Black Friday and beyond: Our Insights & Learnings

This past week, we’ve had the chance to explore the ways in which retailers have really upped the stakes and devised promotions to capture the attention and wallets of shoppers during the Black Friday event. Our mini-blog series has uncovered some interesting insights from the marketplace and it’s only right that we should also share some of our own learnings from past client experiences.

Has Black Friday lost its exclusive buzz?

The essence of a Black Friday bargain seems less exclusive with the change in the timeframe. Now beyond a one-day sale, with a whole weekend or even week-long promotions, the overwhelming choices may leave customers feeling bamboozled in their ability to evaluate the true bargains.

This hotly anticipated spending period has also been criticised in the last few years for the lack of quality in the stock; stories of old stock being offered for discount has dampened customer enthusiasm.

It’s now common for brands to create discounts and promos for products, sometime without regards to customer preference, simply for the sake of it being the Black Friday weekend. This is particularly true of smaller retailers, who cannot compete against their bigger counterparts, as they are not capable of buying at economies of scale to offer more attractive products, whether online or in-store (The Drum, 2017).

What does this mean for advertisers?

Data is key. With a basket abandonment rate of 70-80% on Black Friday (Barilliance, 2016), advertisers’ efforts should not just stop after the discount period. The time that follows opens ample retargeting opportunities for advertisers to re-engage and convert customers.

Naturally, advertising peaks on the Tuesday, post the Black Friday weekend, as the momentum driven by retailers can still affect customers. Digital advertising is powerful and can impact consumers’ interests, if it is done the correct way. Consumers tend to engage more comfortably with ads of familiar products that they have previously browsed. Offering other promos such as, additional 20% off, complimentary gift cards with a purchase, free trial of a service etc, can help to re-engage those lost consumers.

By strategically reinforcing the messaging, advertisers can tap into shoppers’ preferences and reel them back to the website. Advertisers could miss the trick if they are not harnessing their shoppers’ behavioural insights to understand which promos they should tailor to drive conversions.

Observations turned into actions

Our Black Friday experience came primarily through US, Brazilian, and Chilean clients. Five years on, from being a one-day event, we’ve noticed the marketplace is a very different story. Many brands now also extend their promotions to several days (different dates depending on the country and brand), and some keep them available until the end of the year.

In Brazil, our clients achieved 2x more sales in 2014 and 2015, in comparison to a normal day, when Black Friday was just a one-day event. Last year, we helped our clients generate 3x more sales using our performance observations to adjust their campaign settings, and maximise conversions.

Yet again, Black Friday and Cyber Monday proved successful for many; we experienced more of our international clients participating in promotions. For example, our Brazilian clients reached up to 8x more sales on Black Friday alone; the sales trend remained constant over the weekend. Similarly, in Italy and Russia, we achieved up to 2x more sales than normal, with consumers showing growing interest for promos.

The Brazil region is of much interest to us, being one of the most active regions around the festive sales period. Due to our extensive client portfolio in the market, working with some of the biggest retailers, our team of data and market analysts are skilled in observing consumer patterns, and can deliver first-hand knowledge to ensure engaging ad strategies in the region, and elsewhere. We expect the Brazilian market to continue to grow and expand its advertising reach.

Experience guides our expertise

We’re fast learners, and the insights we derive from historical information is utilised immediately to help advertisers better monetise from such events in the future. The Black Friday consumer findings, enable us to fuel clients’ retargeting ads, and translate our lessons learned into improved future performance for them.

Experience has taught us that having our account managers work directly with clients, to make calculative decisions and prepare targeting strategies prior to the start of the event is as crucial as keeping track of real-time performance, and updating the ads accordingly; some of which are still ongoing. Our past findings allow us to make accurate judgements on which strategies our clients should apply to creatives to drive successful conversions. The plan now is to recycle this year’s lessons learned into next year’s optimisation strategies; we look forward to it!

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Find out how we can help maximise your campaign performance, contact: [email protected]

Thank you to our team contributors: Lorenza D’Astolto, Senior Account Manager, and Julio Gajardo, Data Scientist.

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