Each year Black Friday deals are promoted earlier and earlier. In 2017, most brands debuted their offer price for the holiday season before Halloween. That means the consumer is more likely to get fatigued the closer we get to the holiday season. We’ve also trained them to expect deep discounts come December.
So what is a brand marketer to do? Give the consumer what they want without slashing profits with these 6 strategies.
In the States, Black Friday is something of a religion. You see, the “holiday” is generally a day off, spent searching for the best deals on products for yourself and your family. Some people buy gifts, but the discounts make “one for you and one for me” a lot easier to swallow for most consumers.
If you’re a B2C brand, you probably considered your Black Friday strategy over the summer. And if you didn’t, that’s a note for next year.
Building a Black Friday strategy is about pulsing the right offer in the right cadence, so that your consumer audience does not fatigue too quickly.
And they will fatigue, but that’s the piece of the offer strategy that you have to carefully consider when developing your plan. When they grow restless, it’s important to have a back pocket offer ready to go and that’s where these strategies come into play.
Limited Time Offer
Your main price drop will be billed as a limited time offer, but what offer can be available for a truly limited time? Are there any products that you can stop offering in 2018? Or products that you can only offer as promotions in 2018? This is a great way to make space for new, higher price point stock AND allow you to surprise and delight your audience at different points in the sales cycle in 2018. You can also pulse offers in organic content — for example, offer a lower price in organic content for one week and then go back to the regular price for one week. Then, in the same week, offer the lower price on sponsored posts only. Tracking the links here will help you get a sense of which audience responds best to the offer and how to keep it going.
Limit the Purchase Amount
This is great for anything with a monthly subscription rate or anything that is a series of classes, courses or products. Limiting the number of products that can be purchased at the discounted rate will increase sales. Why? Because telling your consumers they can only have X amount of Y will make them buy X amount. This is a tactic that I often use with service-based businesses and it works like a charm every, single time.
Flash Sales are not just for Black Friday, they’re great as a pulsing sales tactic all year long. The most effective way to run a flash sale is to offer a discount to a select group of influencers 12-24 hours in advance of the official flash sale and work on getting some quality User Generated Content to recirculate as the official flash sale begins.
Another tactic that sometimes works for a quick cash win around the holidays is to create a referral program. This is a strategy that can be used to generate an Insider Group of fans and followers. By cultivating this group of Insider Influencers, you’re able to offer deals and extend those deals to a larger network by incentivizing your Insiders.
Some quick and easy ways to manage an Insider Referral Program:
Pay Off Your Product
Some consumer product companies are creating deals around having influencers share with their friends, and if enough friends purchase the product, the influencer gets the product for free. This can be risky for the business, however, the number of friends who have to purchase is usually only attainable for a small amount of the population, so the chances of giving away free product is relatively low. If you have a membership attached to your product, you can also reduce the monthly fee or give them several months free, creating a tiered approach to the pay off the product tactic.
Give a Discount, Get a Discount
More commonly seen, the “give $20, get $20” deal is an easy (and fast!) way to mobilize a referral sales force. Have them share with their friends and get a discount on a future purchase. This can be challenging if you only have one item or if you’re still in a soft-launch period, but it is the best way to incentivize the audience without cutting into profits. It’s also a deal that can be dialed up, or down, depending on the season.
For brands with a large social following or a brand ambassador with a large following, this can be the simplest way to incentivize your audience. This is a great tactic to combat sales fatigue too. Why? Because social currency is something that many consumers are hoping for when they purchase a trendy product. They want a comment, like, share or mention by the brand OR a chance to connect, 1:1 with the brand ambassador. A great way to make this even more impactful is to connect with a series of brands to offer a larger prize pack to your influencer of choice.
If your consumers seem impatient, you can also try segmenting your list and promoting your social offers to a select group as a test group OR as a way to reengage sales. This is something that should be done with care, especially if you offer a lower price to the smaller group. In the day of social media, consumers are quick to call out brands with inconsistent deals and there’s no way to completely block them from all segments.
The best way to achieve quick cash wins this holiday season? Give the consumer what they want, but keep it fresh! That is the best way to win over your customers all the way through New Year’s.