We know - it seems like yesterday that you were just chilling on the beach with your piña colada and yet here we are, already talking about Black Friday.
Well, it’s never too early to start planning! And that’s particularly true when it comes to marketing. Black Friday it's the one day when consumers turn into shopping beasts, and if companies aren't ready, they might as well be sitting on the sidelines. So, why is it so darn important?
First off, it's all about the money, honey. Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season with a bang. People are out there, wallets wide open, ready to spend their hard-earned cash. It's like a retail feeding frenzy, and businesses want a piece of that pie.
But here's the kicker: everyone wants a piece of that pie. Competition is fierce. To come out on top, businesses need to prepare their marketing strategies well in advance.
In this article, we are going to unveil tips & trends for this year’s Black Friday, have a look at what has worked for other companies in the past and also discuss all the do’s and don’ts of a successful advertising strategy.
Black Friday in 2023 falls on November 24th. However, the preparations for Black Friday typically start well in advance, even months before the big day.
Here's a rough timeline for when companies should start preparing their marketing strategies:
This is when you can kick off your Black Friday marketing preparations. The first step should be to outline your Black Friday marketing strategy, including the specific deals, promotions, and campaigns you plan to run. This is also the perfect time to start designing your marketing materials, such as banners, graphics, and email templates.
Building anticipation early by posting teaser content on social media is also a key step. If you have a newsletter, you could also send email teasers out to your subscribers. Finally, it is important to ensure that your website is ready for increased traffic and update it with any necessary landing pages or countdown timers.
After setting everything up, it is important to continue building momentum and ensuring that everything is on track. If you plan to offer any any early bird promotions or pre-Black Friday sales, this is the perfect time to launch them and to start generating interest and sales.
This could also be a great opportunity to test your website and e-commerce platform to make sure they can handle increased traffic and transactions, and also to get to know your audience better, and identify any particular product or service that resonates the most with your audience.
As the month progresses, it is time to intensify your marketing efforts. At this point you can increase your Black Friday-related posts on social media and send out reminders to your email subscribers about the upcoming Black Friday deals.
For e-commerce, make sure your inventory and stock levels are in good shape for the expected demand. Most people will wait until the very last minute to make their purchase, so it is worth ensuring that you have enough product in stock until the very end of your campaign.
In the final weeks leading up to Black Friday, maintain a high level of activity. Start running countdowns and flash sales to create a sense of urgency. At this stage, monitoring and optimisation is crucial: even if you have a good number of sales coming in, you should always keep an eye on how your campaign are performing in order to maximise their effectiveness.
Most of your competitors will probably be promoting their own campaign, so this is the time to make sure you are on top of your game.
The final push (so dramatic!).
At this point, you might think that the hardest part is over. Well - don’t be fooled! This is the week most of your potential customers have probably been waiting for to make their purchase and get the best possible deal. People online are researching you and your competitors to see who can offer them the best price. You need to make sure to stay relevant during this time, maybe even more so than you have been doing for the past two months.
At this stage, it is key to monitor your campaigns in real-time and be ready to make adjustments if necessary.
As we all know, marketing is an ever evolving, continuously changing, perpetually developing field (yes - that’s what happens from doing too much SEO).
What worked in 2022 might not work again this year: new technologies are continuously being developed, new social media launched and new graphic design trends are shaping the face of marketing every year, if not every few months!
It is always hard to make previsions what’s going to happen, but here are a few 2023 trends that we think could be worth keeping in mind for this year’s black friday campaign:
If you are planning on using emails to advertise your Black Friday sales, you might want to avoid subject lines like "Black Friday starts now!" or "Our biggest sale is happening now!".
I mean, c’mon. You must be tired of that too.
These kinds of subject lines have become a bit cliché. This year, try injecting some creativity into your subject lines, experimenting with emojis or wordplay to stand out from the crowd.
Last year, many inboxes featured sleek black-and-white designs, which not only looked chic but also adapted well to Dark Mode. With 40% of all email opens happening in Dark Mode, it's crucial to ensure your emails are easily readable and engaging, regardless of the display mode.
Beyond just using the recipient's first name, we anticipate businesses tailoring their Black Friday campaigns more closely to individual subscribers.
Dynamic content recommending deals on recently viewed items or promoting products related to past purchases can make your emails more appealing. If you are unsure on how to do that, we offer professional creative and technical email marketing consultancies. Get in touch to know more.
With the majority of emails being viewed on mobile devices, expect to see more mobile-specific messaging, including calls to action (CTAs) that emphasise tapping rather than clicking.
Businesses are likely to embrace one-column email layouts to enhance the mobile experience further.
‘Tis the season for gift guides, not just on social media but also in your emails. Brands are increasingly using this tactic in their Black Friday campaigns to make it easy for shoppers to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones.
You can use many techniques to boost gift guides: maybe a quiz to find out what the best present for your loved ones could be, or maybe let your audience know what has been the best selling products for dads last year, and so on.
This year, it is all about personalisation, so make sure you are giving your audience what they already want.
Even though we just said that marketing is an ever-evolving field, examining past marketing campaigns can be a valuable way to understand what makes a campaign stand out. This should always be considered in the context of the specific market existing at that moment in time.
In 2022, despite concerns about a weaker global economy and inflation, Black Friday e-commerce sales soared to a remarkable $9.12 billion online. Shopify reported a record-setting Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, with independent businesses worldwide generating $7.5 billion in sales. This marked a 19% increase from the previous year, emphasizing the profitability of online shopping.
An overwhelming 84% of consumers expressed an intent to compare prices for the best discounts during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. This underscores the high price-sensitivity of consumers during this period, necessitating smart pricing strategies for online retailers. Utilising price tracking tools turned out to be crucial for businesses, that could use them to monitor competitors' prices efficiently and offer the most compelling deals.
The adoption of Buy Now Pay Later options also gained traction on Black Friday, with a 78% increase compared to the preceding week. Such flexibility can encourage shoppers to fill their carts with more products, and will very likely still be a very successful marketing technique this year. So if you haven’t yet, make sure to have at least one option for flexible payment ready to go on your website.
And once again, mobile commerce experienced record-breaking success, with 48% of online sales made via smartphones on Black Friday. Given the consistent growth of mobile sales over the past few years (as per Statista's data, mobile's share of retail sales increased from 3.5% in 2018 to nearly twofold, at 6.9%, in 2022, with projections indicating it will surpass 10% by 2025.), businesses should be well-prepared for the upcoming 2023 Black Friday by ensuring that their marketing strategies and websites are as mobile-friendly as possible.
And once again, mobile shopping was a huge hit on Black Friday, accounting for 48% of online sales. In 2018, mobile sales represented just 3.5% of retail sales, but by 2022, they nearly doubled to 6.9%. As experts expect this trend to continue, with mobile sales predicted to exceed 10% by 2025, this upcoming Black Friday businesses should do their best to make sure their marketing strategies and websites are as mobile-friendly as possible to make sure to not be left behind.
To sum up, the key things to remember to build a successful Black Friday marketing campaign are: