The calendar is counting down toward the busiest shopping weekend of the year: Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM). Every powerhouse ecommerce brand knows it’s nearly game time, and you’re likely working on your advertising strategy as we speak.
But let’s get real. BFCM advertising isn’t about unleashing a barrage of emails and advertising and waiting for that Shopify cha-ching. The modern shopper is savvy, traversing the digital realms, searching for the best gifts with the best deals. How do you get their attention (and get them to the checkout) without spending your entire marketing budget in one go?
With none other than an omnichannel marketing strategy.
While you’re probably already using it in your customer journey, we’ll show you which ads work for BFCM 2023 and how you can combine them to build a dynamite marketing strategy.
Let’s dive in. But first, a word about consumer sentiment.
93% of shoppers are actually excited for your BFCM ads
In the BFCM Consumer Trends 2023 report, we surveyed 1,117 people about their shopping habits and expectations for BFCM.
One big surprise (but also not a surprise) was how many people are genuinely excited to get BFCM ads. An impressive 93% of shoppers reported they feel at least a little excited to see BFCM ads. Only 7% reported feeling very annoyed by them. Clap your copywriters and designers on the back—for the most part, people like their work!
Now that we know people like your ads, let’s delve deeper into whether they’re effective.
We consume A LOT of ads these days, but when it comes to BFCM, shoppers don’t seem to mind since 9 in 10 say that ads evoke anticipation. While we’re not telling you to blow up your customers’ phones, the data is definitely saying that you shouldn’t hold back. People are hyped for the deals so hype up the BFCM messaging!
Since early bird shoppers aren’t afraid to hunt for holiday gifts all year long, start teasing out holiday sales by early November. Be smart about identifying and targeting your BFCM customers with the right ads at the right time. Use social commerce to acquire new customers, email to introduce your sales, and (if you have a mobile app) push notifications to convert browsers into buyers.
Leverage customer journey touchpoints for BFCM success
Our advice on how to market effectively? Focus on personalizing your omnichannel marketing strategy. Your top loyal customer cohort wants to hear from you in a different way than a first-time shopper. Take time to understand each point of your customer’s journey. You want to put the customer at the heart of your strategies to stand out in a competitive landscape.
For example, each generation has a different tolerance for BFCM messaging. This was most notable in the report when comparing Baby Boomers and Gen Z.
While 17% of consumers are more likely to unsubscribe from emails during BFCM than the rest of the year, 24% of Gen Z say they’re more likely to unsubscribe during peak season. Compare that to Boomers, of whom only 11% say the same, and you see a broad stratification between the two generations.
Gen Z is also more sensitive to message frequency, with 75% saying “getting too many messages” during BFCM would cause them to unsubscribe. Meanwhile, only 62% of Millennials, 60% of Gen X, and 57% of Boomers said the same.
The takeaway from that data? Save your Gen Z emails for really impactful messages, and switch to personalized messages that will resonate more with the younger consumers. On the other hand, Boomers have a high tolerance for emails, so they continue to use them to garner excitement and anticipation.
Using the data to make decisions, like who should get the most marketing emails and who should get an SMS or push notification instead, is the best way to stand out across customer touchpoints.
Strike the right note with every marketing channel
Each marketing channel has its keynotes, but it’s not until you put them all together does your strategy really sing. (Too cheesy? We’re undecided.) Let’s face it: an omnichannel strategy is where it’s at these days.
In the chaos that is BFCM, a disjointed marketing strategy can be a deal breaker. Instead of treating your channels like separate silos (and risk getting lost in the holiday-shopping shuffle), create a cohesive brand experience that makes your deals irresistible come BFCM.
While it may be tempting to hold off on advertising before the big day, start ramping up your offers once we hit November. It’ll help you drive traffic into owned channels like email, SMS, and mobile app push notifications early to make it easier to reach potential customers come game time.
And remember, BFCM is no longer a sprint. It’s now a week-long digital marathon that often lingers throughout the rest of the shopping season. Remember to craft your strategy to extend into Cyber Week and continue throughout the shopping season—and beyond.
We’d also like to note that a full omnichannel strategy should include much more than the few tactics we have here, but we’re focusing on these critical awareness and conversion drivers for BFCM.
Find the right balance with paid social media
Remember how we talked about how shoppers are excited about BFCM ads? That includes paid social ads. Practically 70% of consumers find the messaging in BFCM ads appealing, and 1 in 4 rate them as extremely appealing.
Audiences know that paid ads come with the territory. This is especially true on social media. It’s been a pay-to-play game for a while, but there are still opportunities to be had. You just have to tailor your messaging to match the right strategy.
Fewer shoppers report they hear about sales on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, dropping 8 points, 10 points, and 5 points, respectively. And paid media’s conversion effectiveness has dropped 8 points. But there’s still a lot of opportunity to use social media.
The play for social media is brand awareness. Here are a few starting points to attract new customers.
