What Online Retailers Need To Know For Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Your Guide to Online Retaling on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Around the office we have been making plans to adjust client Pay Per Click spend for the upcoming holiday season, and specifically for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Knowing that 83% of consumers will buy holiday gifts online this year (Accenture), I decided to ask some outside experts in #PPCchat for their insights on how to maximize this opportunity.
What Online Retailers Need To Know For Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Start Preparing Earlier for Holiday Shopping Season

Both Damon Gochneaur (@DamonGochneaur) and Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub) stressed the importance of planning early. According to Accenture’s 2013 Retail Shopping Survey, 48% of consumers believe the best discounts will be available on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday. Having a strategy in place to take advantage of these beliefs is mandatory. Susan goes farther by suggesting the use of PPC to build a list in preparation of these highly anticipated shopping days. What a great way to ensure you remain on the top of mind of consumers.

Make Sure Mobile is a Key Component to your Strategy

As the current marketing trends continue, more shoppers are using mobile. Last year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, roughly 18% of browsers were on mobile devices and 13% of purchases were made by mobile devices. This represents a 70% increase in mobile device traffic and a 96% increase in mobile device purchases versus 2011. Mobile will be even bigger this year, so ensure that you have a mobile optimized website and you are optimizing your ads for mobile devices.

Showrooming & Webrooming On Black Friday Expected to Rise

The Accenture report also highlights the increase in Showrooming and Webrooming. Both online and brick-and-mortar stores have a growing dynamic inserted into their conversion funnel which can lead the consumer to purchase elsewhere. With the rise of mobile this is only going to become more prevalent.

Showrooming is more likely this year compared to last year. An estimated 63% of shoppers will go to a store to look for a gift then search and purchase online for the best price. So having an omnichannel strategy that takes this into account is important. Use this as an opportunity. Find ways to keep the consumer intent to purchase with you while in your store.

Webrooming, the process of looking at something online then making a purchase in a store is also common.  Remember 47% of people used the desire not to pay for shipping as a reason they purchased in store instead of online.

For online retailers understanding this consumer behavior can help you adjust campaigns so they bring in clients who are online after looking at a specific item in the store. Likewise, online conversions can be increased by offering free shipping or other incentives designed to minimize the effect of webrooming.

Highest Conversion Rates of the Year

Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday draw an audience of people looking to buy. These dates have historically higher levels of conversions than other days. Cyber Monday edges out Black Friday with an overall 5.83% conversion rate across retail sites.

Damon Gochneaur (@DamonGochneaur) advises, “Get outside of the stream. Start earlier, run later, be more aggressive, attention span of shoppers shorter.”

Damon Gochneaur   Kirk Williams

And Kirk Williams (@KECreate) emphasizes, “Raise budget for those days.”


Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea) chimes in, “Skip bid rules and remember shopping will probably start later on digital.”

The general consensus with the pros is to be aggressive with your ad spend. Shoppers are searching the web looking to buy, especially on these “consumer holidays”. It only makes sense to be aggressive and try to position yourself in front of these consumers by raising your budget for these high conversion rate days.


Things to Remember When Creating Ad Copy and Landing Pages for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Top 3 Drivers of purchase decisions

  • Item is on Sale
  • Item is the best choice for the recipient
  • Item is in the recipient’s budget

You can help increase conversion rate, and the success of your campaigns, if you keep these three things in mind when creating ad copy and designing landing pages. Most shoppers like to see discounts of 30% or more.

Create landing pages and corresponding ad copy that cater to each of your segments, while implementing the 3 rules above. For instance, “Gifts for Him Under $99” which shows gifts in that price range marked down 30% or more, will convert higher than bringing visitors to a page with all your products on it.

Cyber Monday = $$$ Money

Black Friday 2012 broke records by having e-commerce spending surpass $1 billion. Cyber Monday 2012 showed sales of $1.98 billion with growth estimates ranging from 17% to 30% from 2011.

Based on these numbers, it seems guaranteed that Cyber Monday 2013 will surpass the $2 billion mark and be the largest online shopping day ever. Conversion rates are at a record high (5.83%) due to consumers who don’t find the perfect gift on Black Friday and feel Cyber Monday might be the last opportunity to get a good deal before the holidays. Make sure you are aggressively pursuing these customers to make Cyber Monday your best online sales day as well!

Did we miss anything? What are your top tips to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers? Connect with me on Twitter @Rory_Witt or on Google+

Many of the statistics found in this article are available in full, including data and statistics at: IBM 2012 Cyber Monday Report, Accenture Holiday 2013 Shopping Trends, and Adobe Cyber Monday 2012 Digital Index.

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