It’s Black Friday week, also known as Thanksgiving in the United States. This week typically kicks off the holiday spending season but since 2020 has thrown everything into disarray, it’s hard to know what to expect. So, rather than wonder, we surveyed hoteliers to understand how the industry was preparing for Black Friday. In case you missed the webinar where we shared the results, here are the highlights.
1. Hoteliers aren’t expecting miracles
Almost 45% of hoteliers are expecting results for this year’s Black Friday campaigns to be worse than 2019. About 24% expect results to be better than 2019 and 32% are expecting similar results. Since most travelers are dreaming about vacations right now, I personally think that there’s a ton of opportunity to drive business this week with smart, personalized promotions.
2. Expect Discounting
While we always advise hoteliers to focus on value add promotions, this is one occasion where price discounting appears to be the norm. In 2019, 100% of hoteliers surveyed used price discounts as a promotional tactic. 39% used value add promotions and 22% used special terms.
This year, 83% will use price discounts. The most popular discount is 20-30% off, followed by more than 30%. 15% of hoteliers said that they won’t be discounting this year.
3. Special Terms Abound
One thing we learned during the pandemic is that travelers are looking for more flexibility in case they need to cancel their plans. This year, 100% of hoteliers plan to include special terms, including ‘No Cancellation’ policy and ‘Free Cancellation’, as an offer, knowing that people will need additional flexibility until Coronavirus is over.
4. Social Media is the Channel of Choice
92% of hoteliers plan to promote their Black Friday deals on social media this year, making it the most popular channel for promotion, followed by email at 87%. Only 50% of hotels will be putting ad dollars behind promotions this year.
If you don’t already have your offers, emails and graphics together, you better get going! It’s important to begin driving awareness well in advance of Black Friday. Make it known to your audience that you’re having a Black Friday promotion and to look for it. Outline when the promotion starts, how long it will last, and where to watch for when it goes live. Entice customers with countdown timers, hints of what the offer will be, and ways to sign-up to hear about it first when it goes live.
When thinking about your email campaigns, know that Black Friday sees some of the highest volume of email during the year. Be prepared by creating and scheduling campaigns in advance. Due to increased market noise, promoting once will have limited results. Layer your campaigns continually throughout the weekend.
To see some great Black Friday promotion examples and to learn about how to drive even more revenue from promotion-seeking travelers, check out our webinar, now available on demand. Be sure to watch til the end to see which segments we think will convert the most this holiday. And, most importantly, have a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving this year.