What drives the Black Friday Sales Frenzy?

What drives the Black Friday Sales frenzy?

Why do people line up at 5 am, 3am or even 1 am to get the Black Friday Deals? What possesses people to stay up all night and wait in line in 30 degree weather? I personally classify this as insanity. Yet people all over America do it. Why?

When I was at Microsoft, we were able to create that same frenzy around a product launch. There was always a big launch event every time a new product or service was released. And, people would wait in line for that item, and frenzy was created.

I had colleagues that used to say, “We don’t do sustaining marketing. We launch products!” but what did they mean by this? What does Black Friday have in common with these “Product launches”?

Let’s take a look…

It all begins with the psychology of scarcity. People have some sort of innate reaction to the fear of losing access to something they desire. As an item or opportunity becomes less available, we lose our personal control over that item. The desire to preserve our freedom of choice and maintain control makes us desire that item even more than before.

So, if we limit the quantity, have a time deadline, or create a perceived competition for the item, that item becomes more attractive to us because we think we can’t have it. Our need for control takes over and we wait in line in zero degree weather at 5 in the morning to get it. And there you have one of the primary driving forces behind Black Friday.

Scarcity: Specific Deadline

To apply this in your own business you need to create a compelling reason why a customer can only have access to a particular item by a specific deadline or they will lose the opportunity. This is often portrayed as “Act Now while supplies last.” And “Offer ends Dec. 23rd”. Black Friday Deals are usually only available one day only.

Scarcity: Lost Advantages

A second method of creating a Black Friday-like scarcity is to point out what people will lose if they don’t take advantage of an opportunity. To do this you would identify for them their “lost advantages”, rather than focusing on the benefits they gain. What are they going to lose out on?

Scarcity: Competition

A third method of using scarcity to drive sales in your business would be to create the perception that if you doesn’t do this thing then someone else will and one will lose their chance of doing it. For example, “we only take the first 50 people”, or “Limited supplies available”. This suggests that their will be competition to get those spots and if you don’t act quickly, you will lose your chance to participate. Again, these are common techniques used to create a Black Friday Sales Frenzy.

Scarcity is a powerful tool of persuasion. Once you are aware of it, you can use it to improve your sales in your own business and even create your own version of a Black Friday Sales Frenzy.

About Debra Zimmer

After 25 years of growing entrepreneurial businesses at companies such as Microsoft, where she attracted 700,000 members into an online community in 18 months and then grew a second one to 250,000 members in 10 months, Debra Zimmer then struck out on her own to grow an online retail store to 6-figures of income and put it on AUTOPILOT for 3 years. With an engineering degree and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Debra is the undisputed expert in helping experts, entrepreneurs and executives to focus their brilliance and magnify their impact using social media and internet marketing tactics.

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