The month of November is guaranteed to keep retailers across the globe busy. While China’s Single’s Day, the world’s biggest online shopping day, took place only a few weeks ago, retailers have now fully set their sights on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in preparation for the busiest extended weekend in retail across Europe and the US.
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday phenomenon originates from the US, however the weekend is now cemented in the retail marketer’s calendar in Europe, with the UK, Germany and France taking the lead in consumer interest. Interestingly, in recent years we have increasingly seen Black Friday (originally relating to brick and mortar retail) grow more and more popular online, with consumers focusing on Black Friday deals online and looking for deals even during the week leading up to the day.
Shoppers in the UK spent an astonishing £1.1 billion on Black Friday in 2015, and £3.3 billion over the long weekend. Customers in the US spent $3.07 billion on Cyber Monday alone in 2015. This year’s Black Friday (25th November) is likely to exceed this, with experts predicting £5 billion in UK sales from Thursday 24th through to Cyber Monday on the 28th. Not surprisingly, consumer spend during Black Friday is predicted to double in the UK.
A sudden windfall in sales will certainly impact a retailer’s year-round bottom line (unless it cannibalises the Christmas period sales), which means most marketers will naturally need to look beyond Black Friday to understand the true effect of this new opportunity. It’s estimated that only up to 30% of Black Friday shoppers will return to buy from a brand again without any additional marketing. While Black Friday shoppers could be perceived to just be bargain hunters (and in some cases price may indeed be the only purchase driver) smart brands will use this opportunity to turn Black Friday & Cyber Monday consumers into repeat customers and brand loyalists.
Here are six tactical tips from our experts for you to do the same.
1. Know your audience
The most important factor in turning Cyber Monday bargain hunters into long-term advocates is – of course – data. Marketers need to collect, understand, detect patterns and group data into different audience clusters, while marketing to each cluster accordingly. However, this is where some brands stop and therefore fail to meet their full potential following Black Friday. In order to make the most of new data collected during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, brands needs to ensure they continue the process of understanding and detecting patterns immediately; introducing new cluster groupings as their customers’ behaviors change and develop. It’s easy to miss out on the opportunity as focus turns to Q1, however to make the most out of your success from Black Friday weekend in the long-term, this step should not be ignored
2. Keep on cross and up selling…and don’t forget about incentives
The best online campaigns are always adapting to users’ wants and needs. If a customer has purchased one item, your ads should, of course, begin promoting other relevant products and services that the customer might be interested in using the customer data you have collected.
However, you need to pay particular attention to how you market your ‘hero’ products; the true value for these products often comes from the additional accompanying products sold following the purchase of the ‘hero’ product. Knowing how your current customers behave after buying big ticket items in particular can influence how you go about the up sell for your newly acquired Black Friday weekend customers.
An additional easy win is to offer voucher codes and special promotions to your Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers. It’s likely that Cyber Monday customers are more price-sensitive; something to keep in mind when you select the appropriate promotions and start engaging with them for the first time after their initial purchase.
3. Make it easy for your customers from day one
With such a huge amount of competitive offers during this period, ensure your deals stand out and are prominent on-site: clearly highlight your key value proposition, your unique selling points and ensure your copy and CTAs are super clear and straight to the point. Especially the two first points are vital and if communicated properly, they can significantly enhance customer retention performance well after Cyber Monday.
While optimising the customers’ user experience is guaranteed to be on the to-do list for most retail marketers, the importance of a shopping experience that is easy and straightforward cannot go unstressed. However, the area that is often less talked about is customers’ post-purchase experience. Make sure you generate brand loyalty by keeping your customer excited about their purchase through informative personalised content and recommendations regarding the item after they have purchased it.
4. Maximise capturing new customers
To capture the highest number of potential customers as possible in the first place, it’s crucial to ensure your acquisition campaign is matching the increase in search volume during well ahead of the actual weekend. Historically, search volumes increase steadily up to a week in advance of Black Friday week due to customers conducting research on items they are looking to buy. Efforts for acquisition campaigns during this time when people are potentially unwilling to actually buy anything will not reach their full potential if you don’t then re-engage these users during the sales period and beyond.
It’s crucial to be thinking cross-channel both pre and past the Black Friday weekend. An integrated cross-channel strategy communicating a common message across all digital properties is required to capture modern shoppers. Cross-channel messaging is needed as without the co-ordination, users being displayed multiple different messages will decrease the ad recall in the long-term and potentially confuse customers long after the weekend. Building a visitor-centric data capture ability across all activities, not just owned media, but also paid and earned is the key differentiator in a cross-channel optimisation scenario. Applying data-science driven content targeting both in paid and owned channels is the holy grail however, and will reap you the best results!
5. Go beyond remarketing
As users dart around the Internet hunting for the juiciest deals in a limited time frame, you’re almost guaranteed to lose a percentage of your Cyber Monday traffic before they’ve converted.
For many customers the first experience may not be enough to fully understand and experience the brand; it is important to have consistent visibility and avoid disappearing from the digital landscape after key retail period through generic RLSA bidding and remarketing using Google’s unique ability to drive audience targeting through the display channels.
However to succeed in getting your newly acquired customers to buy again, it’s crucial to go beyond retargeting. Using Facebook’s targeting options to acquire new customers gives marketers the ability to more efficiently profile and segment customers. Customers acquired through Facebook are often more valuable long-term as you will be able to re-engage with them knowing more about them, making repeat purchase efforts easier. While Facebook’s organic reach has been a contested topic for a while, a good strategy here would be to seed campaigns first through paid activities, therefore generating a multiplier effect which turns into organic reach.
The ability to capture a customers’ email addresses will also mean in some case help marketers generate better value over other targeting technologies (i.e. cookies) as it allows for long-term targeting long after retargeting cookies have expired.
6. Be flexible with your budgets
While increasing your media spend ahead of Cyber Monday can boost your bottom line, overspending could eat into your overall budget and prevent you from capturing high value traffic over the following months.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday is now the most significant period in terms of search volume and user intent for retailers wanting to attract business from new audiences, but it’s important to keep your investment focused on your key performance indicators (KPIs) – and not only the traditional ones, but new, more sophisticated KPIs.
A great digital marketing agency will always let demand shape your paid media investment, and not the other way around, as it will have set firm objectives and clear key KPIs which are typically focused on the ratio of customer acquisition cost vs. value created.
The challenge here really, is to understand your true channel attribution to correctly appreciate the assisting effects (including incremental lift from impressions) on sales, and also not just judge value created on the immediate sale, but the longer term value represented by this customer.
Need help with your digital marketing strategy post Black Friday? Get in touch by emailing email@example.com