Most holiday shoppers count on Black Friday deals to get a head start on their Christmas shopping. Retail stores traditionally focus much of their energy on the boost in sales during Black Friday that can determine their success for the rest of the year. In the past, sales after Thanksgiving could often make or break a company and they might prepare for the event months in advance. However, the role of Black Friday has changed significantly over time and trends point to a greater emphasis on online sales and other strategies to win over consumers throughout the holiday weekend. Black Friday is now more than just crowds rushing to brick and mortar stores for a one day sale. With the influence of new concepts like Cyber Monday and businesses pushing their deals earlier to provide more options for consumers to save, Black Friday is an even bigger business opportunity that requires new marketing strategies.
Online Sales and Deal Websites
In the past few years the sales numbers for brick and mortar stores have fallen as online sales became increasingly more important. Now with the addition of Cyber Monday and the days preceding it, post-Thanksgiving sales often make up a five day period rather than a single day. Businesses continue to elongate the holiday sales season and some even see greater sales numbers in the days before Thanksgiving. Online marketing and digital sales have become extremely important as Black Friday continues to change. Once businesses determine which products they can sell to be the cost leader among their competition they can create deal specific landing pages to handle a lot of online traffic and use those pages to advertise online and in-store sales over the weekend. A current trend among consumers is to use deal or coupon websites like Google Shopping to compare prices among different businesses in order to find the best deal. Smart web marketing means putting seasonal deals on these websites especially those that are focused on Black Friday sales.
Loyalty Rewards and Search Marketing
Since shoppers will often go to any store to get the best deal it is important for retail companies to offer loyalty rewards to their current customers. Offering deals to existing customers can be most effective through social media outlets that reach current followers and can help to build more brand loyalty in the sale season. Mobile apps are also crucial for marketing to current customers through push notifications which can effectively create more engagement in the shopping experience. In reaching past or existing customers, the classic strategy of email marketing is still just as useful as ever as for boosting Black Friday sales. Email is a way for businesses to speak directly to their customers and provide them with the information that efficiently drives sales. In order to extend their reach beyond existing customers, companies also tend to focus on search engine marketing. Typical Black Friday search terms tend to increase in volume throughout November. Organic search strategies should focus on the most popular search terms like “Black Friday Deals” as well as searches related to their brand. As always companies tend to focus on relevant content that is shareable in order to get the most benefit.
Although Black Friday has changed significantly in the past few years, retail companies can still take advantage of holiday sales to see some increased revenue. Putting energy into a number of different marketing strategies especially in digital marketing can have the most impact on driving up numbers over the holiday weekend.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.