Q4 2022 - Post 1: Black Friday Strategic Planning & Goal Setting

Consider both macro trends and your own first-hand experience when planning your Black Friday Cyber Monday strategy and goals.

Understand macro trends and analyze your own data before digging into Black Friday Cyber Monday planning and strategy. 

We look at both platform and industry trends alongside first party data from previous offers (especially holiday sales) to inform BFCM strategies for our clients.

Keep the bigger picture in perspective heading into BFCM

Mobile traffic and conversions are as impactful as ever

In 2021, 71% of BFCM purchases were made from mobile devices, compared to 29% on desktops. This fact from Shopify reiterates the importance of making sure your site is as mobile-friendly and conversion-oriented as possible heading into the holiday season.

Cross-border shipping and shopping is becoming increasingly popular

In BFCM 2021, 15% of all global Shopify orders were cross-border. Some countries were particularly reliant on international orders; the most common going from the US to Canada, Canada to the US, and the UK to the US. Categories that benefited most from those international sales were apparel and accessories, health and beauty, and home and garden.

These are a few of our favourite fulfilment apps if you’re looking to get set-up with cross-border shipping ahead of the holiday season:

Social shopping continues to gain momentum

As platforms like TikTok and Instagram get more and more shoppable, it only makes sense that they’re having a greater impact on Black Friday sales strategies for big brands and scrappy DTC startups alike. 

Sales generated by seamless social integrations almost tripled for BFCM 2021 compared to 2020. Getting ahead of your social media marketing strategy is only getting more important, so we’re glad you’re here getting that ball rolling if it’s not already well on its way. 

Consumers want to support trustworthy, value-driven brands

Meta surveyed holiday shoppers over the past few years to get better insights into how people shop during the holidays. Their survey produced interesting insights that can be used to inform creative, messaging, and even offers this BFCM season. 

Regarding brand values consumers considered important when considering what product/brand to buy during the holidays: 

  • 42% valued brands that support local/small production and retail.
  • 35% valued brands with ethical/fair trade business practices.
  • 34% valued brands that are accessible to everyone.

62% of Americans surveyed agreed that brands should find ways of giving back to consumers and the community during the holiday season.

  • 54% agreed that it’s important for brands to represent people from minority groups positively in adverts.

Use recent sales and past BFCM experience to inform your strategy

Macro trends and insights can only be made better by micro trends and insights based on your specific brand’s performance. 

As you’re preparing your strategy for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2022, dig into insights from BFCM 2021 as well as recent sales performance to help inform your approach. 

Aim to answer the following as you look back:

  • What type of offer/sale has driven the most profit over the past year?
    Note: If you don’t have much previous sales data, test them! Driving traffic to dedicated landing pages with email sign ups for different types of offers is a great way to test what works and build your email list.
  • What type of messaging (including sales copy) has resonated lately? 
  • What type of creative worked well last BFCM? What’s been working well lately?
    What sales creative hasn’t worked well that we should avoid this year?
HOT TIP 🔥: when analyzing creative performance, look at Thumbstop Ratio, CTR (outbound clicks), CPA, average watch time, Click > ATC (ATCs / Link Clicks), and ROAS compared to your benchmarks across the account. Aim for a thumbstop ratio of 25%+.

Set your goals for BFCM 2022

Now comes the time to answer the most important question heading into the holiday season. 

Before getting caught up in which landing page design to use or the deployment schedule of your email campaigns, you need to answer the basic question: “What are my business’ goals for BFCM 2022?”

You could be looking to recover profitability after a challenging year. Or grow your customer base with a boatload of new acquisitions. Or efficiently navigate more competitive CPMs and gather first-party data to prepare for Q1 of next year. 

Pull your AOV, revenue, new customer acquisition, CVR, and spend metrics from last year, and compare to more recent context through 2022 so far. Use these numbers to project a goal that can be as aggressive or conservative as needed, based on your specific context and priorities heading into the holiday season. 

If you need help calculating targets for the holiday season, check out our ROAS calculator.

As the old adage goes, aim for the moon, and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

… just keep that aspirational perspective in mind when judging your team or agency’s results in case they don’t quite land the moonshot 😅

Once you’ve sorted out your primary BFCM goal for 2022 and the success metrics needed to get you there, you can start mapping out how you want to track it. 

Set up how you’re going to track performance

Accurately defining and measuring success is one of the most important parts of running a successful ad campaign, peak holiday season or otherwise. 

There are many solutions to help track the success metrics you need to hit to achieve your BFCM goals. Many of those solutions claim they can solve the attribution challenge that performance marketers have been running into after the iOS14 update as well. Enter an attribution rant. 

True attribution is a huge challenge for online retailers, and it doesn’t look like it's going to get easier any time soon. 

There are so many tools out there to tell you the same thing: it's messy and multi touch, since that's usually what our common purchase journey is these days.

You see an ad on social, look it up on Google, see a few retargeting ads, sign up for email and convert through a flow. Or something completely different, but equally messy.

Getting wrapped up in the minutia of granular day-to-day attribution can do more harm than good. That's why we look at paid’s impact on blended metrics and trend lines over longer periods for bigger picture insights.

We typically find platforms perform best the less reactive we are to day-to-day swings, and the more we try to zoom out and see the bigger picture.

Rant aside, it’s still critical that you get some kind of reporting solution set up if you don’t already. 

At a minimum, you can leverage Google Analytics and proper UTM parameters to gauge traffic quality and compare last-click attribution against in-platform metrics. 

Our default dynamic UTM structure for Meta Ads is: utm_source={{site_source_name}}&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign={{campaign.name}}&utm_term={{adset.name}}&utm_content={{ad.name}

There’s also custom dashboards you can build through Google Data Studio, or paid options like Triple Whale, Northbeam, or Rockerbox if you’re able to make a more significant investment.

It’s also worth using custom columns in the ads platform so you have clear insight into how in-platform metrics are looking. At Kulin, we use these as our default custom columns:

  • Amount Spent 
  • Budget 
  • Delivery 
  • Results (Purchases) 
  • Cost per Result (CPA) 
  • Purchases 
  • Cost per Purchase (CPA) 
  • Purchase ROAS 
  • Purchase Conversion Value 
  • AOV (website purchases conv value / website purchases)
  • CVR (website purchases / link clicks)
  • Checkouts Initiated 
  • Cost Per Checkout Initiated 
  • Adds to Cart 
  • Cost per ATC 
  • Click > UATC (Adds to Cart / Link Clicks) 
  • ATC > Pur (Website Purchases / Adds to Cart)
  • Reach 
  • Impressions 
  • Frequency 
  • CPM 
  • First Time Impression Ratio (reach / impressions - as a percentage)
  • Thumb Stop Rate (3sec view / impressions - as a percentage)
  • Link Clicks 
  • Link Click CTR
  • Landing Page Views 
  • Click Quality (Landing Page Views / Link Clicks)

Your primary goal is to create a default dashboard that shows the metrics you need to be looking at as you’re scaling your ads during BFCM. 

Once you have that set up, make sure all the relevant stakeholders have access and understand how it’s used to stay up to date with performance as you navigate Black Friday. 

What's next? Let's dive into Choosing Black Friday Offers & Discounts!

© Kulin Co 2022