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Black Friday: 5 Digital Marketing Strategies to Consider

October 29, 2020


With origins going back to the ’50s, Black Friday is probably the most significant shopping event of the year. Maybe even more so in 2020, when sales have just recently started to recover after a sharp drop in April due to the spread of COVID-19. However, the pandemic remains one of the greatest threats for both healthcare systems and economies around the world, and retail is no exception. Creating a successful shopping event in the midst of a global pandemic is no easy task, and retailers everywhere are experiencing numerous problems along the way. One of their strategies includes making the most of the digital marketing tools that might provide the resources they need to boost online sales.

Marketing strategies are not suited to dispel future uncertainties, but they can make all the difference in providing retailers with the best tools for a wide range of Black Friday scenarios. But what are the best marketing strategies companies should consider? Here are 5 digital marketing ideas that are already making a buzz.

Extending Sales Before and After Black Friday

Although it’s still the end of October, many retailers have already started to run early Black Friday-style deals, while others are planning to extend their shopping events well after Cyber Monday. Extending sales is not just useful in preventing a large number of people from visiting brick-and-mortar stores in late November, but also in ensuring the correct and timely delivery of the huge amounts of goods ordered online. With Target saying Black Friday deals will start as early as November 1, and both GameStop and Walmart announcing similar decisions, retailers seem to be using their digital marketing departments in a way that’s both powerful and simple. After all, an extended period of deals, carefully advertised in traditional and new media, should provide a nice boost to sales.

More Ads, More Deals

Extended discount campaigns increase the need for ads, as retailers need to make sure their customers are informed about dates and discounts. Since Walmart chose to extend Black Friday to not just one, but three separate sales events scheduled for November, the retailer has also released ads to support these events. The company had previously released a statement saying it strives to adapt to the growing needs of its customers by revamping Black Friday.

Designing a Digital Sales Event

While Black Friday is generally seen as a physical sales event that extends to online sales, retailers may need a different agenda in 2020. According to a recent survey, just 60,2% of customers plan to shop in-store in 2020 before and during the holidays, compared to more than 87% the previous year. However, the study also shows that 97% of clients are preparing to shop online during this holiday season. According to researchers, the current pandemic has altered the way U.S. customers shop and will continue to do so in the near future, a trend that both retailers and marketers should adjust to.

Using Newsletters the Right Way

Even returning customers may find it hard to keep up with all the changes that are bound to emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the new Black Friday strategies. For this reason, newsletters may prove to be more important today than ever, and marketers should consider new ways to convince customers to sign up for them. Among the strategies that seem to do the trick are signup sheets, raffles, and awards, and providing checkout sheets after online shopping.

Meaningful Social Media Campaigns

With social life moving online during the pandemic, social media has become one of the most important tools for marketers everywhere. More than ever, social media ads and posts should provide important information regarding Black Friday and other holiday sales. Marketers should also consider designing newsletters and social media campaigns that work together in order to make sure they reach potential customers no matter where they are. 

While Black Friday falls traditionally on November 27, most marketers have already started putting their plans in action and sending hints to customers to keep an eye out for the upcoming deals. With Target and other major retailers announcing plans to start discounts as early as the beginning of November, rapid and careful planning of digital marketing campaigns may be more important than ever. In an increasingly uncertain environment, retailers are pushing their sales online and competition is bound to become fierce.