Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2019: Did they meet the expectations?
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday come to an end, we’re here to do a review of those two record-breaking days. What did the companies do? What kind of deals did they offer and how did they prepare their website and mobile app for these events?
Let’s find out!
We’re going to analyze a few businesses and their way of leveraging the opportunities of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Almost every online business participated in this spree and they did much to provide the customers with extreme satisfaction.
To level up your business, just like the ones that we will mention did already, you can always contact us!
Just before you go on and read this article, we’ve pointed out a few benefits of eCommerce for both businesses and consumers – in the next few paragraphs, you’ll already see what the benefits are.
How did companies attract their customers?
As we all know, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the days when no deal is off the table. Discounts go as high as 80%, in some extreme cases, even up to 90%! It’s crazy!
And the best part? It’s happening all around the world! Until several years ago, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were mainly manifested only in the USA and Canada, but now it’s gone worldwide. These are the days when our wallets pop and retailers shine.
So, to know how did the companies attract the customers, let’s switch our minds to those of customers.
The holidays are coming very soon and there are 2 days filled with huge discounts so – what do you do? You shop! We all did. We all bought some presents for our loved ones and also bought some presents for ourselves. What stores did we go to and why?
It’s a very interesting question, as many Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads look alike. Where did the customers go? Everywhere! Retailers like Walmart gain so much revenue on these two days and their numbers are skyrocketing.
How did they prepare for this? The logistics are crucial during these few days and the first thing that businesses needed to take care of are – supplies. Every store had its supplies filled up to the top as they knew they’re going to sell everything (or almost everything).
Businesses needed their marketing to be loud. They needed their customers to take action on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In exchange, they offered insane discounts which were just about enough for many customers to start shopping.
However, informing customers of these discounts is vital to success. Many businesses already have their mobile apps, which are beneficial when communicating discounts to your customer base.
Many used push notifications, to remind their customers that it’s already Black Friday(or Cyber Monday) or to offer them a direct coupon for their online shopping spree.
Let’s do a quick revision on push notifications. They can easily get mistaken with messages. The difference is in the length of a message. They must contain fewer words so they don’t appear only partially on the users’ screen.
Push notifications are being leveraged in many ways, offering the app users some special discounts or simply reminding them that their shopping should begin as it’s already Black Friday.
A great amount of money has been spent on both inbound and outbound marketing, acquiring as many customers as it’s possible. Some retailers even prolonged their Black Friday discounts so that discounts are applicable for 4 days, from Friday to Monday.
For example, ASOS did that!
Their “Black Friday weekend” lasts for 4 days! In the past few years, many businesses did that. They prolonged their discounts or even started with discounts a few days before Black Friday.
Smart moves, indeed.
Marketing, in general, is so important for Black Friday and Cyber Monday that even Google will remind you of a specific definition of what Black Friday marketing is as a term.
Here’s what we noticed what did the companies do to prepare for Black Friday:
They started early!
It’s crucial to have a marketing plan for Black Friday and Cyber Monday at least 4-5 weeks in advance. If you’re planning on sending out marketing messages one week before, start a few weeks earlier. Many businesses plan their Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies a year in advance so the conclusion is – it’s never too early!
Companies set specific and measurable goals!
The question is – what do you want to get out of Black Friday this year? Do you want to increase your sales by 5%? 10%? Set specific goals that you can measure!
Besides that, more questions arise. Do you want to increase the average spend of your customers or is there a particular product line you want to shift?
Advice is – set 3-5 achievable goals and make a note of how you will know if you’ve hit them.
To achieve them, you may have to increase customers’ average spend by 3% or increase your sales by 7%. It depends on your set goals.
Businesses have been changing their strategy every year
To get the most out of the upcoming events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you could, for example, use Google Analytics. You can check on which strategies worked last year, which channels brought in the most revenue, what kind of ads succeeded and what kind of ads didn’t.
Promoting their deals across all channels
Black Friday is about leveraging the motivation of your customers – to get the products at great prices.
Black Friday is not the time for brand building. It’s the time for pushing your products outwards. During these few days, shoppers are hunters with a mission to find the best price. Your marketing communication needs to be bold, clear and straight to the point.
