Remember when Black Friday signaled the official start of holiday shopping? Not anymore–the season now starts earlier and extends into January. Last year, 59% of retailers began promotions as early as September and retailers continued to offer deals beyond December 24, with post-Holiday clearance sales.
The Race to Black Friday
Although Black Friday has stretched into a long weekend of online and offline promotions, the day itself dominates sales. On Black Friday 2015, 68% of retailers posted their highest sales revenue (regardless of channel) for the year. What helped drive those sales? Learn what worked, what didn’t, and where marketers are putting their dollars this season.
What’s Driving Black Friday Sales
A quarter of retailers credit improved discounts and promotions as the major sales drivers in 2015. Aside from price, marketers said that improved merchandising, increased investment in advertising & marketing, better technology, and more robust shipping options helped to increase sales during the 2015 season. This year, marketers are focusing on optimizing the mobile experience for consumers with investments in SEM, engaging content including video, product reviews, and offering order online/pickup in-store options. Although digital is expected to make up the largest part of marketers’ budgets, there’s also a focus on drive-to-store through the execution of experiential events to draw customers in during the holidays.
Issues That Hindered Holiday Sales
Almost a quarter of retailers said that poor inventory control was to blame for their less than robust holiday sales last year. Promotional issues, poor holiday planning, a lack of advertising, and merchandising mistakes all took a toll on retailers’ ability to fully capitalize on the holiday season. Marketers are taking the lessons learned from last year’s mistakes and making improvements in-store through investments in employee training, smart inventory management technology, and improving the shopping experience.
Marketer’s Black Friday Checklist
Is your team doing all they can to enhance the digital and retail experience? Check your list twice!
- Increase visibility on social media and through ads
- Create shoppable content
- Develop strategic SEM campaigns
- Leverage data to build seamless experiences across touchpoints
- Develop a strategic promotional email campaign
Sales and promotions aside, focus on getting consumers excited about your brand to ensure engagement and loyalty during the holiday shopping season and beyond. Women’s Marketing offers a suite of strategic marketing services that range from digital marketing to identifying the right influencers for your brand. Contact us today to learn how we use data-driven insights to reach women when and where they’re ready to engage with your brand.
Sources: National Retail Federation 2016 Retail Holiday Planning Playbook