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Big promotional events will continue to play a significant role in shaping consumer purchasing behavior, as participation will be high this year driving further traffic to online and offline channels.

Participation levels will be different for different promotional events: 95% of consumers plan to shop in Ramadan Sales, and 85% plan to shop this Black Friday and the Dubai Shopping Festival. The focus of the consumer categories also varies with the event. For GCC consumers, Ramadan is more about clothing, whilst on Black Friday electronics are more popular.

Consumers will be more driven by immediate cash discounts for small domestic appliances or holiday bookings, and by percentage discounts for clothing & shoes, technology, and accessories.

Simon-Kucher's latest global study also indicates crucial insights about changing consumer perspective.

About 35% of consumers plan to spend less on promotional events. The situation is more valid in the UAE, while a comparatively higher proportion of KSA consumers still expect to increase their spending.

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64% of respondents are searching for a good deal when visiting a store or website. Emre Ozan Aydın, Senior Manager, Dubai office explains – “Brands are losing power over influencing consumer choices, with just over one in two shoppers selecting their favorite brand over promotions”.

Moreover, despite continuous investments from retailers, 25% consumers are skeptical towards getting access to more appealing discounts through loyalty programs, indicating a global need for brands to rethink customer loyalty strategy.

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To emerge from the promotion days as winners, Lovrenc Kessler, Managing Partner at Simon-Kucher, Dubai office, outlines 3 actions that consumer goods and retailer companies can focus on to reduce consumer skepticism and build longer-lasting relationships:

1. Develop the winning promotion plan for Big Promo events

* Select your top performing products for promotions based on type of event, efficiency, positioning and customer voice, and tailor your promo to the assortment for the event.

* Define depth of the promotion by analyzing the volume uplift and discount expectations of the consumer

* Employe the most effective communication method for consumers to attract further volume

2. Define your e-commerce strategy

* Develop an articulated e-commerce aspiration outlining clear goals such as profit, data collection and brand building

* Identify priority partners for successful realization of the vision and clearly define the role of direct-to-consumer model

* Develop e-commerce plan by optimizing fulfillment model, page visibility, content management and marketing mix with clear KPIs

3. Rethink your loyalty program and earn consumers’ heart

* Rethink goals of your loyalty program with right KPIs to measure success 

* Enhance the loyalty scheme with consumer-appreciated rewards and ease the redemption process, and communicate the value

* Segment consumers and apply test-and-learn to calibrate balance between rewards and topline gains

About the Study: Big Promotional Days Study was conducted the global consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners, where 20,500 consumers from across 23 countries were surveyed.

Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants: