Black Friday is infamous among Americans and the world as one crazy whirlwind of a day for consumers. BrandData CEO Georgie Summerhayes told B&T how brands can shine through the chaos:
Last Friday was Black Friday in the US, the post-Thanksgiving Day sale when Americans buy consumer electronics.
It’s also an entertaining event for those of us who enjoy watching the wrestling at Walmart. This year’s lowest-of-the-low award goes to the woman who was filmed snatching a veggie steamer out of a child’s hands – the YouTube video has more than 7 million views right now.
This, right after the day people are supposed to be thankful for what they have.
Originally an American invention, Black Friday is gaining traction in the UK and now Australia too; Aussies spent an estimated $73 million in Black Friday sales last week – up 166% from 2014.
But the spending spike couldn’t help Dick Smith, whose share price crashed almost 70% on Monday after it announced a $60 million earnings impairment against hard-to-sell inventory.
So where have the ‘Techxperts’ gone wrong? Is it a product issue, a service issue, or a marketing issue?
Well, according to social analytics firm BrandData’s tracking, the fault doesn’t lie with their online marketing.
Dick Smith is ranked third of all electrical retailers, behind only Harvey Norman and The Good Guys, with an engagement rate of 0.76%. This isn’t crash-hot, but the category as a whole averages only 0.3%.
Hardly surprising. The electrical retailers are serving the public an uninspiring diet of non-stop promotions, competitions to win products, and sales announcements. There is absolutely nothing about their brand proposition or offering — only price cuts.
This doesn’t bode well for the future. If price is their only differentiator, they will surely lose in the battle against the online retailers.
Once upon a time, Dick Smith did have an edge — after-sales service and tech expertise — when you could “Talk to the Techxperts.” But those days are gone.
“The staff know very little if anything about the products they’re selling,” commented ‘Barters’ on News.com.au.
So there’s a service problem. And probably, a product problem too.
“Dick Smith is the Aldi of home electronics,” runs another comment on the same website. “They sell crappy no name TVs, or brand name TVs you can get cheaper elsewhere.”
Still, Dick Smith’s issues could prove to be a good thing for customers, since they’ve announced a 70% off clearance sale this Saturday to clear excess inventory.
We might even get a few funny YouTube videos out of it.