Every year on the last Friday in November, online and offline stores offer exclusive sales and offers around the world, which is known as ‘Black Friday’ or in the Middle East as ‘White Friday’. Those offers have cemented their place in the Middle East’s annual calendar as shoppers plan for this day all year. Businesses, whether they’re big or small, expect great revenue because of that day.
This article discusses the history behind the White Friday sale and a few tips to help your e-store shine and thrive during this time of the year.
The history behind the White Friday sale
White Friday is the Middle Eastern equivalent of the successful Black Friday, which started as a tradition in the United States. It is an annual shopping event associated with Thanksgiving where customers are presented with thousands of sales, deals, and discounts on almost all products and services.
[blockquote]Emiratis are planning on spending around 1068 AED per person in both online and brick-and-mortar stores. [blockquote]
White Friday vs. Black Friday: key differences
While Black Friday has its roots in the United States, marking the beginning of the Christmas and end-of-year sales and shopping season, White Friday has become a significant event in the United Arab Emirates and other parts of the Middle East. Unlike Black Friday, which follows Thanksgiving, White Friday has been adapted to respect the cultural and religious sentiments of Islam. In places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, White Friday doesn’t just signify a shopping spree but is a testament to the region’s rapid adaptation to global trends. While in the US, you might find deals on a range of products, in the UAE, top brands like Samsung, Apple iPhone, and Sony often offer exclusive White Friday deals, especially on laptops and consoles.
How did the White Friday tradition start in the Middle east?
White Friday started after Ronaldo Mouchawar, Souq.com’s CEO, noticed in 2014 how American shopping habits changed when discounts and deals were put front and center. He believed that something similar in the Middle East could be just as successful. He wanted to do an activity that raises awareness around eCommerce and at the same time increase web traffic, ultimately drive more sales for businesses.
However, there were several opinions about choosing a date other than November, such as linking it to Eid al-Fitr, Ramadan, or Hajj, for example, as a public holiday or regional occasion that fits the Arab world’s traditions. But then, they decided to rename the day from Black to White, as Friday represents a religious specificity and a social occasion for Arabs and Muslims in the region.
After the success of Souq, many online and offline stores have adopted the same concept and started planning for this day every year with attractive deals and deals. Among the most popular online stores that offer the best White Friday offers and discounts are:
Customer Behavior on White Friday
The allure of White Friday deals has transformed online shopping habits in the UAE and neighboring countries. From Dubai’s bustling city life to the serene landscapes of Oman, consumers eagerly await this annual event. Top brands, from Apple iPhone to Samsung, become trending searches as everyone hopes to snag a great deal. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, there’s a noticeable spike in searches for video games and consoles. Meanwhile, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, tech products like laptops and UHD devices often sell out within hours. With the AED being a strong currency, many international brands also offer exclusive deals in the region.
Related: 6 ideas to Drive Black Friday Sales
The Role of Technology in White Friday Sales
Online shopping has seen a massive surge in the Middle East, especially in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Egypt. With the rise of e-commerce platforms, shoppers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and beyond have access to a plethora of top brands at their fingertips. On White Friday, tech giants like Samsung and Sony often release exclusive deals, making products like UHD TVs and laptops more accessible. The convenience of multiple checkout options, including various credit cards, and the lure of extra discounts have made online shopping during White Friday a super sale event. Moreover, platforms ensure warranties on products, enhancing trust among consumers.
7 tips to help your e-store boom on White Friday sale
1. Update your homepage
Update the home of your website with banners that promote the upcoming sale. You can create a particular category of offers and link the banner to this category.
You can also add the end date of the promotions to the banners to create a sense of time sensitivity.
2. Send discount code via emails
When it comes to email marketing, you need to have a comprehensive list of emails. If you don’t have your email list, get in touch with all your old customers and offer them a unique discount code for registering in your email list. Or try running some ads to build your list before White Friday starts.
Also, add people who purchased in the last 30 days. This way, you will reach more customers, and your brand will be fresh in your customers’ minds.
And don’t forget to keep a close eye on the following:
- Correct links: Verify that the products are with the correct links so that people can go directly to your product pages to make their purchases.
- Highlight your discount: Remember to mention the great advantage of the discount on the email subject to help motivate clicks.
- Email subject: Create an exciting title to motivate clicks.
