3 Things Retailers Need to Think About for Black Friday Success and Beyond

November 17, 2023
Alex Song

Many retailers think of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a sprint to the finish line. Brand teams work feverishly around the clock to attract new customers, stand out from the competition, and boost sales. And they breathe a huge sigh of relief when Nov. 28 rolls around and Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over.

In reality, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are much more of a marathon, not a sprint. It’s the first leg of a much longer journey during which brands have a prime opportunity to turn brand new buyers into customers for the long haul.

Last year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales reached $9.12 billion and $11.3 billion in the U.S., respectively. If brands are successful in leveraging the potential of these shopping events, they likely have more new customers than they know what to do with. Keeping in mind that acquiring a new customer can cost five to seven times more than retaining an old one, now is the time for today’s consumer brands to ensure that they’re expanding that customer lifetime value to the greatest length possible.

Here are three ways to do this and make sure your Black Friday and Cyber Monday investments pay off in the long run:

1. Get in front of the right people with the right data insights

If you’re putting valuable time and resources into Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you want to make sure you’re reaching the right audiences, especially with your advertising dollars. One of the biggest challenges is that today’s ad platforms are no longer able to provide the same level of targeting that they once did. They’re getting opted out by “Ask the app not to track,” so platforms don’t actually know who is buying what — they’re guessing based on behavior. Instead, brands need to lean on more reliable third-party audience targeting data solutions, especially those that are powered by artificial intelligence, to help them make the most of this massive customer acquisition effort.

2. Have a diverse creative strategy in play

When you’re readying your Black Friday ad campaigns, your brand needs to have as much creative ready as possible. It would be a mistake to approach one of the most important shopping events of the year with just a couple of shots on goal. Instead, you should be continuously testing your creative to determine what's breaking through and what's falling short. When you see a breakout winner, lean into it and extract as much value as you can. Keep in mind that ads will inevitably diminish in impact and value over time as more and more people have already seen it, making it even more critical to have the next concept ready to go and win your audience over. This includes after Cyber Week is over.

3. Be ready with the right team and intelligence

Now that you've acquired all these new customers, you need to make sure you have an analytics team and platform in place that can help you understand which customers you should be focused on and how to prioritize and focus your energy to maximize value. Many consumer companies are embracing AI-driven data intelligence platforms that can provide in-depth insights into everything from customer behaviors to brand profitability to how you’re stacking up against the competition. Having the right data intelligence solution can help you truly understand your data and make much more informed decisions about audience targeting, engagement and expanding lifetime value of your customers.

The power of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is undeniable, but it requires sustained momentum well beyond the holiday season. What brands should be celebrating is not just increased sales revenue, but the mountain of customer data that's now available for analysis and actioning. By investing in understanding this data better, consumer brands will be in a much better position to extract maximum value from the new customer base they’ve now amassed. They can then work throughout the year to transform these newbies into brand loyalists.

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