The Marketing Corner: Black Friday and Beyond

Online sales are expected to increase during the 2015 holiday shopping season.
The Marketing Corner: Black Friday and Beyond
Here's a list of stores' hours for Black Friday and Thanksgiving day, including Walmart, Costco, Target, Macy's, Best Buy, and Toys R Us. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

As unbelievable as it may sound, another year is just about gone. All that stands between consumers and 2016 are the holidays.

Trends are predicting online sales growth. Mobile devices (tablets/smartphones) will enhance overall consumption and is the preferred platform for purchases of goods and services for many consumers. Businesses that were ahead of the curve began deploying holiday messages as early as September. Now with the arrival of November, expect a proliferation of pre-Black Friday advertisements. Small business owners should consider the advantage of seeding messages during the workday, as many consumers shop while at work.

Below are a few more thoughts about this upcoming holiday shopping cycle.

Expect modest sales this Black Friday, as consumer confidence is not as optimistic as marketers would like. Confidence levels are still moderately favorable for the immediate short-term. Unemployment is steady at 5.1 percent according to US Bureau of Labor Statics. However, this number may be deceiving depending upon specific demographic of interest:

Teenagers (16.3 percent), Whites (4.4 percent), Blacks (9.2 percent), Asians (3.6 percent) and Hispanics (6.4 percent) showed little or no change during September 2015.

Digital ads will play a key role in generating holiday sales. Use of behavioral and retargeting strategies will be instrumental in driving sales. Look to separate your business from the pack by having exclusive deals for loyal customers.

Consider free shipping and other promotional ideas (i.e. purchase online at lower price but store pick-up option) to assist in driving traffic online and having a customer’s complete their transactions.

As you put the finishing touches on your holiday plans, be sure to:

  • Ensure your marketing plans online and in-store are not at odds with each other
  • Ensure your online presence is seamless and help is nearby if the shopper runs into a problem
  • Be on every platform your target is on: mobile, social, etc.

Competition is fierce as businesses seek to gain their unfair share of the wallet. Consumers will be seeking quality and value. It’s vital to be at the top of the consideration set with these shoppers, in order to, maximize your ROI.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide), available at Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: [email protected]