Leaving Holiday offers to the last minute is akin to trying to organise Fyre Fest. No one really knows what’s going on, everything is in disarray and someone will probably need to negotiate for water bottles.
My first experience of Black Friday was 2015, our e-commerce team of 2 managed about 20 accounts of varying sizes and spends, offers went live Friday morning (yes we manually set them live at 12 am) everything went “gangbusters” for 72 hours and then we set up for Christmas sales on the Monday morning.
2016 was different. The team now consisted of 4, our customer base had grown to about 60, and suddenly we had offers starting a few days earlier. The season went smoothly but due to more and more late offers coming in, different departments were put under increasing pressure to get content and collateral live in time.
We realised we were at the mercy of our customers!! (which isn’t a bad thing considering they kinda pay our wages)
As we monitor most of our customer’s competitors we started to notice a trend, they were going live with offers earlier and earlier in the season, it’s almost as if they were inspired by a successful online book company to post their seasonal offers sooner.
Being more Baden Powell
2017 we decided to step up early, we had an event at Google in September telling our prospects and customers we need offers and content by the third week of October. About 80% of our client base got themselves prepared and went live a few days before the BF weekend (there’s always the 20% last minute offers but we got those live as well)
The overall weekend went well but we weren’t seeing the same “gangbuster” results over the weekend as we had 2 years previously.
2018 followed the same trend even to the point that after reviewing performance YOY one client very honestly said “I don’t think I’ll run such an offer next year, it’s just an excuse to fund those search engine people” (this statement has been severely edited)
This led to the question
“Is it still necessary to run an offer over Black Friday/ Cyber Monday weekend when people are shopping less?”
The answer is, they’re not, but they are.
Black Friday is no longer a day, it’s now evolved into a mini-event and relying on just a 4-day shopping window will probably mean you’ll see poor results.
You need to be getting in front of mind with your customers NOW!
This doesn’t mean spamming them with BF offers in August, but start to get people interested in who you are, what you’re about, and what you’re offering.
Build up your audience now and get them to love your brand. 66% of shoppers are open to shopping with a new retailer while 30% actually purchase with a new retailer in the holiday season.
Make sure you scale your budgets over the holiday period and maximise that from the end of November to week 3 in December.
Dos and Dont’s
DON’T put a sale on Boxing day, people will have already begun shopping on their phones as soon as that last morsel of Christmas pudding has been devoured (it’s OK, we can set campaigns live at any time without it interrupting the After 8’s)
DO get prepared for the sales to dwindle in the third week of January, people will not be in the mood to spend!
DO get a special offer ready for payday. It doesn’t need to groundbreaking, but you could capture a few last-minute bargain hunters!