Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a key time for selling for many businesses globally. With the introduction of digital marketing and online selling, our competitors are no longer just around the corner from us – we’re all competing within the global economy. As such, businesses need to be ship-shape come November to make the most of the biggest online selling event in the calendar! The following considerations will help you get ready this Black Friday/Cyber Monday (sometimes referred to as “BFCM”).
Your online presence must be up to scratch ahead of Black Friday/Cyber Monday
As per 2021 data, the majority of users said they planned to shop “online only” with 44% of males and females both stating they’d only shop online for Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. A much smaller percentage of males and females (16% and 14% respectively) stated that they’d be shopping in-store exclusively.
But, the move to online hasn’t dampened users’ appetites for purchasing. In fact, in 2021, collectively, Shopify store owners made $5.1 billion. That’s a 76% increase in sales year over year (YoY).
To make sure you’re making the most of Black Friday, make sure your store is easily accessible and discoverable online! We highly recommend having a User Experience (UX) audit conducted ahead of November to check that your store checkout experience is completely seamless.
Not only should you be online, you should be fully mobile optimised
Mobile sales first surpassed desktop in 2014 and have continued to dominate ever since. In 2021, 71% of BFCM purchases were made from mobile devices, compared to 29% on desktops.
A key consideration when it comes to making the most of mobile visitors is speed. By speed, we mean the time it takes for your website to load. Users are increasingly impatient when it comes to mobile experience and every little counts. In fact, in 2020, Google reported an 8.4% average increase in conversion rate for sites who improved their site speed by just 1 tenth of a second (0.1s). As such, you can see for yourself that there’s a lot of money to be made in minor speed improvements for mobile users!
Tip: You can use Pagespeed Insights to check your current website loadspeed performance.
Note: Pagespeed insights will only deliver insights on a single URL. If you would like to do a bulk URL pagespeed test using data from Pagespeed Insights, we recommend using Experte’s free pagespeed test tool.
Age matters when it comes to Black Friday/Cyber Monday
We must note here that there is a generational difference in these overarching online success figures from Black Friday, with Gen Z and Millennials far more likely to shop for Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, while older generations increasingly show less interest in engaging in any spending during this period.
As such, we highly recommend taking your core user persona into consideration when planning your business’ commitment to Black Friday/Cyber Monday spend and strategy.
Competition is rife and costs go wild throughout November
Every year, competition on social platforms peaks in November. Because advertisers are “media buyers” in auctions for ad space, increased competition leads to higher costs. Think about costs in digital advertising like gallery auctions. If there are 3 interested buyers in a particular piece, it might go for a reasonable amount. However, if the whole room is bidding for the one piece, it might go for thousands of times its value. This supply and demand model is exactly how costs work for ad space on social platforms.
With an increase in advertisers, you’ll see figures like CPC and CPM rise from October through to December. This will be true whether you advertise on Facebook ads or TikTok ads – so bear this in mind. However, this peak isn’t exclusively just November anymore. Competitive momentum online now starts in October, with CPCs already increasing by up to 64% vs the previous month.
Last year in 2021, we tracked a 130% increase in CPC from October to November across a range of our own managed advertising accounts on Facebook ads in both the US and UK (see below).
As such, you really do need to be aware that not only is November sometimes the most lucrative time to spend online with demand for deals going through the roof – it will also be the most expensive because many advertisers will reserve massive budgets for this period to spend across Facebook ads, TikTok ads, and more.
We recommend taking this into account and considering spreading your budget to earlier in the year (from October) as well as focusing on first-party marketing tactics where possible (e.g. email marketing).
Tip: Add CPC and CPM to your monthly reported KPIs and keep checking your competition reports in your platforms.
Peak season is beginning earlier and lasting longer
In 2021, Amazon released a report stating that 39% of US customers and 42% of UK consumers stated that they’d begin their holiday shopping as early as October. As shown in our section above, our very own data shows how brands were responding to this in 2021 with competitive metrics online increasing from mid October for us at Digital 24.
This is all a part of the current BFCM trend. More and more online retailers are starting their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals earlier and extending them long after the Black Friday/Cyber Monday week.
You should consider Pre-Black Friday and Post-Back Friday strategies as imperative to stay ahead of the competition and ensure you don’t get left behind in 2022 – or else you could find you could miss out on quite a few sales!
Consumers are likely to be more selective in their spending this year due to market uncertainty
Amidst a cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise that online retailers should consider users’ expendable income and likelihood to be able to purchase this Black Friday/Cyber Monday when committing a budget.
With inflation at a 42-year high as well as an energy bill crisis, 74% of people in the UK expect to have to reduce spending, with 24% expecting to have to cut back on essentials. In fact, about 41% of UK consumers have struggled to pay energy bills and 42% have struggled to pay for food. This is sure to have a major impact on the flow of cash for non-essential sectors such as fashion, beauty and more this Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
Planning for Black Friday/Cyber Monday should start early
Due to increased competition, businesses are having to get smarter with their strategies. This means, in essence, that businesses are now taking more time to plan further ahead when it comes to Black Friday. Sometimes, a well-planned, creative strategy can be far more lucrative for business than a hefty product discount alone. Consider your prospect growth, rewarding loyal customers, exclusivity of deals and more this Black Friday.
If you need help coming up with some creative strategies this Black Friday, read our upcoming blog on Black Friday strategies (coming soon!)