Shopify coined a new term, “Black November,” and has been recommending to its merchants that they start buying ads and traffic early, according to three merchants that work with the ecommerce tech provider.
Ads placed between October and November may generate fewer direct sales than placements in late November or December, when shoppers are primed to buy, but it’s relatively high value because paid media costs soar starting Thanksgiving week.
Lasiy said another reason that retailers loathe the shortened holiday is that audience value during that period is so disproportionately high. Big name stores like Best Buy, Walmart and Target have fewer days when they can capitalize on high traffic and crazy valuations for their own site and in-app ads.
“It’s more important than ever for retailers to win every sale they can early on,” said Dani Cushion, CMO of Cardlytics, an ad tech company that uses credit card purchase data for personalized retail and ecommerce marketing.
Acquiring new customers becomes prohibitively expensive come December, she said, so retailers should use paid media as early as possible to lock in sales from repeat customers. It’s also more cost effective to reach these people, since the store understands their preference (like if they order pick-up in store) and has data like a name and email they can retarget.
“Despite the fact that Thanksgiving is later this year, from our perspective, the holiday shopping season hasn’t shortened,” Cushion said. “It’s already started.”