Black Friday 2022 – 8 lessons for marketers
Black Friday 2022 – 8 lessons for marketers
It’s December, all Black Friday promotions are now finished, and all the sold products are already delivered (hopefully!). Now is a good moment to analyze what happened during Black Friday 2022 and draw useful conclusions for the next year (and maybe for the upcoming Christmas, too!). We’ve listed eight crucial lessons for all marketers and sellers who want to maximize their sales.
First off, let's have a look at what happened during this year's Black Friday. You have to bear in mind the social mood is not great, especially due to the war in Ukraine, increasing costs of living, and worldwide inflation. Earlier this year, Salesforce published its annual Digital Commerce Growth Index. As it happens, the e-commerce industry recorded a negative result for the first time in the history of this report. In the first quarter of 2022, it was -2%, in the second -4%, and in the third -2% again:
This means online stores sell fewer products and make less money than before. The reason is apparent – customers have less money in their wallets and are reluctant to spend it unless they have to. But that’s just one side of the coin.
According to Forbes, online sales during Black Friday were up this year by 2.3% compared to 2021, with $9.12 billion spent online globally. The fact that there was growth is obviously good, even though it wasn’t that significant. Techcrunch mentions that Cyber Week — the period including Black Friday and Cyber Monday reached $35.27 billion in sales online, which is up 4% over last year.
All in all – not that bad! However, there are several lessons to be drawn from that period (and, in fact, the whole year).
Coveo report: The strategy for difficult times
This Canadian company conducted research on customer habits and behaviors related to the 2022 holiday season. Here are the most important conclusions:
Consumers are still willingly buying online: 86% of respondents said they plan to shop online the same or more during the 2022 holiday season compared to pre-pandemic times.
The hunt for great deals starts sooner: Almost half of the respondents said that they were planning to be out hunting for deals sooner this year.
ROPO and reverse ROPO are a thing: 54% of respondents said they are likely to research products offline and buy them online (reverse ROPO). Almost exactly the same number (53%) of customers was going to do the opposite (ROPO).
Poor product availability and limited return options kill online trade: 42% of shoppers would leave a store with limited product options, and 35% are turned off by restrictive return policies.
There are still problems with finding the best products: 68% of respondents admitted they couldn’t find what they were looking for.
Additionally, the above-cited TechCrunch mentions that customers expect bigger discounts (for example, discounts on electronics were at 25% off compared to 8% in the same period last year, and the biggest sales were in toy categories with average discounts of over 30%) and more flexible payment options (TechCrunch reports overall Cyber Week BNPL orders were up 85% over last week, with revenues up 88%).
Based on that input, you have a clear list of actions you can take to make the most of the current and next holiday season.
PLAN SALES IN ADVANCE
Customers are nowadays on the hunt earlier than before. If you’re planning on offering discounts and promotions during Black Friday, Christmas, or any other sales peak, plan and announce your offers in advance. This way, you will reach customers who compare offers and make purchasing decisions earlier. In times of high living costs and inflation, impulsive last-minute purchases are less popular.
OFFER GOOD DEALS
With price comparison engines and hundreds of online stores, your customers can easily verify whether your offers are really good and if they are not – they won’t buy anything from you. This trend is already visible – customers have forced more attractive discounts (electronics is a good example – 25% this year compared to 8% last year is a huge difference!). Do you want to sell more products? Offer great deals for them!
BENEFIT FROM THE OMNICHANNEL MODEL
This trend is visible and vital all year round. Give your customers access to your store and offer through many channels, including an online store, a mobile app, marketplaces, and even brick-and-mortar stores. It’s the same story with your communication and marketing – be where your customers are and offer them high-quality integrated UX.
OFFER SOLUTIONS STREAMLINING THE PURCHASING PROCESS
There is a whole list of solutions enabling your customers to discover products in your inventory and get acquainted with your offer in a quick and effective manner. Here, we talk primarily about:
Exhaustive product descriptions (add all relevant details and parameters, especially when you’re selling clothes and shoes)
Descriptive photos and product videos (even 360 presentations can be very useful)
Augmented reality (great tool for furniture, clothes, decorations, and many more items)
Chat and chatbot (provide 24/7 service and help customers answer their questions and dispel their doubts and do it quickly)
TAKE CARE OF YOUR SUPPLY CHAINS
Nothing is more frustrating in the e-commerce sector than the “out-of-stock” banner. If you have some bestsellers in your offer, make sure you order enough units from your vendors beforehand. This way, when Black Friday/Christmas comes, you will be ready to sell them to all interested shoppers. If possible, try to diversify your supply chains and get products from different sources. It will also help you maintain business stability.
MAKE SURE YOUR STORE IS TECHNICALLY READY
It is good to go through the entire purchasing process to ensure that all its elements work properly. Suppose your store generally doesn't handle a lot of traffic on a daily basis. In that case, a sudden increase can result in overloading the server, meaning your customers won't be able to go to your store's website and place orders. Talk to your IT professional and hosting provider to find out what you can do to avoid such problems. The last thing to remember is the SSL certificate – it guarantees safe shopping for your customers. Make sure the certificate works and won't expire in the middle of Cyber Week or Christmas.
PLAY THE LONG GAME – ADS AND LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Another thing you should take care of is marketing. Plan and develop advertising campaigns on Google and Facebook to attract people looking for the best deals on the web. And once these people reach you, build long-term relationships with them.
In fact, neither Black Friday nor Christmas is a goal in itself. They are only a percentage of your annual sales plan. Therefore, the best thing you can do is make sure that people who shop with you for the first time during this special period of the year remember your store and want to visit it more often in the future.
First off, you can invite them to sign up for the newsletter (e.g., in exchange for a discount on the first purchase). The second step is the loyalty program. Of course, don’t do all that at once, but if the customer agrees to receive the newsletter, then after Black Friday or Christmas, you can invite them to join the loyalty program.
STAY IN TOUCH WITH CUSTOMERS
As a follow-up to the previous point, you should stay in touch with your customers. Inform them every time you introduce new products to your offer or run a special promotion. Personalize communication to rescue abandoned carts and distribute product recommendations. And finally, offer valuable advice and inspiration to build an image of an expert and a trusted source of information.
How can you communicate with your customers? There are many options, including newsletters, text messages, social media, and, of course, push notifications. See available use cases for the e-commerce industry. If you have any questions on how to include web and mobile push in your marketing strategy – we are at your service!
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