- Consider working with micro-influencers (less than 100,000 followers) to hit new pockets of potential customers.
- Instead of using paid media to drive sales, try a lower ask. Drive mobile app downloads or SMS signups.
- Save paid ads promoting products for retargeting existing customers.
Quick Tap Tip: Start tapping into new audiences on social media now so you can funnel them into owned channels like email, SMS, and push notifications once you launch your BFCM marketing campaign.
Email marketing in an omnichannel world
BFCM comes with loads of emails, but how effective are they at getting your customers' attention and leading them to purchase?
In the BFCM Consumer Trends Report, email frequently came out on top. It’s great for announcing your sales, and 63% of respondents say they learn about sales in their inboxes. This makes a lot of sense since email is a tool for customer education. By nature, email is a vessel for content, where you can notify consumers about sales, share updates in the community, answer FAQs, showcase values, and so on. Email may not be where your customers convert, but it’s definitely where they learn more about you.
Remember that since email marketing has been around for so long, it is one of the most common and saturated channels brands use for BFCM marketing.
Quick Tap Tip: Since email is excellent at getting the word out, start sending BFCM sale previews at least a week, if not two weeks, before the big shopping day.
Another fun finding from our survey was that many consumers are still on the fence when Black Friday hits. 77% of customers said they’re browsing at some level on BFCM, which means they’re still looking for shopping guidance! You can crete a marketing campaign centered around inspirational gift lists for various categories in your customers’ lives. Think gifts for parents, coworkers, estranged relatives, pets, besties, and more. You could even create a wishlist of treat-yourself items for the holidays. It couldn’t hurt—our survey showed people do a bit of holiday shopping for themselves, too.
As you approach the big day, start leaning on your segmented lists. Provide more personalized offers to guide your consumers to your virtual front doors.
Don’t forget to add a little fuel to your customers’ treat-yo-self fire—especially if you have a younger audience. We found that 31% of people’s BFCM shopping is done for themselves, and Gen Z was likelier to dedicate bigger portions of their shopping carts to themselves than Boomers. Consider promos like:
- “One for you, one for me” deals
- Low-ticket add-ons
- Tiered discounts (like 10% off $100, 20% off $200, etc.)
SMS messaging—Cut through the BFCM buzz with your best deals
Only 37% of people found SMS to motivate them to potentially make a purchase—the lowest of all the ad types listed. When we asked how many people had purchased SMS in the last year, only 26% said they had, down from 31% in 2022.
That doesn’t mean SMS isn’t valuable to your omnichannel strategy. SMS works well in tandem with other marketing messages across channels. It often has higher open and response rates than email, making your text messages more likely to be read.
Think of SMS as your spotlight. Shine it on your best deals or the perfect offers to ensure your audience sees it.
Quick Tap Tip: Share the deal on SMS, but pair it with another channel to lead to conversion. Send an email, share on social, or send a well-timed push notification when the deal is live to push customers over the edge.
Alert and convert with push notifications
If you have a mobile app, push notifications are super valuable ways of communicating with your customers.
Before dismissing them, consider this: Our survey showed that 45% of consumers are highly or moderately likely to be motivated to purchase from a push notification. That means almost half your audience is being nudged toward that buy button with every push notification you send.
What’s more, 38% reported they’ve made a mobile app purchase from a push notification during BFCM in the past.
From a revenue efficiency standpoint, push notifications hold strong year-over-year, while SMS and marketing messages/ads have dropped since 2022. On average, Tapcart customers see 62% higher conversion rates in their app vs. mobile web and 82% higher revenue per session in-app than mobile web.
What does this mean for your BFCM strategy? Push notifications are the marketing channel to bring home the sales. While it might be a smaller percentage of your customers, it’s often filled with your BEST customers. They’re more likely to have higher average order values (AOVs) and recurring purchases.
Quick Tap Tip: Send push notifications throughout the BFCM weekend and Cyber Week. Let your customers know when sales are live when you’ve added new markdowns, and/or when hot-selling items are low in stock. Plus, leverage personalization with Klaviyo’s automated cart abandonment push notifications to keep customers engaged. It’s a great way to generate app traffic and sales without additional costs.
Delivering these deals through push notifications can help increase your AOVs and make your BFCM an overall success.
Put it together for a dynamic BFCM marketing strategy
Now that we’ve spilled the beans on BFCM’s secret sauce—omnichannel marketing—it’s time to start putting that plan into action.
Hopefully, these new insights from our BFCM Consumer Trends Report have given you a peek into your shoppers' minds as we approach the year's biggest shopping weekend. The best part? You can take these strategies into the new year and beyond.
If you’d like to dive deeper into the minds of consumers ahead of BFCM, take a gander at the full report.
Ready to dive into a mobile app all your own? Book a walkthrough with a mobile expert today, and we’ll launch your own shopping app ahead of the holiday season.