Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and the results from last week offer excellent insights into how themarketing landscape is changing.
Marketers, take a good hard look.
Clearly, the data shows we’re working in the midst of a revolution, where empowered consumers have control and the marketing function is evolving into new, uncharted territory.
So, please, don’t keep serving the leftovers. Don’t head into 2012 with last year’s ideas, the ones that may have worked once, but have now lost their appeal.
To help illustrate my point, take a look at these key take-aways from Black Friday 2011:
1. Consumers crave mobility. Comparing Black Friday 2011 to Black Friday 2010, PayPal saw a whopping six-fold (516 percent!) increase in global mobile payment volume and a four-fold (371 percent) increase in the number of customers shopping through mobile.
The time for equivocation has passed. Mobile is now strategically important. (See this earlier post for steps to help you start winning the mobile wars.)
2. Customers want “couch commerce.” According to comScore, more than 50 million American visited online retail sites on Black Friday –up 35 percent compared to a year ago. Each of the top five retail sites achieved double-digit gains in visitors. (Amazon led the charge, followed by Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple.)
This “couch commerce” drove $816 million in online sales on Black Friday, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2011 and representing a 26 percent increase compared to Black Friday 2010.
Even Thanksgiving Day, which is traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 18-percent increase, climbing to $479 million. Is your e-commerce business and marketing integrated to provide a compelling buying experience? Are you ready with integrated digital marketing to drive and respond to this demand? Are you integrating social retail into your e-commerce strategy?
3. Success centers on the customer experience. Black Friday in-store shopping was up this year, too, signaling that consumers can be lured away from their screens (even at midnight!) by compelling promotions.
The National Retail Federation reports that the average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend –that’s up from $365.34 last year –and that nearly one-quarter (24.4 percent) of Black Friday shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Friday. By comparison, the number of people who were at the stores at midnight was 9.5 percent in 2010 and 3.3 percent in 2009.
In order to achieve this kind of success, you need to communicate with your prospects and customers with information that is relevant –that’s the only way your message will be heard above all the noise. Make it a priority to be strategic about engagement, and stay committed to measuring results so you can adjust campaigns, as needed.
Focus on a customer-centric approach, and make sure you know who and where your customers are, how you can customize your product or service to suit them best, and how can you establish a continuous, multi-level conversation that benefits both your customers and your organization.
Marketers who want to survive will have to accept change. Marketers who want to succeed will have to drive change. Innovative Black Friday retailers got their rewards last week. Like good cooks, they didn’t settle for simple leftovers, even on the day after Thanksgiving! As we move into December and then quickly into 2012, resolve to be a change agent. Try some new recipes and learn to connect with prospects and customers in relevant and refreshing ways.