Ready for the Holidays Series: How to Position Your Brand for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the busiest shopping days of the year.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2017, Canadians spent the most dollars in a certain day of the entire year. It had a 45% higher spend volume than Boxing Day and matched with December 22 for the busiest shopping day of the year.

Cyber Monday had similar success. In 2017, shoppers were expected to spend $6.6 billion — up 16% from the previous year.

Experts are predicting 2018 will be just as busy, if not more. Even with the U.S.-Canada trade agreement (NAFTA) resolved, more Canadians are choosing to shop local and pick Canada-made products. There is room for Canadian manufacturers to stand out from the crowd.

Here’s how to make sure your brand is prepared for the Black Friday rush:

  1. Make It a Weekend Affair

Black Friday used to be a one-day sale, but in recent years it has turned into a whole-weekend discount. Some brands even offer Black Friday sales all week long. Others have discounts for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Whatever strategy you choose, plan it out. What makes more sense for your brand — separate sales by day or one sale that lasts all weekend long?

  1. Manage Inventory Levels

In 2017, Cyber Monday brought in big sales, but also a record number of out-of-stock messages on big retail sites like Target and Walmart. According to data from Adobe, for every 100 product views there were 13 out-of-stock messages — double the usual rate.

Have a plan for inventory management. Review historic data to see what products have gone the quickest in the past and prepare accordingly. It can also be useful to visit your top 100 performing stores and make sure your stock levels are adequate.

Don’t forget to re-check stock levels after Black Friday is over. There is still the rest of the holiday season to go and the mega-shopping day of December 22.

  1. Have Discounts Count

One of the criticisms of the Canadian Black Friday vs. the U.S. version has been that the deals simply aren’t as big. Some have even called Canada’s version “Grey Friday.”

Consider offering Black Friday-exclusive deals or sales that don’t happen any other time of the year. Even if it is a steeper discount than usual, it may result in more sales. Also, place bigger-ticket items on sale. Retail sales data can help you determine what items are most popular.

  1. Offer Online-Exclusive Deals

Cyber Monday is a sales day in its own right. Consider offering online specific deals, either for Cyber Monday only or for the whole weekend. Some methods you could use include:

  • Offer free shipping.
  • Make sure the site is mobile friendly.
  • Create an email campaign leading up to the sale.
  1. Use Social Media found that in 2016, Canadians relied on online advertising to guide them to Black Friday sales:

  • 38% used social media to help them find deals (39% in 2016)
  • 31% used social media to recommend products (31% in 2016)
  • 32% used mobile apps or mobile payment (up vs 28% in 2016)
  • 30% used store mobile apps to make purchases (up vs 27% in 2016)
  • 22% used social media to complain about products (22% in 2016)

Be sure that any deals or sales you are offering — be it in-store or online — are tied to your digital marketing.

  1. Plan In-Store Demonstrations

With so many shoppers coming in-store, Black Friday weekend could be a great opportunity to demo a product (or products). Tastings, product testing, and interactive displays can all inspire a sale — especially when prices are lowered. You could even do something out of the norm and create a Black Friday “lounge area” with comfortable seats, a gift-wrapping station, snacks, and more.

Whatever plan you choose for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales strategy, Marketsupport Canada can help. Our experienced team can visit retailers across Canada to make sure your products are kept stocked, displayed, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about our services. Call 1 877 421 5081 or visit

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