Interpreting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales
The National Retail Federation (NRF) announced that total sales during the post-Thanksgiving weekend dropped 11 percent from last year.
Cyber Monday sales increased 8.7 percent, which pales in comparison to last year’s 18.7 percent increase from 2012.
So was the season’s first major shopping event a bust? Was marketing by major retailers off the mark? Actually, the opposite.
Big-time retailers ranging from Target, The Gap, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s adjusted to what customers wanted, with online discounts prior to Black Friday and extended Cyber Monday deals. Why?
The allure of post-Thanksgiving weekend has diminished somewhat and the retailers wisely adjusted to meet customer wants and needs.
You can and should do the same for your business. Here are four ways to achieve your holiday (and any time of the year) sales goals:
- Know Your Customers ─ Everyone thinks they know their customers. Peak performers in any industry admit that they need to continually learn more. Regardless of the size of your company and budget, you can and should do market research. It can be informal, in-house research or more in depth quantitative studies.
- Do Your Messaging Drill Down ─ Each of your target markets has their own unique wants and needs. You need to communicate to each market differently. Your core message remains the same but needs to be tweaked for each audience.
- Make It About Them ─ National retailers realized that while they (the stores) love Black Friday, their customers wanted the chance to buy online when and where they wanted to. The adjustment was made and the NRF projects overall sales this holiday season to be up 4.1 percent to $16.6 billion.
- Tell Them Again and Again ─ Once you’ve completed the first 3 steps, you need to tell each target audience their story again and again. Use any messaging means possible. Social, traditional, in person, online. Tell a clear, consistent, creative story until you are sure it resonates with each target audience.
The overall numbers are promising ─ and serve as another reminder that listening to customers can mean the difference between naughty or nice holiday sales.