Black Friday's (Un)Expected Surprises & End-of-Year Marketing

We’re certainly not the first to say this, but this year has obviously been unpredictable—a roller coaster ride that many of us simply buckled into and stopped trying to guess when each turn or drop would come. But there is one thing that we could predict, this year Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) would be different than any year before. Would the effects of COVID-19 result in consumers tightening their wallets? Would the closing of many brick-and-mortar stores in the States see more people turning their shopping online? And would this shopping be done on desktop or would more people want to close their laptops after work and purchase on their phone? Heck, at one point we weren’t sure if there even would be an uptick in sales since everyone is online and working from home anyway.

We’ll have a full infographic released to answer all of these questions shortly, but in the meantime the marketing data did show us some things that confirmed our suspicions, while revealing a few things we couldn’t have foreseen. Despite the fact that the sale season opened earlier this year for many retailers, we did notice a few key trends that caught our eye over Black Friday & Cyber Monday Weekend:

  • This is the first year that we’ve seen Black Friday drive more sales than Cyber Monday. This showcases that when you don’t have to be in an office and stores are socially distanced at best, Cyber Monday is every day.
  • Among Wunderkind clients, Black Friday was on average 30% higher than Cyber Monday in terms of purchases and revenue.
  • In fact, Black Friday saw 9% more revenue come in than Cyber Monday while simultaneously driving 11% more conversions. This all shows that not only did consumers shift their shopping habits to Black Friday, they did it en masse.
  • Wunderkind alone saw 100M messages sent across email and SMS during the week from Wednesday to Tuesday around BFCM alone.

As mentioned, we’ll have a full infographic to put in your hands soon, but all of this data suggests that this pivotal time of the year has likely changed due to 2020’s hopefully solitary circumstances.

What Does This Data Have to do with Now? 

A lot of marketers think what happens during Black Friday weekend, stays in Black Friday weekend. But unlike Las Vegas, a lot of takeaways and key strategies can be implemented from the learnings you make during this weekend. One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is that they assume all of their sales took place over Black Friday week or the week after and then they begin to shut down many of their marketing campaigns. But doing this will essentially give your competitors a leg up over you. The truth is, the majority of consumers will often wait until the last minute to finish (or even start) their holiday shopping.

It might seem illogical, especially during this holiday season, but the numbers back it up. Historically, over 50% of shoppers will wait until the last Saturday before Christmas in order to make many of their holiday purchases. An even greater amount of consumers, around 60%, will buy them just a week before Christmas. If you offer expedited shipping now is a great time to hit your consumers with last minute shopping emails and SMS messages that highlight your ability to get them their gifts in time for the holidays. Even if you don’t, you’re not out of luck. If you have brick-and-mortar locations that happen to still be open, you can employ an omnichannel strategy by sending your CRM list a reminder of how they can purchase your product at a location near them. But these aren’t the only reasons you should be keeping your lights on throughout the holiday season.

Leveraging Your BFCM Site Visitors for Success

Let’s say for one reason or another you’ve paused most of your marketing campaigns throughout the end of the year. It’s definitely not ideal, but it happens. Here’s why that may be a mistake. Why you shouldn’t turn off your lights during this time: your Black Friday & Cyber Monday data can be used for end-of-year marketing pushes. Just a few weeks ago, it was reported that 45% of consumers shopped all online or way more online during Black Friday & Cyber Monday in 2020. Conversely, only 16% of consumers reported shopping all in-store—a 12 point drop from 28% last year. If you’re using a vendor who can help you better identify your onsite visitors—and if you’re not you really should be—this means you have an influx of new and old customer data that you should be putting to work in your marketing outreach.

For example, you can leverage holiday-related automations in order to get back in front of your customers. Segment out customers who abandoned their carts over Black Friday and Cyber Monday and send them a personalized message offering a discount on the product they were looking to buy. If you’ve already hit your sales goals, or are looking to be aggressive over the coming days in hitting them, you can segment out your CRM list to all site visitors who left without completing a purchase to offer them a last-chance discount on the products in your store.

Additionally, if you currently have an SMS solution—again you should definitely have one if you don’t already—you can also send text messages to the audience that you gained from BFCM this year to let them know of sales you’re running. If you’re worried about gifts not getting to your customers in time, SMS is also a great way to let consumers know of in-store deals or brick-and-mortar locations close by where they can purchase your products.

Lastly, even when the holidays are over, you’ll want to make sure you’re reaching out and nurturing your relationship with all of the new contacts you got from BFCM. It’s likely that many of them are new to your brand. The more you can get your personalized, highly-relevant messages in front of them, the more likely you’ll be able to convince them to convert and retain them in the long run. If you’d like to learn how you can better do this, reach out to Wunderkind today.


Elliott Moore

Elliott Moore is Senior Marketing Manager for Wunderkind, fka BounceX. In his role, Elliott oversees Wunderkind’s content team initiatives across the website, blog, case studies, guides, product marketing support, PR, and more. A midwest native, Elliott has spent that past 6+ years working in MarTech at firms in New York, San Francisco, and Helsinki. When not working, he can be found running or drinking IPAs throughout Brooklyn.