In the midst of a changing world and a downturn in economic conditions, Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to play an important part in e-commerce calendars. Federico, our Paid Media Manager, takes us through trends to expect in 2023 and tips to make sure you maximise your business’ potential over a crucial period.
When Is Black Friday?
Look out! Black Friday sales will officially start on Friday 25th November and run across the entire weekend until the following Monday.
So What Is Black Friday?
Historically, the biggest retail sales day in the US is Black Friday, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving (the last Thursday of November). Black Friday is frequently seen as the unofficial start of the Christmas holiday shopping season.
The sales in the UK did not take off until 2010, when Amazon introduced Black Friday deals to their UK customers.
The Monday following Black Friday is known as Cyber Monday and is a 24-hour online shopping event that was developed to encourage consumers to shop online. It is now regarded as an extension of the Black Friday deals.
What Can We Expect for E-commerce This Black Friday?
Post-COVID, it is expected that e-commerce will still account for the bulk of Black Friday sales. In 2021, we saw 49% of total purchases come through the digital landscape, with 42% coming through mobile. This figure is expected to drop slightly due to the shift in attitudes post-pandemic, but is expected to still form a significant proportion of Black Friday e-commerce activity. Therefore, it’s important to understand both opportunities within the wider e-commerce ecosystem and market trends to capitalise.
Here are some key trends to watch out for that could impact your Black Friday e-commerce strategy:
- Economic conditions are making shoppers more price-sensitive. Forbes has reported that half of all consumers are planning on spending less on Christmas gifts as a way of saving money and 28.6% of survey respondents will only buy gifts on sale in 2022
- Christmas starts early — 42% more shoppers plan to start buying Christmas gifts earlier in the year than in 2021
- AR has become a more prominent tool in retail e-commerce, with buyers more interested to see how the product will look before purchase
- Video is king! Video formats have become an increasingly popular format to engage with users and convince them to purchase
Additionally, Black Friday and heightened user intent online gives a great opportunity to grow your user base with fantastic deals by targeting users outside of your usual customers — don’t forget about prospecting activity!
The Rise of TikTok?
TikTok has had a meteoric rise since its launch in 2016, with the platform now boasting one billion users in 154 countries, making it the sixth most popular social media platform globally, according to Demand Sage. It has also been reported that 885 million users are 18 or older, presenting a massive audience pool for would-be advertisers.
However, TikTok’s primary audience demographic and video format are proving barriers to the expansion of their e-commerce activity in western markets. While TikTok in the Chinese market generated $119 billion in 2021 through its e-commerce live stream formats, the social media giant has scrapped its aggressive e-commerce push in the US and EU markets due to lukewarm responses.
TikTok isn’t alone in taking a soft approach to live stream e-commerce. Both Meta and YouTube have reportedly scaled back their own efforts via Instagram, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts respectively.
There has been a recent uptick in popularity in e-commerce through TikTok live streams in the Middle East as Gen Z users — TikTok’s largest demographic — start to shift towards video format as a key form of both inspiration and purchase actions. However, this is likely to not impact Black Friday trends this year.
Preparation is Key!
A great social media campaign will still lead users to your website to make the final purchase. Don’t forget to check these essentials before setting up your social media activity to make sure you truly maximise Black Friday’s e-commerce potential.
Take advantage of our tips to maximise those sales:
- Check your site speed. Slow site speed harms credibility with shoppers and may make them bounce before purchase. Two seconds is recommended for e-commerce sites, with bounce rate increasing dramatically past this point
- Make sure checkout processes are as seamless and painless as possible. Ideally, you should consolidate them into one page with multiple payment options
- Leverage customer support through chatbots. These can be an efficient and quick way to deal with queries, with users citing that the most fundamental aspect of customer service is solving the issue in one interaction
Black Friday can be a time of great opportunity but there are a few considerations to make before diving into campaigns blind. We hope you found this short guide helpful preparation for Black Friday 2022! If you have any queries about how to maximise your paid media campaigns in these crucial sales moments, get in touch with our team of experts — we love a challenging brief.