Behind the frenzy surrounding Black Friday and its gigantic discounts lie certain irritants. There's a love-hate relationship between Black Friday and its consumers. Social platforms bear witness to this, bringing together the joys and frustrations of consumers who are expressing themselves more than ever. This is particularly true during the high points of online consumption, of which Black Friday is one. If sales soar during these few days, so do the voices of dissatisfied consumers.
With all this digital noise, all we could do was listen for the pulse of the market. So our strategy was to introduce offers to the market that responded to the cries of consumers. In real time, Sport Chek was able to help consumers while increasing sales of its products: a win-win situation!
The strategy was simple: we capitalized on the friction points that consumers were talking about on social networks, which we then matched with Sport Chek offers that we pushed to market... in real time.
Our approach was aimed at increasing our sales, but also at solving a number of problems that consumers were facing: products sold in excess by competitors vs. what they actually had in stock, consumers looking for the most popular products in stock, flaws on our competitors' sites, cancelled online orders, and so on.
We simply listened to what consumers were saying about their shopping experience, in a number of different ways: Using the customized Google Trend Queries tool and Sport Chek's site search engine, we were able to identify the most in-demand products, some of which surprised us with their popularity. The Serenity soothing blanket and the Theragun massage device, for example, were not in any of our featured product predictions, and therefore not featured in any advertising. But we rectified the situation, and within 2 hours, our tactics featuring these products on Facebook, Instagram and SEM were launched. The result: inventories completely sold out.
Frustrations were also shared, and were just as much a source of opportunities. Using the TweeterDeck, a social monitoring tool, we had a view of the disappointing consumer experiences of our competitors. This was the case with Footlocker's website crash and payment difficulties on Lululemon's site. Immediately, we created ads inviting consumers to our fully functional site. When shoppers complained about Wal-Mart selling more Apple Watches than it had in inventory, we created ads promoting our Apple Watch inventories, and adapted our audience strategies according to the products targeted.