Retail Sales, Who Needs Them?

by Jim December 4, 2019

Black Friday exploded across the Australian retail landscape like never before. While it seems like every retailer from cartons to car dealers are getting in on the act, many are consciously avoiding the occasion. One of our clients chose not to participate thanks to stellar results this year, but for other businesses it can be a must-do event.

What I learned

  • Australia has finally taken to Black Friday
  • Why some businesses don’t partake
  • You don’t have to discount everything
  • Don’t discount the user experience
  • Are you doing Boxing Day sales?


Hey, welcome back Retailers. Here you go. It`s summer in Melbourne. You wouldn`t know right now. It`s about 12 degrees, and it is cold. I just saw the minimum. Look it up.

Black Friday frenzy

Now, over the weekend we had the big sales, we had the Black Friday sale. Now a lot of retailers were doing it, but there were some that decided not to. One of the ones was our client. Last year, she spent a lot on promoting Black Friday, discounted products heavily. This year she didn`t need to do it. And the reason for that was that business was going a lot better. She didn`t need to go and discount everything, and her profit was up 50% on last year. So she decided, `I`m not going to do one this year. I don`t need to.` That promoted a little bit of discussion on LinkedIn from a few people saying, `Yeah, well different things for different businesses,` which is true, right?

So there might be a lot of reasons like we saw some businesses were only discounting certain lines, which makes sense. But it`s interesting this time of year because I think for the first time in Australia, Black Friday has really taken over. I even heard car dealerships advertising Black Friday deals. So it`s going to be interesting to see what happens with Boxing Day sales this year, which has traditionally been Australia`s big sale day. So there`s more to come. But for this client, when she was 50% up … One of the main reasons that happened was because of her ads, and you can see here the ads in the last couple of months, how they`ve just really taken off in revenue. You can see the numbers year on year there, where we`ve only spent an extra 2%, but we`ve got an extra 417%. Or we`ve spent an extra $93, and we`ve made an extra $19,000 on what she did last year.

Still cover SEO

All that has come not necessarily from optimising the ads, right? Those upticks have come from optimising in what you would traditionally call SEO tasks, and they`re ones that we`ve been doing for years. Some SEOs do them, some SEOs don`t. But it`s about making everything work properly, and it`s about helping Google understand what your site is about so it can direct the right users to your site.

For instance, if you`re not doing ads and you didn`t do ads for Black Friday, you may have missed out on some significant amount of sales. Because when we go in and look for, say, women`s shoes on Google, we don`t see anything else except ads. So essentially page one organically now for a lot of these shopping-based searches, is actually page number two. It`s not really page number one, because you`ve got to get past all of this stuff all down here, all down here, all down here. And then we get to the number one organic result. So you`ve got to still do those SEO tasks. You`ve got to because they`re essentially about good user experience. There are some that are, say, Google-specific, like sitemaps, those sorts of things. You`ve got to do those as well. But by and large, it`s about making the site easier to use for the customers.

This was another interesting case of someone else choosing not to do Black Friday. This is a big label out of the U.S. called The Ordinary. I think it`s from DECIEM brands. They actually closed their shop and they closed their online retail store on Black Friday, but they had discounts leading up to that. So some may say, `Oh, that`s a bit of a gimmick.` Well, maybe, but there`s different ways to handle it, different ways to stand out from the noise.

I even saw some people getting upset that in Australia it had taken off, because Black Friday, it`s related to other things and bushfires. Yeah, so for the first time this year in Australia, Black Friday has really probably hit the Australian marketplace more so than any other year before. So it`d be interesting if it takes off again next year, and what`s going to happen to Boxing Day sales this year.

I`d be interested to know if you`re a retailer, what your thoughts are on this. Did you have a sale? Why not? Yes? Did it go well? If you`re an Australian retailer, are you going to do a Boxing Day one? Be very interested to know.

Hopefully that`s helpful, and we`ll see you next week. Thanks very much. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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