Black Friday 2018 - How to Succeed in 2019
Black Friday! It's just about seven days after the busiest shopping week of the year, time for a resumé. I want to share my opinion with you from a digital marketing perspective and give you a little breakdown of what happened, to be even more prepared next year.
From a brick and mortar standpoint, thanksgiving and Black Friday are still the busiest shopping days, but traffic is declining. In 2018, it fell as much as 9 percent from the previous year. The number of people visiting stores in 2017 was 4 percent lower than in 2016. RetailNext Inc. analyzed in-store videos to count the shoppers. In 2016, there were 101.7 million people who braved the crowds. That's nearly 30 million more, just two years ago.
When the malls on Black Friday turn into scenes from a Bud Spencer & Terence Hill movie, it comes to no surprise the trend is shifting towards online shopping. More people went online since stores put their best deals on their websites and users are able to compare offers, prices and don’t have to worry about transportation. Online sales for Wednesday through Black Friday was 26 percent higher than in 2017, estimated Adobe Systems. In 2017, online sales rose 18 percent and sales hit a record of $7.9 billion. Forty percent of these purchases were done from mobile phones.
Both online & offline timing has become a factor ever more important. The best Black Friday deals are, surprisingly, not on Black Friday. Many retailers, including Amazon, offer deals earlier and earlier, upstaging Black Friday itself. The competition this year is so fierce, stores are innovating new ways to get your dollar.
Research reveals that the most deals for electronics are offered at the beginning of November. The best day for Christmas decor is November 22. Discounts are 23 percent on average. The best day to buy toys is the day before Thanksgiving. The number of deals hit their peak the week before Thanksgiving. The average in-store discount is 20 percent for the entire week. That discount increases to 37 percent on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Saturday.
So how can E-Commerce use this trend to their advantage?
The kind of companies best suited to benefit from the Black Friday madness are the ones approaching the event very strategically. When competing in a highly competitive, price sensitive market, preparation is key! Companies that run Lead ads BEFORE Black Friday to collect data are the ones that will immediately have a head start. We see a spike in CPM (Cost to reach 1000 users) so from an advertisers perspective we want a highly relevant target audience to show our conversion ads to.
In order to incentivize data collection and build an audience relevant to the products offered, companies could choose to give these early registration users the best deals first! This is a smart method of collecting data (high quality leads) and to sell even better on Black Friday.
Companies again extended the Black Friday quite long. Even one week after Black Friday there are still "We extended Black Friday" Ads running. Even letting normal BF Ads run after BF seems smart: User might think the company made a mistake and so the users are still hoping for very good deals.
In order to gain maximum attention in the shortest time frame, high discounts are necessary and the discount amount should be very visible. Companies running less attractive offers, say 5% off anything (that’s not a good deal for Black Friday), probably have not sold very well compared to competitors.
There are more ways advertisers can be successful during Black Friday / Black Week. If an E-Commerce store partnered up with influencers, that can be another way to leverage their reach and use them as an accelerator. Especially collection ads, showing a wide range of products next to another, dynamically adapted to the interests of the user, each with a discount, can give advertisers a higher chance of converting a sale.
In a nutshell: It is important to be aware of the importance of the data generated before and throughout the campaign. Data shows that there is a clear shift to the convenience of online shopping for the best deals on Black Friday. Price sensitive users, waiting for the best deal can be an interesting target audience for the future with incentivized deals and discounts, while advertisers can use influencers and their reach to leverage paid campaigns.
Be bold, be different!