Unlocking Black Friday Insights for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Explore key trends, strategic planning, innovative marketing ideas, and successful campaigns in this comprehensive guide to maximize..

October 2023
Drive Sales
Unlocking Black Friday Insights for the Upcoming Holiday Season

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.

The evolving face of Black Friday

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.

A strategic approach to planning

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.

Emerging Black Friday marketing trends for 2022

  1. Augmented Reality (AR) Revolution: AR is rapidly becoming a game-changer, offering customers a "try before you buy" online shopping experience. In the U.S., roughly 20% of AR users are expected to engage in shopping with this technology in 2022. Snapchat is currently at the forefront, providing users with the "try-on" experience for clothing and accessories, while Pinterest has launched AR tools for home decor and beauty products.
  2. The Rise of Subscription Boxes: Subscription box services have become a staple in the e-commerce industry, with over 70% of consumers having tried them and more than 65% renewing their subscriptions. Even if your brand doesn't typically offer subscription boxes, this trend offers inspiration for providing customers with a delightful surprise during the holiday season.
  3. Navigating Supply Chain Challenges: Supply chain disruptions, coupled with inflation and global unrest, continue to impact industries. Brands must prepare for potential inventory shortages, shipping delays, and have contingency plans in place to maintain customer satisfaction.
  4. Targeting Millennial and Gen Z Shoppers: These generations are the driving force behind online, mobile, and tablet purchases. Brands aiming to connect with Millennials and Gen Z-ers should focus their marketing efforts on platforms like Instagram and TikTok to deliver a seamless, omnichannel shopping experience.

Elevating the customer experience

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.

Innovative Black Friday marketing ideas

  1. Giveaways and Gifts: Engage your audience with giveaways and gift offers. Giveaways are simple yet effective in boosting brand awareness and driving engagement. Consider offering a free product with a purchase to enhance the perceived value for customers.
  2. "Wrap it Up" Content: Explore a fresh take on traditional unboxing videos with "wrap it up" content. Encourage influencers to showcase how they wrap your products, and use this as an opportunity to gather user-generated content and build excitement around holiday stories.
  3. Implement Scarcity: Add elements of scarcity to your promotions, such as countdown timers or notifications indicating low stock levels. Scarcity can incentivize customers to complete their purchases swiftly.
  4. Streamline Returns: Simplify your return policy. Customer-friendly returns are essential, as they inspire confidence in online shopping and contribute to long-term customer loyalty.
  5. Retarget Existing Customers: Targeting existing customers can lead to guaranteed sales, especially during the holiday season. Segment your customer base based on activity and history to create personalized marketing campaigns.

Successful Black Friday marketing campaigns

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.