With COVID-19 altering the global economic landscape in 2020, businesses and retailers have had to overcome practically every conceivable challenge in the past 8 or 9 months.

Now businesses, companies, and advertisers alike are preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals which, like everything else in 2020, are seeing some drastic changes.

With many major brands keeping their stores closed on Black Friday, there’s a greater emphasis on ecommerce and online shopping. It’s important for advertisers to understand these trends and think about what they mean for their respective industries.

In this article, we’ll be outlining what Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to look like this year and how certain industries should adjust.

Black Friday 2020 – A longer buying season

It goes without saying that Black Friday and Cyber Mondays are crucial for many businesses in any given year. In 2019, online retail sales spiked by 334% during Black Friday when compared to the first weeks of October. Cyber Monday similarly saw a 330% spike.

Because businesses offer abundant deals and discounts on Black Fridays, sales and conversion rates are unsurprisingly high among customers. With the COVID-19 pandemic placing certain restrictions on consumer mobility, we’re seeing a lot of retailers advertising an extended Black Friday season.

Not only did Amazon Prime hold its Prime Day during October, but other franchises like Target and Best Buy have also begun giving out holiday discounts and deals well before Thanksgiving and are expected to go into December. Perhaps knowing that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be different in 2020, or because online shopping has grown dramatically since March of 2020, these retailers are giving plenty of offers to entice consumers.

We’re already seeing customers adjust their typical holiday shopping habits by keeping their sights on online shopping. Since the beginning of November, Adobe Analytics has found that consumers have already spent over $20 billion online for holiday deals. The total projected consumer spending during the holidays is currently around $198 billion in many estimates.

Crowdless Friday

The most obvious reason for these large surges in online shopping is the fact that shoppers don’t want to spend their post-Thanksgiving morning trudging around in crowded stores. In fact, major retailers have already announced that they won’t be holding their typical Black Friday sales in-store due to significant safety risks.

Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, and JCPenny are just a few of the major retailers remaining closed after Thanksgiving. With the projected increase of COVID cases following the holiday season, not to mention the already high numbers since the election season, companies seemingly aren’t looking to contribute to the issue by inviting large crowds into their stores.

As such, it looks like the world won’t be seeing newsreel footage of shoppers frantically busting into Walmart at 5 in the morning looking for the best deals on flat-screen TVs this year. Instead, retailers are going to be more focused on keeping their online stores up and running with all the traffic they’re expected to get.

So what are online Black Friday and the subsequent Cyber Monday sales going to look like?

Projections for Cyber Monday

Based on 2019’s Cyber Monday sales figures, it’s easy to expect some record-shattering numbers for this year’s online shopping frenzy. Shoppers spent $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday last year, showing the increasing popularity of this format. With Ecommerce becoming a trillion-dollar industry, retailers are preparing for a large surge in traffic in the days following Thanksgiving to make sure their sites won’t crash.

Electronic devices, like Airpod Pros and the new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, will no doubt be in great demand. Other industries will likely be leveraging flash deals to drive their conversions as well.

With a longer buying season and a greater emphasis on eCommerce, consumers will be scouring the internet for the best deals on any given product. How can businesses properly capitalize on the inevitable Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic?

Key strategies for maximizing advertising on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

As we near Thanksgiving and the subsequent Black Friday and Cyber Monday extravaganza, it’s important to identify a few key strategies for marketers and advertisers to take note of. These are general guidelines for maximizing profits during a crucial time for retailers and businesses alike.

Manage your budget according to consumer demands

This year’s unique Black Friday and Cyber Monday landscape presents opportunities for most retailers and businesses. For some industries, however, the weekend following Thanksgiving holds different implications in terms of market trends.

Home improvement is a great example of an industry that could benefit from downsizing their advertising efforts during this time. Every year, these businesses scale down their marketing efforts.

They often lack the resources necessary to compete with larger retailers, such as those selling electronics or clothing items. Even though home improvement stores have seen a surge in popularity during 2020, they can hardly be expected to compete with stores selling Airpods or PS5s this holiday season.

As such, paying attention to annual buying trends could help certain businesses spend their marketing budget more effectively by forgoing an aggressive Black Friday or Cyber Monday campaign altogether.

Increase advertising efforts based on upcoming trends

On the other side of the spectrum, other industries can possibly benefit from an advertising push during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic this year. However, a study by Deloitte shows that 34% of Americans are willing to travel in the next three months.

Furthermore, Pfizer and BioNTech both announced their progress in developing COVID vaccines that are being submitted for emergency authorization to the FDA. Consumer confidence in traveling and tourism will increase assuming cases begin to go down in the coming months.

Certain markets like the travel and tourism industry should try to identify any upward trends and capitalize by offering special deals during this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Keep an eye on the competition

Using your competition as benchmarks is a great way to keep pace with ongoing trends. Understanding what’s working for them and going after similar strategies can net you greater conversions during a busy online shopping frenzy.

Benchmarking doesn’t mean copy what other businesses are doing, but rather research their strategies, analyze how and why it’s been so effective, and discuss how similar processes can be applied to your firm. The last thing you want is to be outsold by your competitors in the busiest consumer frenzy of the year.

Create banners to properly advertise products

Exposure and visibility are key. Displaying how many products will be on sale and by how much will entice consumers to check out your products. For those looking to maximize their profits, it goes without saying that creating flashy banners is paramount to creating conversions.

While banner ads have a bad reputation among some consumers, as long as it’s designed and deployed effectively, it’ll only be beneficial to your overall bottom line. Create banners with compelling visual imagery, be concise with your product features and/or deals, and don’t clutter it with too much text.

Leverage email and SMS campaigns

While email marketing can sometimes get a bad rep for contributing to spam, it’s still an effective strategy for enticing consumers. During an especially busy weekend, leveraging email campaigns and strategies is a relatively cheap strategy for increasing conversions.

Alternatively, you can execute your marketing campaigns through SMS advertising, or marketing through text. Though a relatively recent phenomenon, coupling SMS marketing with email can produce great results. During Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the more people know about your deals, the better.

Prepare and execute your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies

While 2020 has been a year like no other, there’s still merit in identifying consumer trends from past years to execute successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies. Use this article to find out the right course of action for your business. Knowing what your business or industry needs to prioritize and advertising services based on the data could very well make this an incredibly profitable weekend.