Could you tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at your company?
At Savings United we work alongside media houses to bring brands and shoppers together on our joint coupon platforms. We help brands achieve their business goals and help shoppers save on products from a number of verticals such as fashion, tech and more. As Partnerships Manager – US, I work with advertisers to develop tailored campaigns that drive success for all involved, while negotiating the best discounts and deals for savvy consumers.
What opportunities do events like Black Friday present to retailers and e-commerce players?
Black Friday and the cyber retail holidays surrounding it provide a Marketing phenomenon. For decades, this time period has been branded so heavily to multiple generations that it has become more than just a promotion on a Marketing calendar, it has become cultural tradition — a highly anticipated event. Throughout the year retailers and e-commerce teams alike reinvent Marketing schemes in order to attract a small portion of the number of consumers Black Friday provides, however Black Friday uniquely presents retailers with consumers that are looking to splurge on their loved ones and themselves.
Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22 billion in online sales in the US. This is in addition to Cyber Monday 2018, which generated a record $7.9 billion in online US Sales. Meanwhile figures from Adobe show that the total 2018 US online holiday sales was an incredible $126 billion. The interesting thing here is that while many of these consumers plan out a budget to spend, many don’t have a set shopping agenda of specific items. These consumers are looking to have their gifting and purchasing decisions improved by suggested offers that are too good to miss out on. This provides retailers with an opportunity of an influx in consumers prepped and primed to confidently checkout.
Could you tell us about the most outstanding coupon strategies for holiday and giant sale seasons?
One of the best holiday campaigns that I have seen run very successfully by a few different advertisers are multi-day-deal campaigns. These campaigns usually feature something similar to a 12 days of holiday theme. They bring customers back for multiple purchases leveraging their adrenaline and anticipation. They can’t wait to come back and see the next offer tomorrow, which triggers euphoric impulse buys. Although this is a strong strategy, it only flourishes when the messaging is equally as strong. Reach and frequency early and often is the key.
Do consumers actually feel the pinch of constant brand messaging and communication over mobile — what is the best way brands can mellow these down without losing their messaging ideas?
Mobile is one of the most intimate customers’ possessions and the key for brands to reach their target audience in a positive, non-invasive manner is ensuring that the messaging provides a solution for the target audience on the other side of the screen. One of the best ways brands can achieve this is by collaborating side-by-side with publishers. These publishers partners must share the same demographic as the brand, and offer a customer-centric campaign. If this is accomplished, branding crosses over from what could have been invasive and a nuisance to a valued solution.
What lessons can retail technology customers learn from the likes of Amazon and Flipkart? How do Black Friday Marketing strategies solidify retail brand’s dominance in the market?
Amazon starts building campaign momentum long before their campaigns go live. They do a great job using multiple platforms and channels to promote their upcoming events. They take full advantage of automation, cart abandonment, email, app notifications, pop-ups, a multitude of partner publishers and influencers, and quite a few other channels. Historically, Amazon has broken rules and created their own timeline, running Black Friday offers outside traditional time frames. They have experienced unmatched success with this. It’s no coincidence that their success parallels their reach and frequency. Other retailers could benefit by following Amazon’s example of communicating their campaigns by means of strong multichannel Marketing campaigns to their consumers early and often.
What are your predictions on the future of retail and coupon-based Marketing?
We will see more and more of the mundane shopping experiences, such as stocking up on household staples like laundry detergent and toilet paper, become automated. This is likely to make it harder for brands to differentiate themselves and compete for return customers. I would suggest that coupons will play a crucial role in incentivising these purchases in particular.
Leah Holcomb is Partnerships Manager – US at Savings United. Leading voucher code partner of premium media companies, Savings United’s partnerships connect advertisers with smart shoppers. Present in 13 countries, Savings United works alongside advertisers to engage a new audience of smart shoppers and achieve their business goals through brand-safe channels.