They reached out to journalists and bloggers
There are many sites dedicated to finding their audiences the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
Bloggers and journalists are looking for offers they can tell their audience about. You should get in touch with them at least a month in advance because that’s when they will start making their list of offers.
If you look more thoroughly through social media, you’ll find some bloggers or journalists which you can contact.
Organizations enhanced their mobile user experience
When you win people over with your marketing efforts, make sure that you provide the customers with a user-friendly experience. They need to navigate through your homepage effortlessly to get the right product for them.
Optimize your whole site for mobile users. Also, present your products attractively and clearly if you want them to work optimally on mobile screens.
We hope that these tips will enable you to prepare better for the next shopping spree.
Black Friday frenzy!
Black Friday of 2019 has been quite a turbulent one. Many sales, many stampedes and many great deals – where should we even start?
To unravel this whole topic, we’ll start with the numbers:
This Black Friday, eCommerce retailers were brilliant! Their digital sales went up 20%, reaching $7.4 billion across the 4500 retail websites tracked by Adobe Analytics. It became the second-largest online shopping day in history – eclipsed by Cyber Monday in 2018 with $7.9 billion in sales.
To highlight a number, amazing $2.9 billion of sales happened on smartphones! This proves that mCommerce wave is pushing forward, reaching new heights in 2019. Mobile commerce is one of the major trends in 2019 and it’s evolving rapidly. We can expect soon that mCommerce sales are going to outperform desktop sales.
Customers shopped more online, but they even skipped the waiting for delivery in record numbers – there was a 43% uptick in buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) orders. That was a sign for retailers that they have successfully bridged online and offline retail.
The average order value also increased, this time by 6%. Average order value for this Black Friday was stunning 168% – meaning that consumers got more comfortable buying more and bigger ticket items online.
This year was very successful for eCommerce retailers, and much more is to come in the upcoming holiday season.
How did the businesses welcome their customers on their apps and websites? Let’s take a look.
This is how Apple transformed its website on Black Friday:
They announced a 4-day shopping event, connecting Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Most eCommerce retailers extend their Black Friday sale to last 4 days so they are able to draw in more customers and sales.
There is also an option of starting earlier, just like Best Buy did, with an early Black Friday sale.
There were many variations of Black Friday discounts and one of the most interesting was Sports Direct sale. They had massive flash sales, but on top of that, they had new deals every hour.
In that way, they attracted their customers to frequently visit their store and browse through new deals several times a day!
As many have noticed, a huge portion of retailers increased their online presence significantly. It helped avoid the chaos and stampedes in the US, and they got to build on the growing trend of online Black Friday shopping.
This Black Friday was incredibly successful. In fact, it was the most successful shopping day in eCommerce – until Cyber Monday came.
Rise of Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday was the most successful day for eCommerce retailers. It was even bigger than Black Friday, with sales going up to $9.2 billion, up 16.9% from $7.9 billion in 2018.
Amazon reports that its customers bought more items around the world on Monday than on any other day in Amazon’s history – which is more than two decades!
Online sales platform Shopify, used by more than a million merchants, reports that sales on the platform have surpassed $1.5 billion, which is more than the sales from the full Thanksgiving weekend last year. They also report that 70% of transactions were conducted on portable devices.
This is a phenomenon that occurred for the second time in Cyber Monday history – mobile users accounted for more than half of all the website traffic. Unbelievably huge. Last year, in 2018, was the first time this happened. This year is a record one – showing that more than $3 billion in mobile sales.
While we’re still caught up in this excitement over the huge results of this year’s Cyber Monday, let’s see what retailers did to promote their deals on their websites and apps.
AliExpress, a huge Chinese retailer, used its app to leverage their customers into browsing their endless offers.
The home interface on the app wasn’t much different than the standard one, but it listed many of their discounted offers. As you browse through their store, you will find an unlimited number of items on huge discounts.
Walmart was also very generous with its offers for Cyber Monday, they featured various discounted categories and focused all their efforts into converting visitors into customers. They used very direct communication for Cyber Monday and adjusted it very well for mobile users.