Discounts can be offered by product category, 2 1 or 3 2 offers. In communication, it is essential not to confuse the consumer. Also, reporting the amount of discount in your currency can attract more attention than a percentage.
3. Payment methods and shipping
Offering multiple forms of payment and free or fast shipping is highly valued by customers. So, make sure that your website has a page that clearly states the available payment methods, and the more you offer the better. At the same time, offering free shipping – for example when a customer’s cart surpasses 150AED – can be a great advantage. Try to work with multiple shipping companies at the same time as this is a very busy time of the year and you don’t want your customers to complain about late shipments.
4. Extend your sale
Extending your sales is an effective marketing strategy for White Friday, which has become very common.
By extending your campaign, you can attract more customers and make more sales throughout the weekend, not just in one day. Some companies also make special offers in the week preceding this date.
Since White Friday sale bargain searches tend to be the most popular, you should focus your strategy on that first. For example, you can extend your promotions and create themed offers on Saturday and Sunday.
5. Optimization for mobile
Mobile phones have developed with more functionality, as we use our phone approximately 80 times a day, to answer messages, browse and make purchases. Purchases on mobile devices increase year after year.
To take advantage of the White Friday traffic flow, it is crucial to create mobile-friendly designated pages with special offers. Considering that everything has to go fast on White Friday, the purchase process cannot stop at a complicated payment gateway. The design of the online store has to be focused on quick sales.
Especially on mobile phones, the payment process must be very simple. Being able to pay with a mobile application facilitates the purchase.
6. Send cart reminders
Install an abandoned cart reminder on the web to encourage interested users to finish their purchases. It is an excellent technique to improve the conversion rate of e-commerce.
To make it more attractive, you can add a promotional code in the reminder, which is valid for a limited time.
7. Paid social campaign
To get the most out of this White Friday, extend the campaign to ads on social media. Here are some tips:
- Launch attractive offers to combat saturation:
On popular shopping days such as this, the competition and the costs of your campaigns will go up. To ensure conversions, you must have a competitive offer and include accelerators to motivate the user to click.
- Create campaigns focused on sales:
Consumers are predisposed to buy on these dates, so take advantage of the momentum with conversion-to-sale campaigns (web or app) and pause interaction or lead generation campaigns.
- Use remarketing with discounts:
White Friday is the perfect date for remarketing campaigns. Target users who have visited your website and offer them a discount on the products they have been looking at or have left abandoned in the cart.
The most recommended formats for this are Catalog and Dynamic Ads.
- Try social shopping:
Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shopping already allow you to buy directly from within the social network, so these dates can be an excellent opportunity to start testing this functionality.
Challenges Faced by E-Stores During White Friday
E-stores, from local favorites to international giants like Carrefour, face a myriad of challenges during White Friday. The surge in online shopping, especially from places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other parts of the UAE, often leads to website crashes. With consumers looking for the best White Friday deals on everything from home décor to laptops and Apple iPhones, maintaining inventory becomes a hurdle. Checkout processes need to be seamless, especially when dealing with multiple currencies, from AED to Bahraini dinar.
The Future of White Friday Sales
The future of White Friday sales in the United Arab Emirates and its neighboring countries looks promising. As online shopping continues to grow in places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia, we can expect even more exclusive deals from top brands. With advancements in technology, the next White Friday might see a surge in sales of trending products like video games, UHD devices, and the latest Apple iPhone models. Moreover, as e-commerce integrates more deeply with physical stores, shoppers might enjoy benefits like extended warranties and faster checkouts, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
Related: Top 10 Trending Products to Sell Online in the UAE in 2023
Do you have an e-store?
Creating a functional e-store can help set you apart from the competition. It allows you to reach your customers and understand their behavior, boost your sales, manage your inventory and so much more. If you do not have an online store, you can set up a modern and flexible e-store through the GoDaddy E-store.
GoDaddy E-store offers fully customizable templates that are built to look significant, giving you the ability to customize them to your unique style or brand. It also supports multiple currencies, real-time shipping quotes, payment methods, and inventory management tools that track purchase across all your marketplaces. To learn more about GoDaddy E-store, check this guide.
White Friday is the shopper’s favorite day of the year. Almost all companies offer discounts and other incentives to buy. Consumers around the world expect great deals, and brands deliver. Use your e-store effectively to boost your White Friday sale, build buzz, and drive conversions with these tips.
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