Forget traditional Black Friday - This is how to win Cyber Weekend 2020

What has become known as “Cyber Weekend” — Black Friday through to Cyber Monday — is almost upon us. With every day that passes it is ever more apparent that the perennial scenes of shoppers scrapping over handbags and stampedes towards the tech isle are absolutely impossible this year.

COVID-19 has seen to that. However, brands need not consider the event cancelled. Last year, Cyber Monday sales were up nearly 20% from the year before as the weekend-sale phenomenon increasingly moves online. With 92% of consumers reporting an increase in their in-home media consumption during the pandemic, the key to 2020 Cyber Weekend is a robust digital and influencer marketing strategy!

The Power of Influence

Influencers are professional content creators — and they’re really, really good at it. Showing how your products/services work in different contexts, settings, age groups, and cultures opens you up to a much wider audience. Now your customer can experience your product in a whole new way, through someone they trust and relate to. This is a much stronger visual and emotional storytelling through which the consumer can experience your brand.

Customers reportedly return 15-40% of goods bought online, versus just 5-10% of those bought in stores. The importance of photography, product showcasing, and reviews have never been more vital to secure long-term success.

Reintroduce a sense of urgency

During the 2019 Black Friday period, deals ran for longer than ever before as retailers looked to spread demand and capture sales. In recent years, reports also began to circulate of exaggerated discount claims, leading 20% of consumers to believe Cyber Weekend deals weren't genuine. This has had the unfortunate side effect that consumers lost their sense of urgency and anticipation: they aren’t snapping up those deals as they know they have longer to shop around. It’s important to recapture this sense of urgency and highlight the unique features that your brand holds.

A fantastic strategy to drive this anticipation around your holiday campaign is to create an online ‘drum roll’: a type of campaign that builds up to one big drop or day. In this lead-up, your audience is primed through awareness posts so they know something big is coming and that the influencers are excited to announce it. Then, on Black Friday, you would introduce the crescendo: a new product/offering that members can get or a one-time discount code only available through the influencer. This simultaneously encourages the consumer excitement about your promotion, whilst still harnessing the third-party advocacy of the influencer’s voice as they are equally excited to reveal the big drop.

Cut through the noise

Customers will expect to — in some situations will have to — shop online this year. The Office for National Statistics reported a 31% increase in pre-pandemic spending in August as customers continue to convert online. The digital competition will be fierce this year, as customers can’t just wander into your store or look through shop windows. It’s time to get discovered in new and creative ways!

With so much loss, illness, and restrictions circulating, consumers are going online for a bit of engaging escapism. Brands that can provide this will have consumer attention. Add gamification challenges to your brand. TikTok & Instagram Reels challenges also gain a lot of traction at the moment, and are definitely the channels to adopt this holiday season. Many consumers have a lot more time on their hands at the moment — make sure it’s engaged with your brand!

The key to winning the Cyber Weekend this year will be driving that online traffic to your site. You might be able to fit 1000 people in a store at one go, but your website can have over 100,000 people shopping at the same time. The possibilities of a Cyber Weekend seem limitless — but only for those who identify the opportunity and act fast to make sure their customers are primed and ready. Influencers hold the key to reaching those customers with impressive reach and efficacy. The strategies above are just the tip of how influencers can be activated around this opportunity.

The only question left is: are you ready to win at Cyber Weekend 2020?