Ozone Media’s recently appointed chief operating officer, Raj Beri, adds that five years ago mobile marketing and mobile sales for Black Friday were non-existent.
“For consumers, Black Friday was only about hitting the stores en masse to get the best deals. Now, it seems that it’s more important for marketers to get their best deals on Thanksgiving Day online and through mobile push marketing. Even Black Friday is now as much about online as it is about in-store sales and revenue, so we’re seeing a huge shift in terms of where brands are finding consumers and delivering relevant content,” he explained.
“Largely the behavior thus far has been to browse and view on mobile and then complete the sale over desktop or offline. As m-commerce picks up and the maturity and ease of mobile payment systems pushes forward, there is promise of mobile becoming a preferred channel for transactions, even on a traditional in-store shopping day like Black Friday. In time, we will see the mobile revenue on Black Friday gradually catching up to the amount of mobile traffic that brands receive.”
However, so important has this holiday period become that retailers are trying to expand their offers and prolong the shopping period, with Walmart having revealed its plan to make it a five day experience with deals beginning on the morning of thanksgiving itself to capture online customers.
Rivals Best Buy and Target also revealed their sales items a fortnight in advance in order to drive hype and awareness, with sponsored tweets and promotions being used to promote individual deals.
“Black Friday is a double-edged sword for most digital marketers. We know consumer engagement is going to be unusually high so it’s an ideal time to try and capture their attention, but we also know that all marketers are having the exact same thought so it can be difficult to stand out in such a crowded space,” warns advertising technology company Spongecell chief executive, Ben Kartzman.
“This year, smart digital marketers will focus on delivering a dynamic experience for shoppers that they haven’t necessarily seen before. We recently completed a campaign with a young adult clothing retailer that dynamically pulled in its latest collection right into the ad. Consumers were able to browse the catalog, view prices and click-through to the item right from the ad. Prices were automatically updated as the retailer introduced new offers. Shoppers could also toggle between an embedded video, offering additional opportunity from them to learn about and engage with the brand.
“This Black Friday, digital marketers would be wise to use a similar strategy to dynamically engage consumers during such a busy online day of the year and stand out among the static and generic ads shoppers are typically encountering.”
Concurring with the need to creative informative and engaging strategies for retail online as much as off, Amanda McCreary, senior product marketing manager of online content platform company, Acquia, says that providing content that informs and inspires the consumer in their need to find the presents they are seeking is key.
“The online environment is the perfect medium for brands to engage consumers and provide that highly-valued content, however it is often disjoined from the shopping experience. Many brands have fallen into what Forrester Research calls the ‘Two-Site Syndrome’, with one site containing the product catalog, and another containing the rich, engaging marketing content. When this happens, the exploration and shopping experiences become disjointed, and leaves revenue on the table,” continues McCreary, who recommends that brands focus on the creation of content-driven commerce experiences online alongside integrated
To combat the issue this year, brands should focus on creating an integrated content-driven commerce experiences online: “Integrating content and commerce is a huge opportunity brands simply can’t pass up on.”