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Cyber Monday

Black Friday + Cyber Monday 2018 = £7bn

The combined revenue to UK retail from Black Friday and Cyber Monday is predicted to have reached £7 billion, according to industry forecasts.

However, there have also been reports that the focus on online has been associated with a decrease in store footfall overs the sales weekend.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) told The Guardian that Black Friday were expected to be up on 2017, which itself saw revenue rise 8% year on yeah.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become a staple fixture of the calendar year and an important one for many retailers,” a BRC spokesman said. “While it is too early to say how retailers have fared on Black Friday itself, we expect the weeks surrounding Black Friday to show some growth on last year. Whether the day itself breaks records will depend on how consumers have responded to the promotions offered this year.”

Deals comparison website Finder.com said it expected punters to spend an estimated £7bn on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, combined.

And a survey by F&C Investment Trust said Britons would be spending £7.7bn over the extended shopping weekend (on top of an eye watering £19.2 million on sales so far this year).

Meanwhile, market analyst Springboard said that Black Friday and the weekend that follows do very little to help the beleaguered High Street.

It anticipated that footfall would drop by -3.7% YOY compared to Black Friday 2017 and by -2.7% over the weekend as a whole.

This follows a decline in footfall on Black Friday 2017 of -3.6%, and -1.1% over weekend, revealing the UK’s appetite for this pre-Christmas spending spree may be wavering.

“Whatever happens on Black Friday, our data over the past few years has established that it brings Christmas spending forward,”| Diane Wehrle, Marketing & Insights Director at Springboard. “This creates a magnet of spending activity at the beginning the peak trading period which then suppresses spending until the final week before Christmas, when consumers take advantage of last minute deals that are likely to be introduced by retailers to drive sales in what is a highly challenging trading climate.”

Guest Blog, Milana Saric: The retailer’s guide to last minute Christmas social advertising…

The Christmas holiday season is often far from the most wonderful time of year for retail marketers. Sales success can seem as elusive as finding the perfect gift for the pickiest person on your gift list.

Pressure around holiday marketing builds for good reasons. Many retailers make more than half of their sales and profits in the three months leading up to Christmas. In 2015, UK holiday sales rose by 2.3 per cent from £74.26 billion to £75.96 billion, buoyed by the growth of events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

With consumers facing seasonal messages and advertisements from all directions, it takes careful planning to execute campaigns that will break through the noise. It’s important to provide a seamless cross-channel experience because, in the UK, 70 per cent of social media time is spent on smartphones. And you’ll have to spend. The days of relying on organic social media to deliver your message are long gone. To convert specific audiences into buyers you will need paid social media: the vastness of its reach, its finely tuned targeting and array of compelling ad units.

To boost your social advertising for the final weeks, here are some tips on making your social Christmas campaigns sing like the King’s College Choir:

Timing

Even though we’re close to Christmas, online is at its peak, and is still a key time for driving awareness and increasing product consideration. With the extra time off, consumers are in a much more relaxed state-of-mind; and will spend more time browsing and shopping online.

Pinterest is an important tool during this phase of the season, with audiences using the platform to plan their holiday activities, as well as to research and bookmark gifts for themselves, family, and friends. Facebook and Instagram are additional platforms to reach audiences at scale and drive them to your site to browse.

Pre-Test

In the final run-up to Christmas there’s a huge opportunity to test. See which products and messaging audiences respond to in order to focus on top-performers when sales start. Leverage the audiences you have already driven to your site and dynamically retarget users based on product pages they have viewed. Put the right items in front of shoppers at the right time.

Messaging

Throughout, focus on driving awareness and engagement by promoting valuable content that’s shareable. Then move people further down the funnel with consideration and conversion-led content with strong calls-to-action that will prompt them to act on their purchase intent. From Black Friday onwards, an important sales period – and a lot of retailers are still continuing the discounts, messaging should be much more conversion-focused.

On Pinterest, build content that is helpful and informative. Focus on how your brand’s products and services solve challenges for consumers. For instance, you could have Pins with themes such as ‘6 office party outfits’, ‘Tips for buying wearables for your loved one’, or ‘Party planning guide.’

