In recent years, the landscape of Black Friday has undergone a significant transformation. It's no longer synonymous with chaotic crowds, overnight campouts, and in-store brawls. The COVID-19 pandemic played a pivotal role in steering this shift, accelerating the migration from in-person shopping to the comfort and convenience of online purchases.
As the U.S. holiday retail season presents a potential $843 billion opportunity, savvy marketers are gearing up to unleash their most creative and effective influencer marketing campaigns. With consumers starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever, the time to strategize is now. Let's delve into the key trends and insights surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and explore their significance for your brand.
Black Friday is no longer confined to brick-and-mortar stores. In 2021, e-commerce raked in an astounding $8.9 billion in sales on Black Friday alone, contributing to a total holiday e-commerce sales figure of $206.88 billion. This surpasses the 2016 e-commerce holiday sales by more than double.
Yet, Black Friday has morphed into what's now known as Cyber Weekend, a week-long online shopping extravaganza that's incredibly lucrative. Here's what you can expect in 2022:
Black Friday (November 25): The unofficial kickoff of the holiday shopping season, featuring highly promoted sales and discounts, occasionally commencing on Thanksgiving Day.
Small Business Saturday (November 26): Initiated in 2010, this day encourages support for small, local businesses, both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.
Cyber Monday (November 28): The online equivalent of Black Friday, offering smaller retailers a chance to compete with the big chains, with sales often extending into the following week.
When to start planning your Black Friday campaign is a critical question. Research by the National Retail Federation reveals that over 40% of consumers commence their holiday shopping before Halloween. Consequently, brands need to initiate their holiday promotions at least three to four months in advance.
Collaborating with creators demands adequate lead time for product reception, content creation, and promotional posts. Given the high demand for influencers during the holiday season, early outreach is indispensable for a successful initiative.
Consider this timeline when planning your holiday campaign with influencers:
Preparation & Planning (July-August): Lay the groundwork for your influencer campaign, identifying products, promotions, and influencers. Initiate outreach to secure creators for your campaign.
Collaborate & Execute (September-October): Collaborate with influencers to create and share content, focusing on increasing brand awareness, generating interest, and driving sales.
Manage & Maintain (November-December): The holiday season is here, and it's time to keep the campaign running to maximize sales.
Evaluate & Extend (January): Evaluate the overall performance of your campaigns and consider extending successful campaigns into post-holiday sales, cross-sells, customer retention, and upsells.
Before launching your Black Friday promotions, prioritize enhancing the customer experience on your website. A survey conducted by GRIN in 2021 found that approximately 65% of online shoppers consider website usability the most critical aspect of the e-commerce experience. Test your website from a consumer's perspective, ensuring smooth navigation, efficient search, and a streamlined checkout process. Solicit feedback from friends and family to gain valuable insights.
REI: The #OptOutside campaign by REI, encouraging people to embrace nature instead of shopping on Black Friday, earned over 1.4 million Instagram posts in its first year, serving as a powerful example of aligning brand values with a successful campaign.
Walmart: Walmart's #UnwrapTheDeals campaign on TikTok, featuring shoppable Black Friday AR filters and collaboration with TikTok stars, garnered over 5.5 billion views and approximately 1 million pieces of user-generated content.
Kopari Beauty: Kopari Beauty's holiday campaigns in 2021 involved collaborations with influencers and other brands, resulting in an extended reach and a sense of urgency that motivated fans to take action.
In conclusion, Black Friday is a highly competitive arena for brands. To make the most of the holiday shopping season, begin your influencer marketing strategy early, select the right creators, and set clear campaign goals. With foresight and strategic planning, your brand can capitalize on the massive opportunities that November's Black Friday and Cyber Monday present.