The Future of Black Friday

Black Friday 2020 will be like no other, or will it?

Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving and the symbolic start to the holiday shopping season. It has historically meant getting up at the crack of dawn and shopping at various brick-and-mortar stores for incredible “doorbuster” deals.  With the birth of eCommerce, this trend has changed over the years.

According to ShopperTrack, while Black Friday’s total sales have increased year over year since 2011, in-store traffic during the same period has been declining.  

Over the last two holiday seasons alone, eCommerce sales have increased in the double digits. Brick-and-mortar traffic has been declining.  In 2018, Thanksgiving and Black Friday brick-and-mortar traffic fell by as much as 9% from 2017, while eCommerce sales soared 16.7%.  In 2019, Black Friday eCommerce sales grew 19.35% over 2018, while brick-and-mortar traffic decreased by 6.2%.

The current lockdowns across the US associated with the coronavirus show that in-store visits are rapidly declining while online sales have increased.  According to Knoema, eCommerce Retail Sales in Q2 2020 saw a 44.40% increase compared to Q2 2019.  That trend is likely to continue for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, causing retailers to rethink their marketing strategies.

Black Friday 2020 will most certainly see another surge in online sales and decreased traffic at brick-and-mortar stores.  How can companies capture additional online sales during Black Friday 2020 from shoppers who historically would shop in the store?

Take Advantage of a Product Discovery Platform

A Product Discovery Platform facilitates the process of customers exploring what you have to offer and discover a product he or she may not have otherwise known you offered.

Expose Real-Time Product Trends

Similar to many popular applications like YouTube, Twitter and, Facebook, leverage your site’s data to create a real-time trending board. This allows you to engage your visitors by exposing trending products in real-time while enticing them to browse products they may not have otherwise known you sold.  

Reveal Real-Time Activity with Social Proof

According to Trustpilot,  66% of customers look for social proof before making an online purchase.  Tap into the wisdom of the crowd by highlighting the activity on your website. Display on your Product Pages how many shoppers are viewing a product, adding a product to their cart, or purchasing a product to further engage your visitors.

Display Shoppable Products from User-Generated Content

User-generated content on your website, such as Instagram, will also help to capture additional online sales. 79% of respondents in the 2019 State of Influencer Marketing survey consider Instagram important for their influencer marketing campaigns.  Make products shoppable from user-generated content by collaborating your social media efforts with your eCommerce sales strategies. Add user-generated content directly on your site and product pages to help sell more.

It’s Not Too Late

There’s still plenty of time to implement these strategies before Black Friday and the holiday season.  The SiteVibes platform offers tools that:

  • recognize your site’s real-time trends through shopper interaction
  • exposes real-time social proof data on Product and Category Pages, and
  • leverages user-generated content, from Instagram, to showcase products and make them shoppable.  

The SiteVibes tools are easy to set up and offers an insightful Dashboard that allows you to track the success of your efforts.

Sign up for a limited 45-day free trial to see for yourself how SiteVibes can increase your conversions.

Debbie wears multiple hats at SiteVibes, including writing and researching awesome topics to share with customers, partners and just general site visitors. When she isn't doing day-to-day SiteVibes work, Debbie enjoys volunteering with nonprofit organizations, digging into a new book, and going for walks.