For Twitter, create infographics that include valuable sale shopping tips. This kind of shareable content will increase engagement as well as organic reach. Capitalise on the season’s buzz by using tweets to tap into live conversations about the holidays.

Snapchat’s Snap Ads, completely viewable, full-screen video, provide an extremely powerful video experience. Capture attention with short, concise video (3-7 seconds) that showcases your key holiday brand story.

Don’t be afraid to run experiments. Splashes of colour can have thumb-stopping power so play around with various options without compromising your brand identity. A/B test ad types against one another depending on your goals.

Targeting

Target users based on their online and offline purchase behaviour with third-party audiences from data providers such as Datalogix and Acxiom. These audiences can be synched to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts and activated across your campaigns.

Start with broad targeting and narrow down the audiences once you’ve gathered sufficient learning. Use CRM data to re-engage lapsed customers and ensure they are aware of your latest offering and/or promotions.

Develop a retargeting strategy to leverage audiences that have recently visited or purchased from your website or engaged with your brand’s content on social media.

Tap into custom audience segments offered by social platforms and third-party data providers for targeting. Snapchat is one platform that has released audience categories – Snap Lifestyle Categories – to reach users based on how they engage on the platform. These include fashion and style gurus, film and TV fans, foodies, sports fans, and more.

Ad Formats

Video is the most powerful way to drive awareness for products/services and is no longer just a landscape experience. Snapchat led the way with vertical video, a format that allows a brand to take up 100 per cent screen share-of-voice. Facebook has also begun to offer a vertical video unit.

For online sales, use Facebook’s lead ad and Twitter’s lead generation unit to grow awareness for a sale and incentivise users to subscribe to receive information.

In terms of increasing product consideration, ad formats such as Carousel Ads on Facebook and Instagram and multi-product tweets on Twitter are very effective in showcasing multiple products and enabling storytelling. Promoted Pins are powerful because so many users actively save Pins to come back to the content later. They’re also a huge traffic-driver, so use keyword targeting to ensure users searching and planning on Pinterest find your products.

 

Milana Saric is the client strategy director, EMEA at Adaptly and has a wealth of experience helping advertisers to execute digital marketing strategies and drive brand awareness on social media. She is responsible for clients across the entertainment, fashion and retail sectors.

Christmas and January sales to be dampened by Black Friday…

More than two-thirds of consumers plan to take full advantage of Black Friday deals, which kick-starts the surge of Christmas shoppers, but consumers anticipate a curb in spending through the month of December and in the January sales. 

As it’s revealed that 62 per cent are planning to use Black Friday (November 25) as an opportunity to buy discounted presents, a survey by retail and brand consultancy, The Market Creative, found that 26 per cent of shoppers anticipate they will spend less money in December. 

Analysts suggest the impact on spending is likely to run into early 2017, as 28 per cent of shoppers said the introduction of Black Friday and Cyber Monday had made them less interested in the January sales, due to generally better and more attractive offers. 

Sue Benson, managing director at The Market Creative said:”Scenes of frenzied shoppers battling for bargains have influenced our perception that Black Friday deals are shorter and deeper than other sales. Coupled with our desire for instant gratification Black Friday could well be a retailers dream period as they get much-needed pre-Christmas sales in early.  
 
“But it’s not all good news. The Christmas and January sales have traditionally been the most lucrative for retailers and Black Friday has dragged spending forward. Consumer wallets are finite, so we’re seeing December full-price sales and profits cannibalised. Another watch out is the discount strategy involved, if merchandise isn’t shifted how low are retailers prepared to go in the traditional Boxing Day and January sale period?”

Although Black Friday has changed the Christmas shopping habits of younger generation consumers, the trend was less apparent among older age groups. Of the 18-24 year olds surveyed, 83 per cent plan to take advantage of Black Friday deals and 86 per cent will buy discounted Christmas gifts. However, 47 per cent of shoppers over 65 plan to buy something and just a quarter will buy Christmas presents. 
 

Access the full report here