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Disappointing Black Friday sales leaves advertisers questioning their strategies

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Written by publishing team

Say goodbye to late night days and early morning door shows exclusively for Thanksgiving week. Black Friday as we know it no longer exists.

Instead, people shopped online earlier this year, suggesting that major retailers’ holidays are, “rack points for ad copy versus reality for how people buy,” said Noah Mallin, chief strategy officer at IMGN. Media.

According to marketers and advertisers, there are several reasons for the change this year. First, supply chain issues are causing advertisers to roll out deals and “buy now” messages earlier than in previous years, meaning shoppers are buying earlier. The pandemic has also significantly spurred the growth of online shopping, thus blurring the lines between in-store and online efforts around the big shopping moments this time of year: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Internet Monday.

Looking at it by the numbers, Adobe reports that online sales fell to $8.9 billion on Black Friday, just below 2020 levels of $9 billion. According to Adobe, this is the first time the Insights team has seen a drop in spending on prime shopping days since Adobe first started reporting on e-commerce in 2012.

For marketers, all of this points to the idea that holiday shopping will start early and that the actual day of Black Friday will take a smaller share of holiday e-commerce spending, blending with Small Business Saturday and Cyber ​​Monday to become a digital holiday retail conglomerate.

“Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday are turning into one continuous online/retail marathon to try to get you involved, Wednesday through Tuesday,” said Allen Adamson, brand advisor and co-founder of Metaforce. “[Deals] It was available for sale, online before I finished digesting the turkey on Friday morning.”

As the digital advertising space, from banner ads to email boxes, becomes more crowded with shoppers and advertisers alike, it will take brands a lot more to break through the holiday shopping season. “Everyone’s screaming as loud as they can and it’s really hard to break through,” Adamson said.

Ahead of the retail holiday shopping season, New York City-based Rosie Labs says the increase in discounts, from 15% to 25% for one customer specifically, was enough to see an increase in online sales.

“I think the consumer is experiencing burnout,” CEO David Song said in an email. “They know they’re going to get a similar deal later in the year or they’ve been waiting for a Cyber ​​Monday deal.”

Katja Konstantin, CEO of performance marketing agency DigiShop Media, echoed something similar: If retailers don’t offer discounts significantly different than what are regularly offered online, they will miss out on shoppers.

For every sung, it’s too early to know the ramifications. But he said, “I know my clients are already putting more money on vacation [shopping] Now based on disappointing online Black Friday sales.”

Overall, this Black Friday proves that marketers and advertisers need to get more flexible, according to David MacDonald, GVP of commerce strategy at agency Razorfish. Black Friday stock is usually prepared in advance. With supply chain issues, MacDonald added, brands need to be smarter in their campaigns.

“Customers enjoy starting holiday sale early in the season, so a longer holiday season event may become a normalcy. Black Friday used to be the start of holiday shopping, but this year it was after Halloween,” MacDonald said via email.

3 Questions with Alaynia Garnsworthy, Waldo . Director of Campaign Marketing

As a brand of eye care company DTC, how is Waldo expanding to reach new shoppers?

As a brand, we’ve expanded quite a bit in the past few years (nearly 500%), but of course, expanding and reaching new shoppers is always a challenge. One of the things that has introduced a new set of challenges lately is adapting to the new privacy policies in the iOS update. Like most advertisers, Waldo has been adapting and testing new strategies, tactics, and channels to meet the current challenge and be ahead of the game for a digital world without cookie tracking. Some of the ways we’re scaling include an omnichannel strategy, ensuring that our brand is present at every stage of the funnel from awareness to purchase, [being] Data-centric, understanding, testing and learning our customers and metrics [approach] In everything we do. We are constantly testing new channels, audiences, formats, and A/B tests to be as informed as possible.

What is the retail strategy before the holiday this year?

Our approach to the festive season from a retail perspective is to add value rather than discount. We believe our products are an affordable option compared to our competitors and therefore we focus on adding more value through impactful partnerships and gifting moments. This approach also attracts the customer who usually has a higher lifetime value compared to the customer paid more with discounts.

With supply chain issues already mounting, are there any plans about that before the holiday?

This vacation is truly unparalleled in terms of supply chain issues. At WALDO, we chose to focus on a few things: planning ahead, booking space with freight forwarders earlier than usual, sharing projected volume with fulfillment parties, [and] Strengthening relationships with suppliers.

in numbers

The social commerce space continues to heat up with more players, like Pinterest with the new shopping list feature or the latest TikTok innovation with shoppable videos. However, the US has only a small fraction of the social trade pie compared to China, which is still about 10 times larger, according to eMarketer. However, new research from digital marketing agency 3Q reveals that more marketers, especially those working in tech brands, are ready to invest in social commerce sooner rather than later. Find details from the report below:

  • Tech brands are expected to significantly increase social commerce budgets from $120,000 this year to $370,000 in 2023, with an average of 208%.
  • 77% of technology marketing leaders believe that social commerce is important.
  • 85% Of the tech brand leaders surveyed are already investing or planning to invest in social commerce.

week quote

“Presenting our story to consumers in unique ways has a positive relationship with our brand awareness. For our evergreen campaigns aimed at medium to low conversion funnel goals, we prioritize internal digital channels such as direct-to-location partnerships, automated search, paid search, and networking. paid social, affiliates. These campaigns provide more immediate performance results, and as an in-house media agency, we are able to agilely change budgets based on performance and priorities.”

–Jenny Shea, Associate Director of Media for Charlotte’s Web Brand of Cannabis, on how the brand approaches media buying.

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