Your online marketing guide for the most digital Black Friday yet
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Prepare your business for the most digital Black Friday yet.
Last year, Black Friday online sales grew 20 percent from 2013. Plus, 2 percent of Black Friday sales came directly from social media.
This year, it's predicted that nearly half of all holiday shopping will be done online — a large portion of which will occur on Thanksgiving Day. And many shoppers won't even use their computers. Instead, 20 percent of smartphone owners are planning to make an online purchase this holiday season.
Plus, holiday shopping is starting earlier this year since shoppers are expected to spend more. In 2015, the National Retail Federation expects November and December retail sales to increase 3.7 percent. Customers will spend on average $805 on gifts and decor, which is the highest amount in the survey's 14-year history.
To capitalize on the retail momentum, have a social media marketing plan and digital strategy in place. Use the below online marketing guide to succeed on the most digital Black Friday to date.
1. Craft a cohesive Black Friday and holiday narrative
Choose a holiday theme, style or emphasis to create cohesive online content.
For example, REI's Opt Outside campaign furthered their brand's mission while gaining customers' respect. REI has already seen a 6,557 percent increase in social mentions compared to last year.
2. Think beyond Black Friday
People are eager to begin shopping and plan to spend more this holiday season than in the last 14 years. So, give shoppers want they want!
Major retailers, such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, have already launched daily deals leading up to Black Friday specials. Follow suit. Expand your Black Friday deals to span the entire week. Offer special promotions, exclusive discounts and freebies through social media and email marketing.
3. Offer the online essentials
With more online shopping than ever predicted, your business needs to offer deals that match or rival your competitors.
In 2014, 86 percent of shoppers said free shipping was important to them. Plus, 92 percent of surveyed online retailers offered a form of free holiday shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas.
This holiday, offering free shipping and guaranteed delivery is a must for online retailers. Here's what else online shoppers find important when holiday shopping:
- Low prices
- Flexible return policy
- Easy-to-use website
- Pickup or return at store
- Live customer service representative
4. Optimize your online posts
According to Spredfast Intelligence research, here's when people shift their focus from the Thanksgiving feast to Black Friday deals.
- 6:30 p.m.: Home goods
- 7 p.m.: Mass merchant department stores
- 8 p.m.: Electronics
- 9 p.m.: Sporting goods
- 10 p.m.: Apparel
Schedule and promote your Black Friday deals at just the right time on Thanksgiving to catch your audience's attention.
5. Supply social support
Already, there have been more than 225,000 social mentions of Black Friday, according to Salesforce. Last year, there were more than 7 million social mentions of Black Friday.
Those mentions do more than boast the best buys. Instead, many Black Friday social mentions reach out to brands for answers to their questions and concerns. Your social team needs to be ready to monitor and quickly respond to customers.
This year, customers will be relying on your social team for customer service.
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