Don’t be kept in the dark when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday: with these 4 tips, you’ll gain a competitive advantage over your vast competition – online and offline – fast.
Without sounding like that middle-aged agency at the party who discusses–at length–the glorious days of Yellow Pages and dial up Internet, we remember the pre-Internet days when there was only Black Friday and no Cyber Monday (gasp!).
Now, marketers, advertisers, and sellers have a weekend spread for their products and services that extend beyond physical sales to the online realm. Last year, Cyber Monday brought in $3.45 billion USD – a 12.1% increase over 2015; Black Friday hit a sales record of $3.34 billion USD in 2016.* Year after year, online sales are consistently growing, as well as brick and mortar sales for Black Friday.
Additionally, around 30% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas holidays – critical to the success of any business with physical inventory, as well as e-commerce.
On November 24, 2017, more than ever, the lines between the offline and online frenzies that represent Black Friday and Cyber Monday are blurred; aside from the fact that customers can switch from platforms – mobile-to-desktop-to-tablet – in order to complete the same transaction, Adobe Digital Insights indicated that in 2016, Cyber Monday + Black Friday sales shattered record sales.
These increases are due to a myriad of factors, one of which is largely attributed to rapid advances in technology and accessibility to end consumers, including social and digital advertising initiatives, Google’s shopping experience, and improved user experiences across digital – to name a few.
As marketers, advertisers, and collective companies looking to win big in 2017 for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we must also evolve our tactics and strategies to reflect the current digital trends and contexts that influence our customers’ choices.
Here are 5 quick and effective tips this holiday season to win Cyber Monday and Black Friday from a content and advertising perspective and reach your customers in all the right ways for all the right sales.
In general and especially during holiday seasons, customers desire a purchasing process that’s intelligent, integrated, and intuitive. Whether it’s from the initial PPC touch point to the end-of-sale at the cart, customers crave an experience that delivers on speed and efficiency.
Plan For The 12th Round
Black Friday and Cyber Monday related searches happen weeks before the event itself; these two days mark the biggest opportunity for consumers to get the jump on their holiday shopping.
Accordingly, you need to ensure your AdWords keywords, search and display ads, and ad scheduling reflects the shift in end-user search activity. As a general tip, try adjusting your ad scheduling to display ads during 12:00 PM, post 5:00PM, and in the evening – when most shoppers have the time in the day to conduct searches.
*BONUS TIP*: Ever feel like you’re constantly running short of time? So does everyone else – especially shoppers; consider adding a countdown timer to either your landing page and/or email campaigns to reinforce that wonderful FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that helps to boost conversions, click-through ratings, and overall sales for your BF/CM campaigns.
In terms of search and display ads, ensure both have visuals, headlines, and body copy that reflect savings and value specific to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday; consider making separate ad sets for both days that follow PPC best practices. For a refresher on how to improve your overall PPC efforts, check out this previous post with a few easy tips to follow.
Product Inventory Feeds
If you have a vast physical inventory and haven’t already, connect to Google’s Shopping Network and register for a Merchant ID!
The benefits are numerous; one of the main ones being how Google Shopping automates the process of your product listing ads show up based on your submitted product feed, your site, your bids, and more to determine which specific search queries trigger your ads.
Essentially, setting up and updating your product feeds for Google Shopping will give you a competitive edge in the holiday season by having your ads show up right beside Google text searches.
Optimize For Mobile Display
As a quick tip, consider leveraging the power of location and callout extensions for your Expanded Text Ads!
Location extensions are quintessential for stores with physical inventories for maximizing Black Friday sales, showing the location of your store on Google Maps, your address, and even their distance to your shop location.
Callout extensions work similarly, showing your store’s phone number directly below text and display ads for easy access. Considering over 60% of shopping is done across mobile devices in general–let alone the holiday season–it’s essential to have quick access to your site and services from a phone call away.
Create Black Friday/Cyber Monday Landing Pages
For most retailers, the first thought is to adjust your existing site to reflect your advertising efforts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, adjusting the pricing on specific products, and more to your existing website.
Another idea to improve your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year is to create separate landing pages for both – that way, end-users have only one CTA, one web-link to follow from either mobile, desktop, or tablet.
As a result of streamlining the process to one landing page, end-users will not only find it easier to direct their full attention to one page for all their shopping needs, maximizing your conversions, traffic, and sales – but they’ll also be able to share these links with friends and family effectively, without losing anyone along the way compared to sharing web links with multiple site sections.
*Adobe’s data measures 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 retailers in the US.