The weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is always one of the biggest events of the year in terms of retail shopping. This is true of both in-store and online sales. In fact, research indicates that Black Friday online sales in the United States alone reached approximately $7.4 billion in 2019.
Of course, 2020 sales will no doubt look quite different from previous years because of the COVID-19 pandemic that's swept across the globe. Nevertheless, it will still be possible to have a successful weekend in terms of cyber sales. By starting your sales promotions early, providing consumers with previews of what you're going to offer, and being transparent, you'll be able to enjoy significant profits from Black Friday/Cyber Monday marketing.
Start Promoting Early
Getting a jump on your sales promotion is one of the most critical ways to achieve success on the weekend in question. Amazon is a case in point. The company always sees huge success with its "Prime Day," in large part because of their advance advertising. Look for ways to emulate Amazon according to the capabilities and resources of your business. For example:
- Consider offering "starter deals." If you offer smaller discounts and promotions before the main Black Friday/Cyber Monday event, then your consumers may get excited, and become more willing to engage with your brand.
- Take control of the narrative. Traditionally, Black Friday has started on... well, Friday. However, in recent years companies have made significant tweaks to the Black Friday narrative. For instance, in 2019 Walmart began its Black Friday sale on Wednesday night instead of Friday morning. Consider if your company can take control of the Black Friday narrative in similar ways. By starting the sale earlier, you'll give your consumers a chance to easily alter their shopping behavior to online vs in-store. You may also get a serious "leg up" on competitors by beating them to the punch.
- Determine the best time to start your sales promotion. Some experts recommend launching email marketing and paid advertising campaigns about three weeks in advance of the main event. This allows your brand to gain momentum without overspending on marketing costs. Of course, your own time frame should depend on the nature of your business, product, and target demographic.
- Be present on all platforms. Whether it's TV, social media, or programmatic advertising networks, make sure that you're getting in front of your target audience early.
- Consider special promotions. Think about talking up digital "door buster" sales, or other special promotions designed to create a sense of urgency, and drive early sales that contribute to your target goal.
- Leverage direct email marketing to bring back loyal customers. Consider offering your existing customers special discounts or other exclusive offers (e.g. a "Manager's Special" that provides an extra 10% off selected products). This tactic, coupled with your special promotions, can amplify your marketing efforts by creating word of mouth among satisfied customers.
Show Previews of What You're Offering
You'll also want to make your upcoming offers the centerpiece of your marketing efforts. By providing previews of special deals, you'll be able to grab the attention of your target audience and encourage them to participate in the event.
There are a number of ways to deliver previews to your consumer base. For instance, you can run TV commercials, place OTT ads, or bid on digital ads to maximize exposure. As an example of this, a clothing retailer can highlight items from its upcoming 60%-off cyber sale in addressable OTT ads weeks in advance.
Understandably, many people may be wary of venturing out to shop at brick-and-mortar locations. Some consumers may want to avoid large crowds at all costs, for health-related reasons or other considerations.
To downplay such concerns, it pays to be transparent. Let your target audience know exactly what to expect should they visit your store. For example, mention the safety precautions that your company has implemented, such as social distancing requirements, or restrictions on the number of guests allowed inside at one time.
In addition, your consumers may feel that they're going to miss out on certain deals if they don't visit the physical location. If that's the case, share the specifics on which deals are in-store only, and which ones can also be accessed over the Internet. (In fact, you may want to consider offering the same deals online and in-store.)
By following the strategies discussed above you'll be able to enjoy a profitable Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend despite changed circumstances. In some areas, you may even see a better return! Of course, partnering with a reputable media partner can help you to maximize your marketing ROI as you plan for the key retail event of the year. With an experienced team at your side, you'll be able to hit your mark and reap the benefits of your ad spend.