If you are reading this, you are most likely aware that Amazon Prime Day has already come and gone. However, two of the biggest sales events on the e-commerce calendar for all retailers and merchants are still looming on the horizon. Ring any bells? You guessed it. We’re talking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
For the past couple of years, consumer spending has been breaking records left and right, and marketers love it.
In 2017, Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought in a record $7.9B in sales, beating out 2016 numbers by 18%. 2018 was even more impressive with estimates coming in at $13.92B in transactions. It’s only fair to think that this year will be no different thanks to several factors such as increased awareness, spending, and technology use.
With all that in mind, you’re probably wondering how you can start preparing for this year’s selling frenzy. The good news is that it’s never too early to start preparing for BFCM (Black Friday-Cyber Monday) and we’re going show you how, starting with your social media platforms.
Shopping on smartphones is here to stay, and 2018 was a testament to that with 33.5% of all sales (totaling $2.1B) on BFCM coming from mobile devices.
So it only makes sense that you start checking, optimizing, and re-checking all of your web pages so that they are mobile-friendly when it comes to your brand’s site. Your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages are all mobile natives, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect them.
Having all of these handy and ready to go weeks/months ahead of time will allow you to focus on collecting data. In turn, you’ll better understand your audience and know what your customers want when it comes time to convert.
Just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are always on the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, that doesn’t mean your social media campaigns and sales have to begin on those days as well.
According to a 2018 survey by RetailMeNot, 60% of consumers start shopping for holiday gifts before Black Friday even hits. So it’s no surprise if you feel like promotions and sales are starting earlier and earlier every year.
Best Buy and their 2017 “Early Black Friday Appliance Sale” campaign is just one example of a big-box retailer getting a head start on their competitors.
On the flip side, you can lead into the BFCM weekend by creating urgency and scarcity through teaser and sneak peek campaigns weeks or even days before your actual sale launch. By doing so, you are giving your users and potential customers something to look forward to, especially when you can cherry-pick which products are the most popular amongst your users to tease based on your data gathering efforts beforehand.
No matter how early or late you decide to start activating/announcing your BFCM sales, remember that BFCM has become more than just a weekend after Thanksgiving. It also includes the week leading up to Black Friday and the weeks after Cyber Monday.
You have your BFCM creative assets, you know which products are going to be a part of your sale, you also know when you are going to start your campaigns, so now what?
If you haven’t invested in a social media management tool/dashboard like Sprout Social or Hootsuite, now would be a good time to do so. Automating the manual parts of your social media strategy such as posting and tracking performance can be substantial time savers for you and your team.
More often than not, these platforms have rich, insightful analytics to aid you in tweaking your campaigns on the fly once they’re in progress.
Additionally, with increased posting and engagement during the BFCM season, it is essential you are maintaining a positive customer experience for all the users visiting your pages and site. The last thing you want is to post all of your great content, have amazing engagement, only to lose out in the end because you didn’t follow up with a customer’s inquiry or direct message (DM).
If you can make your customer discovery journey as seamless and hassle-free as possible, you can be sure you are getting a piece of the BFCM pie this upcoming season.
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Chris is a Social Media Marketing Manager at Hawke. When he's not putting together killer campaigns for his clients, he's taking pictures of food @ehgg