Let’s see how it looks today
They switched from Cyber Monday deals to Cyber Week deals – pulling in more and more customers and sales. It’s common praxis in today’s eCommerce stores to extend the sale and it’s leading Walmart to a massively increased revenue.
Razer, a global gaming hardware manufacturing company, made gaming much more affordable to their customers.
Their website design is very much tailored to their customers’ needs and likings and the pixelated background left a positive impact on the shoppers. They made high-end gaming much more affordable in their prolonged Cyber Weekend.
Adidas is always present during holidays and days like Cyber Monday.
Their landing pages look great both on mobile and desktop. Even though they didn’t offer 70% discounts as some retailers did, they participated in Cyber Monday, still leaving some of their products discounted, even as the shopping frenzy is slowly diminishing.
As we’re writing this, there are still many shoppers participating in some prolonged Cyber Monday discounts. These two days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday turned out to be absolute winners. A majority of retailers saw an increase in their revenue, while the customers saw an increase in the discount percentage. It was a win-win shopping spree.
Here are some tips on preparing a plan for next Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
We already named a few ways of attracting customers for these eCommerce holidays, but let’s see what else can you do to prepare for the next big shopping day.
Build anticipation through social media
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up quick, you can establish an emotional connection with your customers by using inspiring images and highlighting positive testimonials on your social networks.
On Thanksgiving, Blenders used Instagram to share their gratitude with their followers and to further their positive emotional connection with their followers. In the end, they offered huge discounts, calling their customers to action.
Segment your emails before and during Black Friday
Email is still a staple of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. The more you segment and target your emails, you’ll generate a higher revenue per recipient. Also, you’ll notice higher open rates and higher clickthrough rates.
There are 10 email segments you could use to amplify your sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Seasonal Shoppers
- Recent Openers
- VIP Customers
- Product Browsers
- Category Buyers
- Hasn’t Purchased (but is engaged)
- Email Ignorers
- Almost Purchasers
- Geographic Targets
- Gift Givers
For the Recent Openers, Browsers, Ignorers, Hasn’t Purchased or Almost Purchased segments, it’s vital to tailor offers to push them to the checkout – or at least to open your email.
For Email Ignorers, try attracting them with free shipping or a complimentary gift with purchase.
Consumers from the US are now spending more time on their mobile phones than watching TV. If your competitors can offer customers a better mobile site experience, customers won’t be spending time browsing through your store.
While the majority of customers are still checking out on their desktop and using mobile to browse, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Shopify merchants experienced rise of mobile transactions up to 66% of all sales.
With your mobile site optimized, consider ways to improve your mobile sales promotions.
Improve your website’s navigation
Improving your on-site search functionality will help customers to navigate your site quickly to find what they want. It’s stunning that 80% of visitors will choose to look elsewhere if they are provided with a bad on-site search experience.
Try to provide your customers with:
- Real-time analytics – To help you understand trends and performance with unlimited real-time analysis.
- Instant, accurate search results – To retain customers who are almost twice as likely to convert when using site search.
- Storefront customization flexibility – To use search as an extension of your brand by controlling overall search styling.
International Military Antiques (IMA)’s catalog of 7,500 products features unique attributes such as type, time period, and nationality.
Some products need to be listed under multiple categories and descriptions. That’s why on-site search used to be an impactful challenge for the IMA.
If you’re looking for more tips on improving your eCommerce – there are several eCommerce blogs we named as the ones you should follow to pump up your knowledge. Ours is not on the list, but don’t hesitate to follow us!
Ask us for help!
If you’re looking for help on optimizing your store for events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday – we’re your “go-to”. We are a Pimcore development agency and we would love to help you build your own eCommerce solution.
Pimcore is a digital experience platform, able to provide your customers with an omnichannel experience – enabling them to start shopping on one channel and finish it on a different one without any issues.
You can already see the reason why we chose Pimcore, but there are always more features. The best part is – it’s perfect for retailers. You can manage all your digital data in one place and distribute it from one place. As a perfect platform for retailers, it already has many examples of excellent use in eCommerce.
Now, think about what else could you do to level up your eCommerce business.
Think about what you can do to provide your customers with a better experience.
Will you take over the next Black Friday or will you get lost in the crowd of businesses?