Every year, retailers and ad managers eye the calendar. They watch, they wait, and they plan months in advance for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a lot like the digital ad version of the Super Bowl for brands. In many industries, verticals, and specific companies, they operate at break-even (or even at a loss) through the year. The sales volume of the holiday season putting their ledgers back in black. (Hence, the name.)

Paid social already offers many creative ways to attract buyers. The multitude of ad units and platform options create many ways for brands to create attention-getting ad experiences to capitalize on the sales potential of Black Friday.

Those options have only increased every year. The Facebook/Instagram behemoth has matured away every year from static feed placements to interactive Collections ads, Stories, and more.

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Black Friday Stakes in 2020

2020 represented the highest stakes for retailers ever for online sales, with several factors at play.

COVID-19 still keeps many people from going out excessively, which sellers knew would increase online buying demand. It also created some unique situations that were first encountered in March when COVID hit: lack of warehouse space, trying to cover retail space that wasn’t being used, and delayed shipments from Chinese manufacturers were a few of them.

The forthcoming demands of Black Friday, combined with the learnings from March and April, added extra stress onto the…

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