Black Friday 2020: What’s different and how to prepare for it
As the Thanksgiving weekend approaches, retailers are gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, hoping to make up for business lost in the earlier months. But one question remains: Will the holiday sales help brands generate enough revenue?
Here’s what to expect for this year’s Thanksgiving sales and how your brand can make the most of it:
#1 Prepare to stand out in the onslaught of competition
With more brands than ever vying for a portion of e-commerce sales, customers will face an unprecedented array of choices.
To ensure your brand stands out in a pool of promotions and discounts, you’ll need a mobile-first approach and the help of AI.
- Impress them with personalized product and offer recommendations
Make up for the lack of a physical retail experience by delivering a superb online shopping experience tailored to every individual. Recommend the right products and offers to your customers based on their past purchases, browsing history, location, and more with an AI-powered, next-best management engine. By helping each customer find the perfect item with minimum effort, you’ll speed their journey toward purchase.
- Win back “comparison shoppers” with retargeting
Shoppers will scour the net for the best deals, often hopping from site to site comparing prices for the products they want. It is critical to accurately identify them at the individual level. Resulticks’ Smart Duo, for example, uses device fingerprinting (instead of the soon-to-be-obsolete cookies) to help you recognize and retarget these customers across channels, devices, and browsers with precision and direct their attention back to your site.
- Reduce cart abandonment with push notifications
Retailers constantly battle against sky-high shopping cart abandonment rates (88% in March this year according to Statista). Maximize revenue, reduce cart abandonment, and speed up conversions with push notifications delivered across web pages, mobile apps, wearables, Smart TVs, and more. Increase their effectiveness by combining them with time-sensitive messaging (“2 more hours left to get this product at 50% off!”) or social proof (“168 sold today. Buy yours now while supplies last!”).
#2 Convert new shoppers to repeat customers
Thanksgiving weekend 2019 drew a total of 189.6 million shoppers in the United States alone, up 14% from 2018 (Source: NRF). With this year’s global retail e-commerce traffic hitting record numbers, brands can expect a huge online turnout including many new shoppers who previously favored in-person shopping.
To turn these first-time shoppers into loyal customers, you’ll need to cultivate a relationship with them. Here’s how.
- Get to know them better with a robust audience data platform
Now that they’ve purchased from you or signed up for a newsletter, you’ll want to make the most of the data you’ve collected.
A customer data platform can help. It allows you to gather data from all your sources into one foundation, identify and profile every audience member, get a clear view of who you need to reach, and build advanced audience segments across an expansive list of attributes in record time—often in a matter of minutes.
- Tailor their engagement journeys with omnichannel marketing automation
Today’s consumers rarely walk a straight line. As each individual has a unique customer journey, individualizing your marketing efforts at scale can help you achieve maximum ROI impact.
You should utilize capable technology to derive your customers’ propensities around time, channel, content, offer, and so on over time and from interactions taking place across all your channels. Map out the diverse behavioral triggers that indicate business opportunities so you can respond to them with relevant communications at just the right moment—thus continuing your audience’s journeys towards purchase.
#3 Pay extra attention to in-person shoppers
With heightened concerns over health and safety, shoppers want to feel reassured as they venture into physical retail stores.
Although traffic during the six busiest weeks of the year—between Thanksgiving and the new year—is projected to be 22% to 25% lower than 2019, going above and beyond to ensure that your in-person customers enjoy a great and safe shopping experience now will build their trust and loyalty in the long term.
- Remind customers how you’re working to ensure their safety
Deliver the message through your customers’ preferred channels—email, social, SMS, WhatsApp, or others—to highlight specific measures you’ve taken such as disinfecting surfaces and instituting crowd control measures. Reassure them that their safety and health remain your top priority during this festive season.
- Provide live updates on store traffic
No one likes a crowded store, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Use social media to provide live updates on store traffic volumes and so your customers have the freedom and flexibility to plan their visit to your store.
Prepare your retail strategy for 2021 and beyond now
The holiday shopping season this year will be different. However, retailers have already gathered many lessons from this tumultuous year on navigating the new landscape. With a heightened focus on consumer health and personalized experiences adjusted to the exigencies of the pandemic, they can increase opportunities for growth during this season—and in the year ahead.
Read more about how Resulticks can empower your retail marketing efforts here.