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Black Friday – The Sequel

Clear growth is how I would like to sum up Black Friday 2022 for OUR online retailers, along with a number of high stress points for our internal paid ads the enjoyment of course of watching the sales rock in……great work everyone!

At the beginning of November with the help of our paid specialists at Everything Digital, I gave some pre thoughts on Black Friday and how retailers and agencies alike should prepare, along with some assumptions of how I thought it would turn out for our retailers, which cover a number of sectors such as Apparel and Home Improvements.

Clear growth is how I would like to sum up Black Friday 2022 for OUR online retailers, along with a number of high stress points for our internal paid ads team…plus the enjoyment of course of watching the sales rock in……great work everyone!

The success of this year’s Black Friday was as I predicted just as big, if not bigger this year, as we will prove from some of our current retailers YoY stats comparing 2021 vs 2022.

I’m keen to be open about the growth of our campaigns and promise you that the numbers in terms of uplift in spend, will be reported and taken into account also, after all we don’t need to bend the truth our success stories speak for themselves.

Linkedin Post From Myself a Week Before Black Friday arrived.

The million pound question is Why was 2022 Bigger and Better?”

A couple of potential reasons come to my mind, 

  • The influx over the last couple of years of ‘new’ online shoppers which didn’t shop online much pre pandemic? Due to the covid hangover, a new demographic now understands and has more confidence in shopping online and using the comparison Google shopping network, such as its filtering options to its full capability allowing them to zero in on a specific product type. 
  • Another potential reason is the ‘dreaded’ cost of living crisis. Before you ask, no I don’t want to make you readers depressed, but it is a significant consideration which cannot be ignored, which could have made some consumers hang on for the busy sales periods more. Enabling them to guarantee they grab a bargain and save as much money as possible in these tough financial times for the UK.

With many different types of sales strategies implemented by current retailers this year, it has allowed us to give some feedback on what types of discounts have worked best i.e. site wide sales, specific category reductions and also a proven gem, promo codes amongst other tactics..

What I Think Works Best

With some retailers having greater options to others, such as stock availability, greater margins and a wider variety of margin fluctuation across different categories of products, there is no real right or set in stone method of what to do. 

Sitting on the fence is not in my makeup however I can only work from the experience I have had this year and also previous trends that have continued with current clients campaigns this year.

Promo codes in our experience at Everything Digital work amazingly well. I believe that the end user physically putting the discount in makes them feel ‘exclusive’ rather than the product already being auto discounted. Could it be because things like discount code websites are becoming more popular, from my personal online shopping experience (I will actively search for a code before purchasing) and this has carried over into the end users thinking process when hitting a website. 

Early Spenders and How it Affects Consideration Periods

Something that we as an eCommerce Agency tried to put in place with all our retailers (some which could not participate for their business reasons) is starting earlier than the specified Black Friday sales dates. It is not just because we want to give away your products for less than their worth but for a number of other reasons which lots of online retailers overlook and do not consider.

With some of our online retailers taking our advice where applicable and opting to grab the attention of daily online shoppers early through a pre Black Friday run up, they understood that this is a very clever way of taking full advantage and gaining a foot up on the competition. If you think about it, showcasing early Black Friday deals is a great way to enhance the potential of grabbing an early conversion, shortening the consideration period that is fixed in some users’ minds and also creating more valid data to remarket to through the busy sales dates and this was definitely proved to be the case this year.

Of course some experienced more conversions for lower priced products that are more spontaneous items to buy such as footwear and apparel however just because a big spike might have not come to fruition for higher priced products such as indoor furniture the knock on effect of enticing these users to your platform early, put you into the discussion and firmly in their minds during their consideration period and later led to a conversion maybe at sale end date.

New Brand Ambassadors?

Something that I mentioned in the previous Black Friday ‘The Prequel’ article was attracting new brand ambassadors. Whilst it may be too early to know and prove that they returned to the brand to purchase at a later date, well we set up tracking for ‘free’ in GA4 to monitor sign ups to newsletters to compare the potential increases during the sales period. Promo sign up codes are being tracked also for their usage through this period and also discounts on your next returning order!

We wanted as much information on this point as possible agency side so we have decided to  also ‘pot these users’ to see if they return to the brand again to convert, it is then the responsibility of the retailer to make sure they keep these users coming back over and over by delivering a product in a timely manner that meets the end users expectations. 

Here is some information on average monthly sign ups to the brand vs the Black Friday month of November.

How PMAX Impacts Results?

With Performance Max now fully bedded into eCommerce agencies daily lives we like many other agencies were sceptical. This scepticism slowly became excitement in the run up to November and specifically Black Friday and the remaining sales opportunities within the ‘golden quarter’. The results across big spending ad accounts we are responsible for have really flourished with this new campaign type which has been forced on us by Google. Even a number of retailers had their doubts however the added exposure and power of showing different assets to users throughout their consideration periods has resulted in more conversions, credit to the power of Google’s AI and audience signalling. With lower spending accounts more analysis on where wasted spend is occurring has resulted in us taking out assets and solely positioning the brand through the shopping network resulting in a more positive ROAS, this hopefully opens up the conversation between agency and retailer to up spend and cast the net farther.

YoY – Stats 2021 vs 2022 – Two Retailers In Different Sectors

Retailer X – November 2021 Stats

  • Combined Monthly Spend across Google ads and Social ads – £7,000

Retailer X – November 2022 Stats

  • Combined Monthly Spend across Google ads and Social ads – £15,000

Retailer Y – November 2021 Stats

  • Combined Monthly Spend across Google ads and Social ads – £4,800

Retailer Y – November 2022 Stats

  • Combined Monthly Spend across Google ads and Social ads – £8,500

A few comments below are from our Head of Paid Search and a multi million pound Online Retailer.

Kourosh Taher – Co-Founder

“Black Friday last year was one of the biggest sales events for our ecommerce clients, regardless of lockdowns taking place. As we got to summer this year, we decided internally to have a very clear plan for the Golden Quarter this year. One that we could execute smoothly and aim to have an even better year in terms of sales and ROAS for every client.

After having some in depth brainstorms in house, we are so proud to say that every single one of our eCom clients running Black Friday events hit record months due to the strategies our team at Everything Digital put in place.”

Jordan Gatenby – Head of Paid Search

“Black Friday 2022 was as big as ever, which wasn’t really a big surprise to us. We noticed the usual trend of traffic increases from early October with no clear increases in Sales/Revenue which indicated to us that users were in the research phase.

Given the issues consumers are facing this Winter many retailers did not know how November would play out. However, Black Friday saw some huge results across the board for Everything Digitals clients which was partly due to us being strategic in starting our traffic increases earlier alongside maximising exposure on key USP’s across multiple networks.”

Owner @ Rollersnakes

“Black Friday is always something we at Rollersnakes take part in; however due to our products being super popular and price competitive, it is not at the forefront of our mind. 

Everything Digital has grown our brand online over the past years and we came up with specific offers that not only suited us as a retailer. They have kept us profitable on these transactions but allowed us to give the masses a great deal developing our relationship with current consumers along with creating new brand ambassadors, 2022 has kept up with the covid period, something we are extremely impressed with”

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