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Customer Loyalty, Strategy

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday—How Brands Can Make the Most of Both

Make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Adam Fout
November 19 2019

Black Friday and Cyber Monday do require separate strategies to some degree, but because both “holidays” are beginning to overlap more and more, the best strategy accounts for the differences and syncs up where applicable. So how do you maximize both holidays? And how do you synchronize your strategies to make that weekend profitable? Here are some tips to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday strategy — take the pain out of the madness

Black Friday (during which many retailers begin advertising and offering deals many weeks in advance and for a few weeks afterward) is a chaotic time of year, as retailers limit the available deals. Their goal is to entice customers into the store by offering absurdly good deals, hoping to turn a profit through all the other normally priced merchandise.

This means deals are often limited, causing shoppers to stampede through the stores in the hopes of nabbing discounted items. You can easily defuse the madness by doing a couple of things:

  • Make the discounts more reasonable and offer more of them
  • Promise supplies aren’t limited

Limited availability drives the madness on Black Friday, and the madness is not only provoking a Black Friday backlash, but actively driving customers away from your store. According to The Balance, “Thanksgiving and Black Friday are still the busiest shopping days for stores, but traffic is declining.  In 2018, it fell as much as 9 percent from 2017. The number of people visiting stores in 2017 was 4 percent lower than in 2016. RetailNext Inc. analyzed in-store videos to count the shoppers.”

If you want to get more customers in the door and retain them after the turkey is long gone, ease up on offers that are limited to just Black Friday. Black Friday was once associated only with in-store offers while Cyber Monday was limited to online shopping, but online shopping has become so widespread that it makes no sense for a modern brand to limit a sale to their brick and mortar locations. Further, few customers make a clear differentiation between the two in their head—any customer who is that on top of the deals is there for the deal itself, not for your brand.

Your most loyal customers are loyal to you, not your single day of deals. That’s who your deals should be for, not the schmuck trolling every website in sight to just find a deal and never come back, so consider a marketing strategy offering discounts that start before Black Friday and last until after Cyber Monday—this ensures that your best customers have a chance of picking up great deals and coming to love you even more.

Remember that your goal for Black Friday isn’t just about profiting for that day, but rather getting shoppers in the door, beginning the process of turning them into life-long customers.

Cyber Monday strategy — start early, kill shipping, and make it easy

Online sales are far more forgiving. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this online shopping extravaganza:

  • Offer deals on Sunday (or even Saturday) and give shoppers more time to discover and take advantage of what you have to offer.
  • Offer free shipping. If customers add an item to their cart, get out their credit card, and then see an additional shipping fee, they may abandon right then and there.
  • The fewer steps required between selecting an item and purchasing it, the better. Obligating your customers to log in to make a purchase is a recipe for disaster, so skip the account creation requirements.

Synch your strategies — give customers a reason to shop on both days

Customers are inundated with Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers season after season, and it’s only getting worse. Household budgets rarely make room for all the deals available, which means that you might only be able to draw them in for one or two items (while they go elsewhere for other, more enticing deals).

Offering different discounts on each day is fine, but a higher-level strategy is needed to thrive on both days.

  • Offer customers who made a purchase on Black Friday a discount for Cyber Monday. A steep discount will entice customers to make purchases on both days. Advertise this discount and make sure people know that they save by shopping with you on both
  • Synchronizing varying deals on both BF and CM will increase the likelihood of getting people in the door and convincing them to try both days for all available deals. Try pairing items that go together (cat food discounted on Friday, cat food dispenser discounted on Monday).

Start planning now

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is just around the corner. Get your strategy in place now so that you can start drumming up excitement before everyone else does. Be clever and thoughtful, and you’ll avoid the backlash other retailers are feeling this time of year.

And good luck out there, marketer.

Keep Your First-Time Customers Coming Back

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Adam Fout

Adam Fout, resident content and brand sorcerer at BlueSteelSolutions, guides brands through the mystical process of creating website and blog content that enchants customers and entices leads. He also writes fiction in his free time at My Website

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