For retailers, Black Friday (November 25th in 2022) is a great opportunity to increase profits, but it poses crucial questions about customer engagement. Will people shop in-store or online? Will the cost of living and fuel crises reduce sales or make early Christmas discount shopping even more popular? How can you differentiate your marketing campaigns? To eliminate the guesswork, here are 5 essential, creative Black Friday retail marketing strategies to bring customers to your brand through Cyber Monday, Christmas, and beyond!
1. Omnipresence Sells Presents
The good news is, whilst 88% of consumers are worried about the cost of living, 91% still plan to embrace Black Friday with the same vigour as in 2021. Traditionally Black Friday occurred in-store and, in 2005, Cyber Monday was created to encourage online shopping, but today the lines are blurred. Covid skewed recent Black Friday consumer behaviour data, making it hard to predict what this year will bring, but customer preference stats give good insights.
At Least 3 Channels
Brands that design joined-up marketing campaigns across a minimum of three channels like mobile, telephone, and in-store, can expect an average engagement rate of 18.96%, compared to 5.4% for single-channel. Another fascinating trend is that 81% of all retail shoppers research online, predominantly via mobile.
So, to win Black Friday you need an integrated, omnichannel strategy with mobile front and centre. We recommend Viber Business Messages with its transactional, conversational, and promotional messaging capabilities and 820m monthly active global users, and SMS (also Viber’s fallback channel), for its enormous reach, delivered via a one-stop-shop Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) to automate tasks and enhance workflows.
The buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS) trend prevails in the contactless economy, demonstrating how multichannel works for shoppers who live near a store and want to save on bulky item shipping costs. Send a Viber message with your Black Friday BOPIS offer and, after they’ve checked out with BOPIS, use Viber to send real-time transactional notifications about the order status and pick-up process. For bulk SMS campaigns use a 3-4 digit short code as a brand identifier that also works in-store and on your website.
2. Sell More with Curated Content & Bundles
Understanding your Customer Personas, and list segmentation, are critical to Black Friday success. McKinsey reveals 78% of consumers will repeat purchase from brands that personalise and 80% are more likely to refer family and friends.
Personalisation can simply involve using a customer’s name in messaging across their Black Friday journey from initial offers, to order confirmations and shipping notifications, or two-way communications for pick-up. Try crafting a personalised offer code like “10%OFF-for-Annie-1234”. Gen Z (58%), Millennials (54%), Gen X (39%), and Baby Boomers (37%) rely heavily on Black Friday. So, research their interests, segment your list, and develop mobile campaigns for these different demographics.
Hyper-personalisation goes further, creating customer intimacy. With Viber you can segment your customers by demographics like age, gender and location, and crucially, by interests based on past purchasing data. This enables hyper-personalised mobile messaging campaigns like curated content and bundling, which you can echo in-store. E.g. create a list segment of likely dog owners, send a multi-media Viber message showcasing the range of dog beds on sale for Black Friday. Alternatively, create a dog bed, toy and blanket bundle in a promotional message or promote upsell items when they purchase the blanket online. In-store, place your bundles together on the shelves, using stickers and postcards to promote, while adding more bundle items at checkout and training staff to sell them.
Excellent customer data is a personalisation prerequisite, yet 30.9% of retailers can’t track behaviour across different devices and 38.2% can only track sometimes. On-demand, actionable data lies at the heart of CPaaS. It enables data aggregation from your Viber and SMS mobile campaigns with insights from your social messaging, voice and video comms, so you can be responsive and continuously improve your campaigns, building customer intimacy.
3. Optimise the Checkout Experience
Boost Your List
Boost your Black Friday mobile list now by adding incentivised mobile opt-in offer forms for those browsing or buying online. Given they are already on your site, these are high intent visitors and, once they opt in, you can send them Viber and/or SMS messages about your Black Friday sale. For maximum conversions, offer 10% discount for email opt-in and 15% discount for mobile, and place these pop-ups on the website home and checkout pages.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions like Klarna, are estimated to grow 26% YoY until 2030 and, given cost of living concerns, it’s a huge competitive differentiator. In-store, use window decals, signage, checkout cards and resources from your BNPL partner to promote. Create a mobile messaging campaign around BNPL a few weeks before Black Friday to icentivise customers to puchase from you. Black Friday 2021 saw a 105% increase in BNPL payments compared to 2020 and is set to increase this year, ensuring higher conversions in-store and reducing cart abandonment online.
4. Beat Black Friday’s Dark Side
Hackers & Scammers
Black Friday is a peak time for hackers and scammers. In 2021 omnichannel retail account takeover fraud rose by an unbelievable 2950% during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, along with a 62% increase in payment fraud. Retailers who protect their consumers build trust and loyalty so, choose a mobile messaging channel with high levels of security.
Verified SMS messages show the sender’s business name, logo and a verification badge for proof of identity. Viber provides encryption-in-transit for Business Messages, which can only be sent to customers who opt-in. A blue tick shows the sender is verified, while other company information can be included for additional proof. Viber’s “Overlay” feature produces a pop up when your customer first receives a message from your brand, allowing them to opt out. As well as protecting the customer this enables them to choose their preferred method of contact, providing a superior CX.
5. Make Customers Feel Like VIPs
Returning customers spend more money, so make them feel special with mobile messages promoting VIP, Loyalty and Referral programmes. Two major factors influencing Black Friday purchasing decisions are free shipping (49%) and limited-time sales (36%), so capitalise on these motivators. Invite customers to sign up to your VIP club with a message offering a higher discount than for non-VIP customers, accompanied by images of products targeted to VIP’s specific interests to boost conversion. Create urgency with an offer expiry date, or suggesting they buy the season’s must-have products now before they sell out. Try offering them an extended access period for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in return for completing a mobile survey, or run a seasonal mobile, eCommerce and in-store competition.
Turn VIPs into brand advocates by offering them shopping privileges and discounts in return for every friend or family member referral. Space all these VIP campaigns out, creating a timely sequence to keep your VIPs engaged pre, during and post Black Friday.
As Jim Rohn said, “One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising”.