Black Friday Recap for Outdoor Brands

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) has transformed into a retail behemoth, and the outdoor industry is no stranger to its booming potential. But with the ever-evolving landscape of online advertising, navigating this crucial sales period can be a complex challenge. To shed light on this, we've analyzed data from our own clients across various outdoor segments, revealing surprising trends and actionable insights for future BFCM campaigns.

The Shift Beyond the Frenzy: Our data paints a clear picture: the traditional BFCM window is blurring. While it still holds weight, only 24% of our clients' ad revenue originated from the specific Black Friday and Cyber Monday days in November 2023. This highlights a crucial trend – the holiday shopping season is stretching, with early November promotions gaining significant traction. Our clients saw a total Ad Attributed Revenue of $3.2MM during the month of November with an agency wide ROAS of over 9x. 

Shining Stars by Segment: Diving deeper into specific segments, we see fascinating performance variations. Our highest performing segments were Outdoor Hardgoods (a crazy 36x across four brands) followed by our IBD/ Bike & Ski Shops who saw a 24x ROAS across 10+ stores. IBD’s are in an interesting position this year, as is most of the outdoor industry, with a large amount of aged inventory to sell through. We saw stores going very deep this year in discounting to achieve this.  

Cycling & Snow Struggled: Coming off of record years in the cycling industry and an amazing snow year into a dry start of the winter meant many of our cycling and snowsports clients didnt perform as well as other outdoor sectors. Participation levels have dropped for both of these industries this years which hasn’t helped. 

The Keys to Success: What separates the performance leaders? Our analysis reveals several key takeaways:

    • Embrace the Extended Season: Don't confine yourself to the traditional BFCM window. Early November promotions can capture eager shoppers and spread campaign impact.
    • Simplify for Success: Complex discount structures and flashy gimmicks can overwhelm.Transparent offers and easy-to-understand deals resonate with customers. Our clients who ran straight discount promotions has over a 20x ROAS, compared to those with bundles and more complicated discount structures a 6x ROAS.
    • Data-Driven Targeting: Analyze past performance and industry trends to optimize your targeting on platforms and demographics that yield the highest ROAS.
    • Test and Iterate: Don't be afraid to experiment with different strategies and promotions. Early "dry run" campaigns can provide valuable data to refine your approach for BFCM. Running a similar campaign during Labor Day as your BFCM (but lesser discount) can serve as a great tool to test marketing strategy. 

The Road Ahead: As we look towards future BFCMs, the outdoor industry has unique opportunities to capitalize on. Brands need to take a holistic view of Q3 & Q4 and understand how acquisition & brand building efforts in Sept & October can lead to significantly conversions in November. By staying ahead of the curve and embracing data-driven strategies and prioritizing First Party Data, outdoor brands can conquer the BFCM challenge and unlock their full holiday sales potential.

How did BFCM go for your Outdoor Industry Brand? Leave a comment or drop us a line.