Last year during the UK’s Black Friday, an unprecedented demand for deals took many retailers by surprise with two thirds of customers feeling shops were unprepared for biggest shopping day of the year. But even so, Black Friday 2014 was a huge success for many retailers. John Lewis had its all-time best week of sales, while Asda had their busiest day of the year with over 2 million shoppers scooping up holiday deals. Shoppers weren’t just lining up on the high streets either. British consumers spent £810 million ($1.3 billion USD) online with Amazon – shipping about 5.5 million orders. In the USA, retailers also had a record day with a 9.5% year-over-year increase in online sales compared to 2013.
Is Black Friday 2015 due to be bigger and more popular than ever? Get ready to capture that pre-Holiday spend.
Here’s how to boost Black Friday sales with programmatic marketing:
- Optimize to Specific Campaign Goals
Before getting swept-up in the seasonal excitement, step back for a moment and think about what you want to achieve from Black Friday. Many marketers are simply looking to target holiday shoppers, specifically shoppers who have held back until November to look for a deal (a third of shoppers in the UK get their Christmas shopping done in September). But beyond sales, many retailers use Black Friday messaging to make sure they are front-of-mind when those procrastinating shoppers are looking for gifts well into December. To achieve this, campaign goals should be set much earlier than November so you can choose the best ad, placement, and targeting options.
- Think About the Entire Customer Journey
Black Friday is but one day on the calendar (two if you loop in cyber Monday), but the consumer journey begins several days before Black Friday and will continue well beyond. In a perfect world, marketers will have their digital campaigns start around two weeks before the Big Day to achieve a perfectly timed peak of brand awareness. The customer journey moves between online and offline channels as they research online and buy in-store (or the other way around) in what we call showrooming. Shoppers will also often order online and pick-up in-store, or order in-store and have their purchase shipped home. Retailers increasingly require an omni-channel view and the ability to connect in-store transactions with online advertising. This can be done using programmatic marketing.
- Leverage the Real-Time Opportunity of Programmatic Marketing
Because programmatic is in real-time, it’s easy for marketers to adjust exposure during big campaigns like Black Friday, even on the day itself. As a marketer, you can amplify the demand curve as it rises (for maximum impact) and decrease your spend as demand decreases (after Christmas, for example). The spend can also be moved between channels––increasing a mobile ad spend over Black Friday and then transferring it to desktop advertising for Cyber Monday for example. This is often done with search engine marketing but can and should be applied to any channels bought using programmatic marketing.
- Use First Party Data to Personalize Messaging
As a marketer, you could offer Black Friday deals for everyone (blanket coverage), but an even better strategy is to use the information you already have about current customers to predict what they will buy this holiday season. With a programmatic marketing system that adapts based on consumer insight, marketers can use that wealth of first-party consumer data available to you and layer in third-party data to target consumers with offers and products they care about. Dynamic creative tech can also help deliver personalized messaging to further enhance your campaign.
Black Friday is a huge opportunity for retailers to reach consumers who are looking to spend. By setting goals, and using programmatic along with customer data and insights to help tailor your message, you can boost your Black Friday sales. To learn more about programmatic advertising, read a beginner’s guide to programmatic advertising.
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- How To Boost Black Friday Sales with Programmatic Marketing - November 25, 2015