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LESSONS FROM BLACK FRIDAY

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09 December 2015

The biggest shopping day of the year in the UK and United States, do not know if we can say the same for Kenya but it definitely was a day fully awaited for by Kenyan citizens at least those who could save on their bundles and have a smartphone. With all the hype, deals, discounts, email alerts, text campaigns and social Ads who would not fall culprit participating in Black Friday.

I am reminded of a group of friends bargaining for one of us to get the Samsung Smart TV 42 inch for ksh1.00. Yes one shilling! I must say that was a good strategy for the e-commerce business, reason being if my friend can bargain then I can also ask my friends to bargain, driving much traffic to the e-commerce business. Did my friend get the TV at ksh1.00 well………?
From all the black Friday Saga which online stores like Jumia, Rupu, Kilimall, amongst others highly participated, I think a few lessons can be learnt from both the customer and the retailer.

  1. Embrace Technology – While most of the retailers have apps compatible with smartphones some do not. A good percentage of the Kenyan market use smartphones to conduct their activities, from mobile banking, taxi transport, bill payments and purchasing goods whether online or in mortar stores. As an online retailer it is due time that you invest in a mobile app or a mobile friendly website, though I prefer the mobile app as it is easier to maneuver through.
  2. Start campaigns early enough- We appreciate all the email alerts, and text campaigns to remind us of the great deals to look forward too, though I think there is room for improvement here. Rather than sending alerts every 2 hours on the D-Day which make those not wishing to participate uninstall the app; start campaigns early enough. Send out the text campaigns and alerts 2 weeks prior. This way there is hype to participate without getting offended by the too many alerts.
  3. Build partnerships- Who does not like extras? Build partnerships with complimentary products. For example purchase a laptop and get a hard disk too at a discounted rate or a flash disk. Build and invest in partnerships, you save on giving high discounts and still get high sales.
  4. To the individuals

  5. Save up on bundles- You do not want bundles running up on you. Ensure you have enough internet access to complete your discounted deal or all that time and hassle will be in vain. Purchase bundles or have access to Wi-Fi, and your assured of getting your deal on time.
  6. Do your research- Please, please, please do your research, there is no need to waste time and sleep late in the night, waiting for deals which may not exist or very few to participate in. Like my friend we did reach the ksh1.00, where many hours were spent bargaining but all was in vain. It was not clear if it was the 1st person to reach the ksh1 target or there were very limited TV’s being given. All in all before participating in the long awaited black Friday or any Mega Sale get as much information needed. Some deals are always too good to be true.

I must hand it to Jumia for a well conducted Black Friday.
I trust you will be better prepared for the next black Friday and get some good deals for yourself. After all who does not like a hot, too good to be true deal!
Grace Kamunde

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