The Big 3: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving. The season when sales are up, first-time website/app users keep pouring in, and new customers are plentiful.
Cyber Monday is all set to be the biggest spending day in the retail history of the United States at $12.12 billion, much like the last few years. Black Friday is expected to be the 2nd biggest season with sales at $10.42 billion, while Thanksgiving comes in 3rd with $6.10 billion. The total Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending in the UK is predicted to be £9.42 billion in 2021, as per recent research.
Expected Black Friday Spend in UK
However, much like Thanksgiving, once the turkey is consumed, tables are cleared, and your family disperses, there is a visible slowdown in the marketing space after this period ends. Ask any retail marketer, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most loved and the most hated period in their life. Most loved because of the “moolah” retailers can rake in. Hated because their sales spiral down after this period. 64% of retailers say that shoppers acquired during Black Friday/Cyber Monday have a shorter customer lifetime value than those obtained at any other time of the year. Most retailers focus on acquisition during this time(From Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday). This period brings in more customers than even Christmas. Where most brands fall short is to convert these seasonal discount-driven buyers into loyal customers. Here are a few strategies retail marketers can use to ensure Black Friday customers don’t burn and churn.
Most marketers realise the value of personalisation in their communication. Hyper-personalised communication is not only appreciated but expected by the customer today.
Customers engaging with you during the Black Friday Cyber Monday duration give you access to first-party data. They are willing to share personal information in exchange for a unique experience. Marketers should use this data to personalise communication and send it at the right time, through the proper channels with relevant information.
The shoppers who buy from you during Black Friday or Cyber Monday could give you an insight into why they purchased from your website, mobile app, or store. You can then use this information to draft intent-based marketing messages.
Simple. This cohort bought your product because they’re saving money buying from you or the lowest-priced product. These customers buy from your sale collection, avail discounts, coupons, etc. To gain their loyalty, marketers should promote limited-time sales, push notifications with discounts, coupons for referrals, etc.
The Gen Z and millennial cohorts are a part of the “identity economy.” Before buying, they seek an answer to “What is your brand helping me become? Some customers would want to buy a Chanel product because it makes them feel part of an elite community. Others may pride themselves on buying locally or buying only from vegan brands. This helps them align with their value system while making them feel part of a community. To gain loyalty, your brand message needs to communicate the values that resonate with your customers. This cohort is community-driven, therefore promoting user-generated content might also tip them in your favour.
Here, customers buy from you because there are no alternatives in the market to what you sell. The customers in this segment are easily acquired but can quickly vanish if they see a cheaper or better quality alternative than yours.
The best way to keep these customers engaged is to create meaningful experiences for them. Offer a subscription-based model to them. Retailers could also provide value-added services like free or express delivery, convenient returns, more discounts when they spend more with you etc.
The customers in this cohort shop from you because you were convenient. Maybe you were offering the quickest delivery, or you had all the items they wanted in stock. Offer personalised product recommendations, restock updates, information on shorter delivery times, and more to retain this segment of buyers.
Adopt an approach that markets to each stage of the buyer's journey across all channels, offline and online. Capitalise on micro-moments. Plan for each stage from onboarding to activation to engagement to conversion and finally repeat purchase.
The past 18 months brought on numerous changes in customer behaviour and expectations. Some of them will fade as we return to normalcy, while others will stay on. To market to your customers effectively post-holiday season, it is essential to understand how they’d like to shop and what has changed. For a marketer to retain customers they will gain throughout the holiday season, they will have to understand these changes and align with them now, rather than wait for 2022 to roll in.
How has consumers' shopping experience changed post-pandemic
To gain their wallet share, retailers will have to craft unique and meaningful experiences carefully. Their expectations from brands are more than good quality products and efficient customer service. They want to engage actively and collaborate with brands.
Customers receive billions of emails and SMS’ during the Cyber 5 week until the new year. This is why our assumption as marketers that customers do not want to receive more is logically sound. According to our survey, however, this doesn’t hold. Customers today want to stay connected with the brand they’ve purchased from. To effectively engage with your customers during the Black Friday Cyber Monday period and after, marketers need to understand what kind of messages their customers expect.
29% of the customers surveyed said they wanted to hear more about offers, and 22% wanted to know about upcoming sales. The report also suggests that receiving very few messages from the brand is a cause of frustration for them. 41% of the surveyed customers said they want to hear from brands weekly, and 12% said communication frequency doesn't matter as long as the content is relevant.
This simple concept gained immense popularity during the pandemic. The pandemic fueled the need for saving even more. The fact that millennials and Gen Z customers find credit card options too risky has also contributed hugely to the rise of BNPL.
Customers prefer a convenient experience. They have a very low tolerance for hurdles or obstacles that add an extra step to their journey with the brand. Most Gen Z and millennials primarily browse and discover what is trending and what they’d like to buy through social media. In this case, adding a link that redirects them to your website from the social media platforms just seems like an unnecessary step. As the demand for a frictionless shopping experience grows, this has become an essential tool to increase holiday sales and help you improve brand recall post-holidays.
Today’s customers are content with paying a higher price, getting a smaller discount, or even waiting more for a product if the brand they’re buying from practices sustainability. Customers want to associate themselves with environmentally conscious brands and feel good about knowing they’re playing their part in making a difference.
The key to gaining and retaining customers post Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday is customer experience. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, most customers are discounts driven, the formula to getting them to buy from you is simple. Offer the lowest price or the highest discount. This doesn’t apply to the rest of the year. What will help you retain these customers all year round is understanding what they expect and providing a unique, personalised experience that adds value to them.<
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