Black Friday’s Over. Now What?

December 5, 2016 • 7 min read

By Megan Lierley

The post-Thanksgiving weekend was a busy one for both retailers and consumers alike. While sales soared over Black Friday Weekend, only 9 percent of consumers have finished their holiday shopping—so, whether or not you were happy with your Black Friday (or Small Business Saturday) sales, there’s still time for retailers to capitalize on the holiday rush and profit from last-minute shoppers.

2016 Thanksgiving weekend recap

While three million more people shopped over Thanksgiving Weekend in 2016 than in 2015, overall spending per person decreased by about $85. However, Black Friday sales were up 1.3 percent from last year and surpassed the $3 billion spending mark for the first time and became the first day in retail history to surpass $1 billion in mobile revenue. Mobile also accounted for 57 percent of visits and 40 percent of sales.

The stats (and action items)

Online shopping saw a 17.7 percent year over year increase resulting in more than $5 billion spent by the end of Black Friday.

Take Action: Use your online data to determine when customers might have abandoned their cart and make last minute tweaks to your eCommerce site. Cart abandonment typically occurs because of price, unanticipated costs, or unexpected out-of-stocks. Make sure these items are indicated as early as possible in a shopper’s time on your site. Consider turning abandoners into customers with some holiday marketing, like presenting a seasonal promo code to shoppers who are leaving their cart.

Shopper helper sites accounted for 16.5 percent of sales, an increase from years past.

Take Action: Have deals you’d like to advertise to a broader audience, or overstocked inventory you’re trying to move by offering it at a discounted price? Consider holiday marketing with a site like RetailMeNot or CNET to expand your presence for the remainder of the season.

Email drove 17.8 percent of online sales.

Take Action: This busy time of year is a great opportunity to collect as many email opt-ins as possible and implement an abandoned cart campaign. Consider adding an email pop-up to your site offering a minimal percent or dollar amount off shoppers’ first purchase in exchange for joining your email list. Growing your mailing list will not only help you spread the word about holiday discounts but will give you a larger audience going into the New Year.

Fifty-six percent of smartphone owners and 53 percent of tablet owners used their devices to assist with weekend shopping activities.

Take Action: With mobile in-store searches up by over 30 percent from last season, you want your brand’s mobile experience to be as frictionless as possible. More frequently, customers are using their phones to look up products, read reviews, and even place orders right in your physical store. It’s important to market to the connected customer and create an omnichannel buying experience. Use Google’s free tool to test how mobile-friendly your site is, and put a plan in place to make changes if necessary.

8 in 10 millennials shopped over the weekend.

Take Action: The millennial generation is the one for retailers to target this holiday season. With 43 percent of them saying they plan to buy something for themselves this holiday season, consider holiday marketing in the form of add-ons or bundling options that make it easy for a shopper to make a last-minute decision to purchase something for him- or herself. Millennials are also known to spend more on “experiences,” so it’s wise to tailor messaging and marketing efforts to how your product fits into an experience like a vacation, activity, or event.

While retailers anticipate the rush of Thanksgiving Weekend all year long, there are still several weeks of holiday shopping left and the trends from this past weekend can help determine how to maximize them. ShipStation predicted that over 40 percent of holiday purchases will be shipped within the 10 days before Christmas, so think about how to capitalize on procrastinators. Advertise printable or email gift cards for the super last minute gifter or create urgency with a “deal of the day” campaign. For more advice on how to have a successful holiday season, check out 5 Consumer Trends You Need to Know This Holiday Season and 18 Insider Tips Every Retailer Needs to Know This Holiday Season.

Originally published on StitchLabs, November 30, 2016

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