other cards, experiences, and merchandise. They may only be there to bag themselves a saving, but getting the range of what you do across while people are in browsing mode is a big opportunity further down the line.

If it’s an experience, make it ‘For Two’

Our data indicates that experiences specifically ‘for two’ sell incredibly well over the Christmas period.

Whether it's for a cheap date night or they want to save some money on a christmas gift for a loved one, if you package up a ‘date night for two’ or a ‘tasting menu for two’ or a ‘spa getaway for two’, you’ll boost your Toggle sales!

Infact, during week 51 (comprising Christmas Eve & Boxing Day), ‘For Two’ experiences sell roughly 5x times better than any other experience.

Most people view on mobile, but spend more on desktop

75% of people viewed a webshop did so on a mobile, and 21% were on a desktop.

However, desktop performs a little better with a longer viewing time, a higher conversion rate and a higher average transaction value: £71 average spend for desktop compared to mobile’s £62.

Who is buying?

Toggle gifting stats have never really varied that much. Around 60% of purchasers were female and 40% male, but crucially, from our deep dive into web-analytics, they’re folk who are into dining, arts, travel, clothing, health, and sports.

Additionally, it seems gift cards have a broad age range appeal, but topping the charts were the 26 to 35 years old bracket.

Is Cyber Monday a thing?

It is and it isn’t. While most brands ran an offer until Monday, there was no noticeable spike. But that’s not really a negative. The purchasing levels on Monday were broadly similar to all the days that lead up to Black Friday, which were very high anyway. So, to say that level continued after Black Friday, into the weekend and Monday, is quite amazing.

Here are your ‘Golden Rules’

So whether it’s Black Friday, Boxing Day, a summer bank holiday sale, or anything else, you can use all the insights and create a really strong offer that your guests will love, but that works for you, too.

  1. Make sure your webshop is full of branding, info and has a punch.
  1. Set up a specific product for a specific event. Branding a gift card as a ‘Black Friday gift card’ will boost your gifting sales… even without a discount (we’re not sure why this works either)
  1. Limited availability campaigns bring incredible success. The most successful campaigns this year were heavily discounted cards where only 1,000 (for example) were available. This creates an urgency; driving customers to make a faster decision
  1. Restricted validity also works wonders. Launching promotions with a time limit can help you bring guests in during the quietest time of the year or even just give you a great revenue boost to impress the board with. E.g. 50% off all gift cards, but they can only be redeemed between Jan 1st & Jan 31st 2024 (how are we nearly in 2024!?)
  1. Look after your most loyal customers. Whilst offering 20% off to everyone is great; we had a few of our customers also send a specific email with a higher discount to their database. Not only does this mould your customers into brand champions, but it can build your database in order to broaden your universe and engage with more of the public. Or maybe only offer the discount to your opted in customers through the use of a code, and keep it private.
  1. With that being said, 20% is the sweet spot.

Make sure you utilise these tricks for Black Friday and onwards! Hospitality marketers have been missing this trick that retail marketers have been doing for decades. Start discounting your promotions for the post-christmas sales and make sure you have guaranteed bookings for January and beyond.

Many thanks to our friends and Toggle for putting this guest blog together - we hope it's been useful. Good luck!

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