Thursday, 19 November 2015

The fourth week of November marks the start of the busiest shopping period of the year with two days in particular causing the most fuss – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On these two days, the big names in retail such as Argos, Amazon and eBay, cut prices on many popular products, causing a rise in demand and an eagerness to snap up the best deals.

Thanks to the USA, consumers no longer wait for the sales to start on Boxing Day. Instead now it’s all about early deals which create the perfect opportunity to embark on (if not complete) the Christmas shopping with the added benefit of the opportunity to buy the odd ‘present for self’.

According to Experian-IMRG, Black Friday sales made £810m in 2014, with Cyber Monday rolling in £720. They predict that in 2015 these figures will rise to £1.97bn and £943m respectively. Over the entire 5-week festive period, consumers are predicted to spend £4.9bn on internet shopping.

With so many huge retailers taking part online, how do consumers know where to look? How do they avoid missing out on ‘the best deals’ and how do retailers get their offers seen? Save from having 12 separate browser tabs open at any one time, and checking each one every 30 seconds or so, retailers will have to come up with a way of attracting consumers to their website, and therefore their deals.

Anyone with an email or social media account can’t fail to notice the vast amount of marketing already in motion surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If retailers had to choose three channels to focus on, logic would say that when it comes to digital marketing, Twitter has to be the social media channel in which to put most effort, alongside email, and where possible, push notifications.

Put simply, Twitter will allow retailers to post fast, in real time, and target lots of people at once, enabling instant engagement and of course the benefit of subsequent retweets, favourites and shares. Email is an obvious method and enables retailers to hit numerous people at a particular time, but the channel is a relatively saturated one and it relies on people being part of your mailing list already, with little scope to attract new customers. Push notifications are becoming more popular and are a tactic that’s hard for smart phone users to ignore. Present them with a relevant, attractive offer, and you’re likely to see good engagement.

In order to maximise sales and be a key player in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush, retailers need to establish what works best for them with regards to digital marketing. With constant developments in technology and consumer behaviour, each year that goes by will no doubt be a huge learning curve.