What We’ve Learned From the Black Friday Pros

Every year we come across deal after deal on TV, in magazine spreads, and even on the work commute through the radio. Breaking through the noise of holiday advertising sounds impossible. But some brands have learned to stand out among the rest, giving us insights into how to effectively tackle Black Friday marketing.

Here are some of the lessons learned from this year’s holiday deal craze.

It’s never too early to save. Black FriDAY…more like Black FriWEEK. From Thanksgiving-eve to Cyber Monday, Black Friday isn’t the only day made for deals. Brands want consumers to make their purchases with them before they catch a better deal with their competitors, which has driven brands to start advertising for Black Friday sales as early as October.Online shopping has changed the game, and e-commerce isn’t waiting to give away the best deals until Cyber Monday. The average American spends a total of 24 hours online every single week, making it increasingly challenging for brick and mortar Black Friday deals to compete with consumers’ screens when savings are always a Google search away.

One of our top Black Friday brands has taken a strategic approach to compete with e-commerce sales by kicking off their deals months ahead of time.Target is one of many companies bringing on the competition by offering free shipping deals and early bird savings for both in-store and online deals. From the start of fall, Target promotes their “Early Black Friday” deals through print and digital campaigns preparing their shoppers for the holiday season before it even begins.But even Target’s attempt to lighten the stress of Black Friday is no match for Amazon. In 2017, Amazon was responsible for 55% of all online orders made on Black Friday. Only a few years ago, Amazon coined the term “Couch Friday” to urge shoppers to stay away from stores and shop from home. They continue campaigning this idea of easy shopping made exclusively for time efficient (or lazy) shoppers. Like Target, Amazon starts their sales early. They even feature a tab on the top of their website alerting buyers that Black Friday would occur all week long. Take a page out of Amazon’s approach and start your promoting deals early before your competitors’ virtual carts are filled first.

Keep the surprise with mystery deals. Brands are doing their best to keep sales exciting. To promise their consumers the best deal, hourly specials are always on the horizon. Shoppers who consider themselves extreme savers will be checking their favorite sites regularly (we’re talking multiple times a day) for flash sales. It’s true, shoppers are more likely to make a purchase when they see that they have limited time to seal the deal.

Flash sales trick buyers into thinking they need something because they won’t be able to save that money later on – Sports Direct does this trickery best. The Sports Direct website offers multiple sales ending on various days and times to push buyers into making immediate purchases. With their ability to target sales towards products for every type of consumer, the pressure of fleeting deals pushes quick-decision purchases.

Don’t compete with the big dogs. One way to stay on top is to promote products with little to no competition. Find one of your niche audiences and use unique product offerings made for them in order to drive website visits to the rest of your inventory. Creating headlines and keywords to take over the top Google search spots is the goal, and it is the only way to get noticed in a sea of Black Friday deals.

Once customers get to your site, you’re up against the rest of the internet. The best (and worst) part about modern age shopping is the ability to Google search, making easy for consumers to compare and contrast prices without leaving home. Because Google is the ultimate support system, it is up to you to keep an eye on your competition and be aware of competitive pricing.

Now that you know how brands are getting consumers through checkout, how will you change your approach to the holiday sales season?