For many retailers, Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. Even if sales have been bumpy throughout the rest of the year, this day (and the weeks that follow) provides you the opportunity to make up for any deficit in revenue.
Mobile + Black Friday = A Winning Combination
If you still think mobile is a new channel for shopping, think again: Salesforce estimates that this year, 46% of all ecommerce purchases will be done on a mobile device.
But consumers aren’t just buying holiday presents on their phones: 63% use mobile to avoid long in-store lines, 58% use it to compare prices, and 45% use it to find coupons.
That means that if you aren’t mobile-ready with your sales and marketing strategy, you will most definitely leave money on the table.
What We Learned from Black Friday 2017
Last year was definitely a good year for mobile marketing and sales during the holiday shopping season. Top brands like Redbox, Francesca’s, and Hibbett Sports engaged their audiences through contests and giveaways, all leveraging SMS, MMS, push notifications, and mobile wallet. Here are a few of the lessons we can glean from last year.
Push Notifications Work More Than Ever. While push is always a great way to instantly get in front of a mobile subscriber, Black Friday proved even more successful with this mobile marketing strategy. Marketers sent 2.7 times more push notifications than usual on Black Friday...and subscribers opened them 2.6 times more than normal.
But don’t assume that simply sending more push notifications will get you great results. You need to carefully monitor open rates and unsubscribes if you plan to up your frequency. Also, pay attention to which offers you send via push actually get redeemed versus which get ignored.
We Can Do Better Leveraging Email
Interestingly, retailers didn’t properly leverage email marketing last year, which is a shame, especially since mobile and email work so well together. Research shows that last year, 66% of retailers didn’t bother sending abandoned carts emails, which meant they didn’t see as much revenue as they could have if they had used marketing automation for this.
Also, retailers didn’t fully leverage personalized emails, relying instead on cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all messages that didn’t really hit home with today’s savvy shoppers.
Let’s do better in 2018. Let’s make sure it’s easy to click from an email (personalized, based on a subscriber’s purchase history, of course!) to a mobile page, wallet, or app, and that we send exactly what our subscribers want.
Black Friday is More of a State of Mind Than One Day
For decades, Black Friday was a single day of mega deals for Big Box retailers. But as ecommerce took center stage, we started seeing sales bleed over into the following Monday, dubbed Cyber Monday.
Now brick-and-mortar retailers start their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day...or earlier. And the deals continue for the week following Thanksgiving.
There’s no rule here, really. While you may be able to concentrate sales by focusing on a single day with your mobile sales push, you may not reach everyone if they’re out shopping in stores. So consider extending your sales and promotions, or providing different deals for different days.
The key is not to make the sale period (or at least not the extreme deals) last too long or else you take away that sense of urgency that happens when shoppers only have a few hours to snag a television at 60% off.
Mobile Subscribers Like to Feel Exclusive
When you publish an identical offer on social media, email, and mobile, you take away the value for each channel. This year, create separate offers for each channel so that shoppers have a reason to subscribe to each. Make your mobile subscribers your VIPs: give them higher-value coupons that they can scan at checkout right from their mobile wallets or text message. Send them a sneak peek of your Black Friday deals before anyone else sees them.
If you look at last year’s Black Friday results and learn lessons from what retailers did wrong, you stand a chance of seeing even better results this year.