Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping events of the year, with retailers anticipating a large portion of their annual revenue during this time. The past two years have looked quite different, however, with COVID impacting how consumers shop. While shopping malls have long been a part of life in the Middle East, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online shopping by consumers across the region. As a result, many retailers have increased their digital marketing efforts as well as their overall media spending online
It's no secret that competition in the region is fiercer than ever, whether it's from marketplace behemoths like Amazon, which landed in Saudi Arabia in 2020 and Egypt in 2021, or from companies launching their own ecommerce platforms. In an increasingly competitive world, the challenge for businesses is to figure out how to stay ahead of the competition in order to better address the demands of their customers.
Here’s some of our advice to prepare for a successful Black Friday and holiday season:
Get your ads creatives ready earlier.
Creative approval is a crucial step in the online advertising process. For most platforms, this process usually takes a maximum of a few hours once the creatives are submitted. However, given the increased number of brands looking to advertise during Black Friday, the approval turnaround may take a few days instead.
Moreover, some platforms have premium inventories available only on reservation, such as Top Views TikTok or Masthead on YouTube. These can be prebooked in advance and are no longer available several weeks before the Black Friday season, so if you’re hoping to advertise here, get your creative submitted as early as possible!
Start advertising campaigns earlier.
A key strategic shift that every brand should be aware of is early preparation, as well as earlier spending, to engage clients ahead of the peak buying seasons.
Move early so you have time to try different offers, and then scale up when you find one that resonates with key audiences.
Additionally, given the strong advertising demand, prices for ads placement increase which impacts the budget that must be allocated for campaigns. Brands should consider changing delivery methods over the period so that campaign budgets don't run out rapidly. Using technology like Assembly’s tool, STAGE, allows marketers to pull in real-time data to feeds in order to optimise towards inventory and avoid spending on SKUS that are sold out or have limited sizes available.
Embrace new social commerce opportunities
As consumers engage with social commerce more frequently, brands are embracing social media within their online advertising campaigns. Almost every social media platform today has e-commerce features and is making their platform more e-commerce driven.
TikTok is currently working on a long-awaited e-commerce store for its platform. The e-commerce functionality will provide users with a complete shoppable experience including a link to the merchandise. With this, TikTok will make the process of watching a product on TikTok and then purchasing it a lot easier.
Connect offline data to unleash full potential of advertising
The ability to freely move between the physical and digital worlds is an important aspect of a customer's purchase journey. Brands that can mix online activities with offline data have the best chance of thriving in today's environment by staying in touch with their clients across all touchpoints.
The connection can be established by sending offline transactions to Google Analytics, for example, which can help marketers determine whether a member had previously visited the brand's website, along with what they did during that visit.
Re-engage with your customers after Black Friday
Black Friday is no longer a single day but more a season of sales for retailers. It is usually followed by “Cyber Monday” another opportunity for brands to offload unsold goods. Competitor bidding might become more apparent as companies try to capture attention from potential customers at every corner.
By developing Black Friday-specific funnel-based targeting methods, the increased upper-funnel activity during the sales period is not wasted by clients being lost to competition.
Brands are responding to consumer behavior and attempting to stay efficient in the ever-changing market environment. They must adjust their digital strategy this year to better satisfy the needs of their customers by increasing engagement and, ultimately, sales.