Black Friday is one of the busiest and most profitable events in the retail calendar. What used to be a one-day event has evolved into a month-long extravaganza as consumers look for the earliest deals to beat the holiday shopping rush.
Also see our new Boost Your Black Friday Marketing Strategy infographic
Despite this trend, competition remains fierce among brands and retailers. So, here’s our selection of the top 9 Black Friday marketing tips for a successful holiday season.
9 Black Friday Marketing Tips for Brands and Retailers
1. Start Early
Black Friday starts well before the day itself. The most successful brands begin their promotions weeks in advance, helping them raise awareness and increase engagement. Once consumers are engaged, they're incentivized to make repeat purchases throughout the holiday season.
An early start allows you to spread out your promotions, so you’re not competing against countless other brands for customer attention on the day itself.
Black Friday Brand Lessons: Target
Target has developed something of a reputation for starting Black Friday early. In 2022, the Minneapolis-based retailer kicked off proceedings on October 10th – a full seven weeks before Thanksgiving. This not only allows customers to start their holiday shopping early, but it also gives Target a vital head start over their competitors.
2. Make the Most of Your Customer Data
Every purchase is a potential treasure trove of customer information. Black Friday’s one of the busiest shopping periods of the year for brands, so you need a martech solution that lets you gather and analyze point of sale (POS) customer data in real time, at scale.
Receipt processing tools provide detailed insight into your customers’ preferences and shopping habits – from their favorite brands, purchase frequency, and average basket size to competitor basket share. This helps you optimize your promotions and maximize conversion rates during Black Friday.
3. Create Seamless Omnichannel Experiences
Customers use multiple channels on their path to purchase. A typical customer might begin by researching products on social media before completing their purchase on the retailer's website or in-store. And they expect a consistent, seamless experience as they move between channels.
Traffic is always higher during Black Friday, which is why you need to optimize every customer touchpoint to ensure a seamless experience. For example, you could offer free delivery on orders over $100 or curbside pickup for online purchases.
87% of Millennials and Gen Z consumers want consistent brand experiences that mix digital and physical touchpoints.
4. Harness Social Media
Social media is one of the most important channels for shoppers during Black Friday. According to McKinsey, 87% of Gen Z shoppers head to social media for inspiration – with YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok the most popular platforms.
Take advantage of this trend to promote your Black Friday deals in the run-up to the event. Build anticipation with exclusive previews and entice customers to spend more with limited-time offers they simply can’t pass up.
Social media is a powerful amplification tool. During Black Friday, customers share the best deals instantly on their social accounts. More eyes on your offers means greater reach and more traffic. Brands can also run social-specific contests to entice UGC sharing that boosts product visibility and promotes new features. For example, a Wall of Fame or photo contest.
Snipp tip: Take advantage of social commerce during Black Friday. Social commerce lets you sell directly to your ideal customers on their favorite social media platforms.
5. Use a Chatbot
Of all the Black Friday marketing tips we’re talking about today, this might seem the most left-field.
The influx of customers over the Black Friday period increases the pressure on customer support teams. And while some customers will always prefer to speak to a person when they experience issues, a growing number are happy to use chatbots. 62% of customers would talk to a chatbot rather than wait 15 minutes or more for a customer support rep.
Installing a chatbot on your eCommerce site provides an extra layer of support. Customers can ask your chatbot basic questions and resolve common problems independently. If the issue needs further investigation, they can then escalate to your support team. This reduces the pressure on customer support teams, allowing them to focus on more complex issues.
Advanced chatbots can even provide personalized recommendations and improve search on your eCommerce site, making it easier for customers to find the products they want when they want them.
6. Reward Loyal Customers
Holidays are a great opportunity to acknowledge and reward loyal customers, and Black Friday is no exception. A customer loyalty platform enables you to run engaging, personalized promotions that reward your most loyal customers. For example, you could give loyal customers early access to exclusive offers. Not only does this increase engagement, but it also strengthens their relationship with your brand.
Black Friday Brand Lessons: ASOS
Online fashion retailer ASOS incentivizes customers to sign up for their mailing list and download the brand’s app by offering exclusive, early access discounts over Black Friday. Loyal customers also get first news of exact Black Friday start times, so they can nab the best deals before anyone else.
7. Enrich Your Promotions with Value-Add Rewards
You need to think outside the box to stand out in the sea of Black Friday discounts and traditional tactics. Simply offering the lowest price may not be enough to grab the attention of your ideal customer. Why? Because today’s consumers want more than a discount. They want relevant, personalized rewards that align with their lifestyle and values.
Personalized rewards encourage consumers to try new products and spend more. Consider enriching your promotions with value-add rewards, like:
- Branded merchandise
- Immersive experiences and activities
- Exclusive events
- Charitable donations
A dedicated rewards platform can help you coordinate your activities and help customers get the most out of your promotions.
Black Friday Brand Lessons: IKEA
Bring Back Friday is IKEA’s unique spin on Black Friday. Alongside the usual pre-holiday discounts, Bring Back Friday rewards environmentally conscious customers for recycling used furniture. In exchange, customers receive an IKEA voucher, plus 15% extra buy-back value for IKEA family members. The promotion helps customers do their bit for the environment and help communities in need, wand allows IKEA to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.
8. Partner with Other Brands
Black Friday doesn’t always have to be a competition. It might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best Black Friday marketing tips you follow is to run a co-branded promotion.
Partnering with relevant brands who share your values can be a mutually beneficial arrangement that helps both parties during the Black Friday rush. Brand partnerships help you reach a broader audience and can create a buzz around your brand on social media. This can make your offer more enticing and boost engagement with your promotions.
Snipp tip: Partner with a non-profit organization to raise awareness for a worthy cause, boost your reputation, and spread some festive cheer.
9. Layer Your Promotions
Black Friday customers are typically looking for the best deal or the most exciting reward. They don’t necessarily feel any loyalty towards your brand. And the data proves it. Customers acquired over Black Friday have a lower lifetime value than customers acquired at any other time of the year for 64% of retailers.
You can make strides to reverse this trend by layering your Black Friday promotions with loyalty incentives, sweepstakes opportunities, and more. You can also reengage customers on social by inviting them to share their experiences or offer money off their next purchase to entice them to shop with you again.
Reaching out to Black Friday shoppers shows that you value their custom and helps you build stronger customer relationships.
Think Outside the Box This Black Friday
You don’t have to use every Black Friday marketing tip we’ve listed here to succeed.
If you work in a niche industry, you might struggle to find a brand partnership that makes sense. Similarly, smaller businesses might not have enough traffic to justify investing in a chatbot. The key is to find the combination that best supports your marketing strategy.
Contact us to elevate your marketing strategy this holiday season.