Articles

How To Avoid The Black Friday Blues

Posted by TJ Lewis on Nov 17, 2016 12:48:33 PM

It’s that time of year again, when the magical holiday season, with the promise of goodwill, cheer, and joy, begins with intolerably long lines, pushing, screaming, and sometimes even punching…all to get a TV for pennies on the dollar. Yes, Black Friday weekend is rapidly approaching.

With each passing holiday season, the buy-in on Black Friday increases. In 2005, U.S. consumers spent a reported $26 billion on Black Friday. Ten years later, that number has almost tripled, to over $67 billion.*1 Last year, 100 million shoppers turned out for Black Friday and more than 243 million consumers shopped over Black Friday weekend. That means more than two-thirds of the U.S. population were out shopping, and experts say this year will not disappoint either. With so many consumers on the hunt for this year’s big “doorbuster” deals, marketers must do everything they can to separate themselves from the competition.

 

Black Friday Spending in the US | Fundivo
Provided by: Fundivo

 

So, what should you keep in mind while marketing your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals this year? Here are some Black Friday best practices:

 

Communicate Early & Often

As Black Friday weekend draws near, it is important to get your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale information out early. Most shoppers visit more than one store or website during Black Friday weekend. You want to give them the necessary time to plan your store into their deal hunting agenda.

You also want to send several emails to your customers prior to Black Friday informing them of your special offers. In order to create a sense of urgency and ensure higher open rates, email subject lines should include words like “Sale”, “x% Off”, “Free Shipping” and “Now”. And, don’t be overly concerned about email frequency. Consumers expect to receive more promotional emails around Black Friday weekend. According to Yesmail.com, consumers tend to open “Black Friday” themed emails at higher rates earlier in the week, and less on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.*2

 

Harness The Power of Social Media

It’s no surprise that social media plays a huge part in Black Friday/Cyber Monday marketing. However, the way users are engaging their favorite brands leading up to Black Friday can be surprising. In the past, brands would wait to inform customers of sales and deals on Facebook until the day of Black Friday. After years of lackluster results, brands have noticed that Facebook customers tend to interact more the weekend before Thanksgiving and are adjusting their tactics accordingly. Twitter continues to maintain clout for last minute sale/promotion announcements. In the last three years, the biggest uptick in engagement has happened on Thanksgiving Day.

As an agile marketer, it is important to understand the different social media platforms, how each performs differently for various strategies, and how to deploy relevant communications through each channel.

 

Think Mobile

The growing adoption of responsive email communications is driving higher mobile web traffic as consumers use their smart devices to shop and purchase products this year. For example, in-store mobile search activity is up 30% from last year.

“Showrooming”, i.e., consumers using smartphones to comparison shop in-store, and “reverse showrooming” (or “webrooming”), i.e., consumers shopping on-line but then purchasing in-store, are now established behavioral norms of today’s digitally connected consumer. According to a Harris poll, reverse showrooming is more common than showrooming. In the US, 69% of consumers have practiced reverse showrooming, while only 49% used mobile devices to showroom.*3 Savvy brick-and-mortar retailers, who originally felt threatened by the encroaching e-commerce and the dilutionary impact of showrooming, now realize that mobile technologies can put them at a net advantage over their online counterparts. By integrating offline and digital, retailers are able to beat e-commerce competition by providing conveniences like same day in-store pickup of online orders, smartphone discounts, and the presence of a service driven, knowledgeable staff.

 

As consumer and brand participation in Black Friday continues to climb, the chances of easily capturing the attention of your customer's declines. Knowing how to reach consumers and engage them across multiple channels is the key to standing out in the sea of competition and avoiding the Black Friday blues.

 


 

References:
*1Cyber monday statistics and trends - See more at https://www.fundivo.com/stats/cyber-monday-statistics/#
*2 Social Media and Email Best Practices for Week-Of Black Friday Promotions - See more at http://www.yesmail.com/node/231/download/2a1ecb431b8c8199f93948fb6ac121ff
*3 Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized data from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, May, 2016.