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    Smart Marketing: What Worked Best on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019

    Grossing over $9.4 billion, Cyber Monday 2019 was the biggest online shopping day of all time in the US, and 20% higher than the same day last year. We also witnessed the departure from a tradition on Black Friday, with more people shopping online than thronging the stores. Which smart marketing ideas worked for retailers this year?

    Mobile shopping, buy-online-and-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) and omnichannel marketing worked wonders for retailers this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

    The US holiday shopping season traditionally starts on Thanksgiving, which fell on November 28 this year, 6 days later than the 2018 date. This meant a shopping season that was 6 days shorter, and retailers attempted to overcome this constraint by rolling out special deals and offers days earlier than usual. This may have reduced the urgency of Black Friday shopping somewhat, but holiday shopping overall boomed. 

    For the third year in a row the number of in-store visitors on Black Friday dropped and online sales grew, so frenzied crowds at shops on these holidays may soon be a thing of the past.  But the trends observed on these two shopping holidays go beyond deals and discounts, and reveal patterns in consumer behavior, retail, and e-commerce.

    We look at the smart marketing strategies that worked best for brands and retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019.

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    Managing the buyer journey through physical and digital touchpoints paid rich dividends. 

    More and more brands and retailers are now designing seamless buyer journeys across physical touchpoints such as stores and digital channels such as eCommerce platforms. Many interesting examples were observed this year. 

    ‘Buy online pick up in-store’ (BOPIS) offers found favor with many buyers and there was a 43% increase in the volumes of such orders this year.  For shoppers, this offers a way to avoid waiting for days to receive products bought online. 

    Retailers benefit as costs of delivery are lower than shipping online orders, and they can find ways to entice buyers to make impulse purchases when they visit stores. They could plan fulfillment of these orders by providing express pickups, returns, and alterations. It was very interesting to see that shoppers who visited stores were actually purchasing 41% more online before the visit. 

    Physical stores remained relevant in the buyer journey mainly for their ability to create unique experiences and cater to niche requirements. So stores could create events and use digital channels to drive attendance to them.  

    The time is right for all marketers to consider whether they are ready for omnichannel. Have you mapped all the touchpoints In the buyer journey, and can you deliver value at each point?

    Live streaming video drives eCommerce

    As we saw during Singles’ Day in China this year, live streaming video is being used increasingly to take viewers through various ‘guided shopping experiences’. These live videos feature products, as well as other aspects related to shopping. Amazon has adopted this channel during this shopping season, and we certainly be seeing more of it in the future.

    This is a good time to integrate video into your product marketing and sales strategy. The widespread adoption of smartphones and availability of high-speed data drive the consumption of video, and can create a new kind of impulse purchase.

    Smart marketers must design and manage the buyer journey across physical and digital touchpoints, spanning stores, online search, email, social media, advertising, websites, videos, eCommerce and more.

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