For many residents across the Middle East and North Africa, it’s the seasonal sales event that needs no introduction. After making its debut in 2014, accompanied by an avalanche of deals and a flurry of shopping activity, White Friday has cemented its place in the region’s annual calendar as the online shopping event. In the years that followed, retailers have enjoyed a shopping bonanza that has grown to rival its western sibling and delight ecommerce businesses across the region.
This week, with the most recent White Friday event just around the corner, we wanted to share the history of the tradition and share a few tips on how to capitalize on one of the region’s largest shopping events. If you’re looking to learn about White Friday or just want to get in the shopping spirit, this is the post for you.
What is White Friday?
In the simplest terms, White Friday is the Middle Eastern equivalent to the massively successful Black Friday from the United States. It’s an annual shopping event that takes place in the final days of November, where customers are presented with thousands of sales, deals, and discounts on just about anything you can imagine.
The event began after Souq.com CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar witnessed firsthand how American shopping habits changed when discounts and deals were put front and center. He had a hunch that something similar in the Middle East could be just as successful.
In 2014 Souq.com, then the region’s largest e-commerce site, brought the idea of White Friday to the region as a way of raising ecommerce awareness, increasing web traffic, and ultimately driving more sales for business.
When is White Friday in 2019?
Though it started as a single day back in 2014, today retailers have expanded the event to span multiple days. With that said however, just like in the United States the main sale always lands on the Friday following the last Thursday in November.
In 2019, the official White Friday will start on the 22nd of November.
Three Strategies To Make Your White Friday A Success
Reinforce That This Is the BIGGEST Sale of the Year.
On White Friday, companies are selling everything from vacation deals and beauty items to electronics and pet accessories, but no matter what your online store is selling it’s important to let people know that this really is the BIGGEST sale of the year. While consumers are primed to make purchases during this time of year, you still need to reinforce that they will not find a better deal during the rest of the year. Try to capture the attention of your customers with an offer that would be almost impossible to turn down.
Create Deals With Banks, Credit Cards, and Installment Plans
Because the Middle East still transitioning from a society heavily reliant on cash transactions, many companies have incentivized the use of credit cards and online money transfers with extra discounts. You can take this even farther by offering monthly instalments with 0% interest for purchases on your site during the sale.
A Chance to Win a Prize
An old strategy that works surprisingly well is to promote a sweepstake where customers get one entry for every item that is bought during White Friday. The prize pool can be made up of many small items such as gift cards or merchandise or you can offer larger prizes such as travel or electronics. For a lot of customers, the potential to win an additional prize on top of the already impressive savings can be the final nudge they need to make a purchase.
White Friday, while inspired the west, has evolved into a truly Middle Eastern tradition where people can treat friends, family or even one’s self to something special. And with the right preparations, the holiday can extend beyond consumers to be a massive boon for your ecommerce business.