The results are in for Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2022 — consumers are chomping at the bit to spend this season. By now, you must have a plan: an idea of the sales you are going to run, goals for how you will execute on the influx of customers hunting for the deal, and a Black Friday Cyber Monday marketing checklist.
US consumers spent $8.9 billion online during Black Friday 2021, and virtual shopping is expected to trend upward this year. With more and more customers starting their shopping early, and focused on holding out for deals thru Cyber Monday, Cyber Week shopping is expected to be north of $200 billion this year.
That’s why we created this checklist. We’re tuned in to the pulse of this year’s customers, the economics of BFCM 2021, and the challenges we’re all facing as brand marketers and eCommerce professionals this year. Here are eight things you should check off your list for a successful selling season.
Calculate What You Can Afford
2022 has been marked by economic uncertainty. With measurements like unemployment and median income, the economy is thriving. Look at inflation and job openings in specific industries, and you get a much different story. Interest rates are rising, but spending hasn’t slowed down in most key measurements.
Given this economic status, it seems obvious that most shoppers will still be eager to shop. It’s not like 2008 where income went away for many Americans. Still, there’s too much uncertainty for people to spend the way they did the last couple years. To stand out from the Cyber Week noise, you need a compelling offer.
Figure out what your brand can afford to offer. Promote products at the lowest possible rate that doesn’t lose profits (or lose the profits, if the brand awareness will balance it out). Remember it’s a limited time offer, but you need to swing for the fences in terms of your offerings to feel secure to buyers in 2022.
Get Shipping Materials Ready
Supply chain issues aren’t in the news as much this year, but there are still plenty of delays that can impact small and medium sized businesses. There are countless shipping delays, from all the ships sitting offshore of California. That means if you haven’t pulled together your shipping materials for the influx of orders you’re expecting, you might be missing the boat (filled with your shipping materials and parked offshore).
The solution to this is to do an audit of what you have, so you can ensure that the paper and plastic shipping materials you have exceed your stretch goals. If you do an inventory and come up short, consider how you can source your materials locally, or at least domestically. This both precludes overseas shipping delays and reduces your environmental impact.
I have a co-worker whose apartment move-in date has been delayed because the landlord can’t get appliances into the apartment before then. You may have run into similar issues if you’re buying a computer or the components of one.
On a grander scale, the longer your supply chain is, the more likely you are to find it interrupted during this holiday season. Shorten, streamline, localize, and understand the entirety of your supply chain. Visible, transparent, and domestic supply chains will fare better than the rest.
Diversify Your Media
Our own Director of Growth, Madena Ghani, says to balance between top, middle, and bottom-of-funnel tactics. Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) is a terrible metric in digital marketing because attribution is all over the place. Instead, look at your Marketing Efficiency Ratio (MER), which combines all your marketing efforts and results.
Aim for Sustainability
Just last year, Hawke experts were touting that sustainability was a move for brands to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z. In just the last couple years, a majority of Gen X now say they are willing to spend more for sustainably sourced products. That, plus the rising spending power of Gen Z, makes ecologically friendly products and shipping more important than ever.
Sustainability starts with the supply chain; we’ve been dancing around that topic in this point and the previous one, but we’ll talk about it more a bit later. Much of what you can control happens in what is called “last-mile delivery.”
Sure, it’s all well and good to say “go green” this Black Friday, but what are some actionable ways you can implement that?
- Go digital. For last-minute sustainable surprise and delight, consider adding digital offerings this holiday season. Instead of printing a book or selling a physical item, ask, “How can I make this digital?” Digital offerings require almost no supply chain, which means they’re easy to offer last-minute and they’re more sustainable.
- Source locally. Local is the new black (Friday), and the more you source from the area around you, the faster you can implement new offerings and the more sustainable you’ll be.
- Use green materials. You may be using green materials and not even know it. Or maybe you want to shift your offerings to be a little greener. Using materials like glass, bamboo, or recycled plastics is a tiny way you can both be more sustainable and boast about it.
- Partner with those who are already making change. When selecting partners, choose those who are dedicated to sustainability and making change. Then you can name-drop those partners and instantly win approval from your customers and would-be buyers.
Sustainability has to be genuine. You can’t fake it, really, and if you get caught trying, it won’t be pretty.
Sell Your Why
This season, your audience is being flooded with offers that come with 10% to 20% off coupons.
Email send volumes skyrocket each holiday season, and 2020 was no exception. You need to do something to stand out from the cacophony of voices shouting at prospective buyers from their inboxes.
Millennials and Gen Zers want authenticity and transparency, but they also want a cause. When angling your BFCM efforts, be sure to have an intention beyond just lining your pockets. Donate to a charity and talk about it. Have your team volunteer together as a team-building exercise.
Find your why outside of the money and the rest will come.
Recycle Your Content
If you haven’t created BFCM-specific content, you can always tilt your evergreen content to be themed that way. This works especially well in design, and keeps you from having to overspend on creating content that’s good only for the holiday season. Take a look at your best-performing articles and see if they can use a holiday twist.
Make Yourself Available
This is broad for a reason. For BFCM 2021, make yourself available to talk to your prospective and current customers. That involves answering basic questions, providing agile responses to customer-service issues, and presenting your offerings through a number of channels.
If you sell a physical product in a brick-and-mortar location, consider offering pickup or delivery. This will be particularly effective this season, due to shipping and predicted postal-service delays.
Being available also means creating stores and content that are responsive and accessible to the significant percentage of consumers shopping exclusively on their mobile devices.
By the start of November, major competitors like Amazon (where over 15% of total online holiday shopping takes place) have started their early bird promotions. Being available to customers this year may be as simple as moving on your promos ASAP.
Hear from Hawke Experts
Need a helping hand? Just because it’s nearly BFCM 2021 doesn’t mean you’re too late to take advantage of the holiday gold rush. Hawke Media’s partners and professionals can whip up a last-minute holiday selling-season strategy faster than your mom whips up her famous holiday cookies.
You can also hear from Hawke and our partners on these topics from last year.