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Black Friday Strategies for Multichannel Engagement

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 165 million Americans shopped on Black Friday 2018, and more than half of these shoppers did so across channels:

“Retailers’ investments in technology continued to pay off with consumers seamlessly shopping on all platforms throughout the weekend. The survey found more than 89 million people shopped both online and in stores, up nearly 40 percent from last year. The multichannel shopper outspent the single-channel shopper by up to $93 on average.”

Connecting with your customers across channels is critical, both for Black Friday success and driving revenue over the customer lifetime. A Harvard Business Review study found that a retailer’s multichannel customers “spent an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in the store and 10% more online than single-channel customers.

To be fair, it’s not certain whether multichannel connections cause customers to spend more money or if higher-value customers are more likely to seek you out on more than one channel. Regardless, whether shoppers are reading your texts or clicking your emails, it’s important that you can deliver outstanding experiences on the channel of their choosing. On such a crucial shopping day, a better experience for your customers just might lead to better business outcomes for you.

Here are a few strategies for creating an engaging experience across channels this Black Friday.

Deliver Targeted Marketing Messaging on Black Friday

Come Black Friday, your shoppers will have a million retail messages fighting for their attention. A text message blast or a gimmicky subject line may get shoppers’ attention, but will it get their business?

For shoppers to follow through, your messages must be relevant, timely, and tailored to their interests – across your marketing channels. By putting your user data to work in your marketing messaging, you can send targeted SMS, email, and push communication to your subscribers based on things like demographics, location, and their purchase history.

Another channel for delivering targeted messaging to busy shoppers is by using mobile wallet marketing to deliver convenient promotions and coupons directly to your audience’s mobile wallet apps for in-store redemption. In 2018, 34.7 million people did their Black Friday shopping solely in person, and providing a handy way to access discounts can make the experience that much more enjoyable.

Grow your Audience across Channels

Delivering targeted deals is critical to a successful Black Friday, but you can’t deliver to your shoppers if you don’t have a connection to them first. Your Black Friday shoppers may be first-time site visitors, providing an opportunity to connect with new people over email or SMS – even if they don’t make a purchase on their first visit.

Make sure your site has a clear, visible way for visitors to capture email or SMS signups. Active capture widgets that slide out from the side of the screen or stick to the bottom of the screen while a shopper is browsing can increase signups without detracting from the main reason your shoppers are there: to browse your products. With a better capture form experience, you begin the customer relationship on the right foot, setting the stage for outstanding customer experiences to come.

Once you’re connected to a user on one channel, you can promote your other channels to them. For instance, if shoppers arrive onsite via email, you can deploy different capture tactics to try and collect their mobile number instead. You can also use your SMS and email lists to deliver mobile wallet passes to your shoppers. Once a user saves your pass into their mobile wallet, you can then send personalized push notifications to them, opening up an additional channel of communication that puts you directly on customers’ lock screens – valuable space in a hectic holiday season – without requiring them to download your app first.

The more channels available to reach a customer, the more likely you are to capture their attention on Black Friday.

Save Those Abandoned Carts

When nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned, efforts to save these carts can be highly rewarding.

Sending abandoned cart emails to online shoppers who leave without checking out is a powerful way to hold on to more of your customers. Open rates for abandoned cart emails average 48%, more than double that of the typical marketing email. Even if these emails don’t drive shoppers to make the original purchase, they’re a great way to re-engage your audience and bring them back to your site; perhaps they’ll find something else to buy.

You can also use your site as a tool to prevent shoppers from abandoning their cart in the first place. Exit-intent lightboxes, which are call-to-action boxes that appear only when a user moves their cursor to navigate away from your site, can help you grab a shopper’s email address or mobile number before they leave.

Optimize the Mobile Experience

According to the NRF study, 66% of all shoppers used a mobile device to make purchasing decisions on Black Friday 2018. Among shoppers aged 18-24, this number jumped to 88%. This makes good mobile user experiences critical for Black Friday.

Here are a few ways to ensure the experience is up to par for your mobile audience:

  • Ensure your emails are optimized for mobile inboxes.
  • Use responsively-designed forms on your site to maximize mobile conversions.
  • Make sure MMS images are designed for viewing on a mobile screen.
  • Try sending mobile wallet passes to your customers. These passes provide convenient, mobile-optimized access to promotions, whether your customers shop in-store or online.

In general, mobile conversions lag behind desktop conversions significantly. While there are several reasons for this, poorly-designed mobile experiences may be at least partly to blame. A better mobile experience may lead to increased Black Friday conversions, whether those conversions eventually happen on mobile, desktop, or even in your store.

Good customer experiences don’t stop with Black Friday.

Just as shoppers start holiday shopping long before Black Friday, they keep shopping long after Black Friday as well: Cyber Monday, last-minute deals – to say nothing of the shopping they’ll do in the coming year.

The customer experience is important throughout the customer relationship, long after this year’s holiday shopping season has passed. If customers have good experiences during Black Friday, they may be more likely to return in the future; it’s up to you to make sure your customer experience is up to par in the future as well. Not only will that lead to better experiences for your customers, but it can also mean increased customer lifetime value for you.

To learn how you can incorporate mobile messaging into your Black Friday marketing or improve your existing mobile messaging strategy, talk to us!

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