Black Friday underlines the value of Print

Holiday creep may see more bargain hunters trust print to source pre-holiday promotions

Still reeling from the impact of COVID-19, many South African retailers this year will be deviating from the normal one-weekend promotional Black Friday, instead offering large discounts for the entire month of ‘Black November’ and beyond. Retailers are hoping this will boost and revive consumer spending, as well as offer a much-needed cushion for consumers whose pockets have been hard hit by the pandemic, allowing them to shop at their leisure to get ahead of their holiday spending. With online shopping having increased by at least 16% this year, retailers are expecting this trend to continue ahead of the festive season, with consumers adapting to shop from the comfort of their armchairs to stay safe from the Coronavirus. In light of the growth of online shopping, the question must be asked if print is still effective and relevant in communicating holiday promotions to consumers?  

The answer is a clear yes, according to Peter Metcalfe, Group Executive Sales & Marketing at Novus Holdings, who says that it is an issue of trust.   

“Although the landscape is continually changing, Print remains resilient. This is because Print has been proven to be a longstanding and trustworthy medium to communicate product and price promotions and deals to consumers, especially bargain hunters who compare multiple offers,” explains Metcalfe.  

According to research, when making purchasing decisions, consumers trust print advertisements 34% more than they trust search engine ads.  

When it comes to preferences, research from Two Sides suggests that 52% of consumers like to read product catalogues in print and on average, 45% of consumers agree that they like receiving printed leaflets delivered to their home, with an impressive 46% paying attention to them. The tendency to consume information from printed leaflets, partially addressed mail as well as direct advertising mail is higher than email marketing. The results indicate 46% would be more likely to take an action after seeing an advertisement on a printed marketing leaflet or in a printed newspaper or magazine, than they would if they saw the same ad online.  

“Printed promotional leaflets delivered to consumers’ post boxes allow shoppers to compare products and prices from various retailers at home, and in many instances, customers take the physical leaflets with them to verify the prices in-store while shopping,”  says Metcalfe. 

In addition, research by TwoSides suggests that print provides more privacy and security for consumers worried about potential online fraud. At least 71% consumers surveyed by TwoSides had privacy concerns with personal information being held electronically. 

This, says Metcalfe, could be an additional reason driving continued demand for retail inserts at Novus Holdings.  

Through the years, Novus Holdings has seen first-hand how the demand for retail inserts, or special promotions printed and distributed either via by “Knock & Drop” or inserted into newspapers, skyrocket during the period leading up to Black Friday and the festive season. This further indicates that retailers view printed promotions as an important tool in their marketing mix.  

Metcalfe says that ‘holiday creep’, or the prolonged deal-shopping periods advocated by retailers, means that there is a continued opportunity in printed advertising.   

“The fact that consumers are shopping online for certain deals is not a deterrent for Print. In fact, it presents an opportunity for marketers who understand that bargain hunters trust printed materials to source pre-holiday promotions to carefully plan their spending,” concludes Metcalfe.