Retailers step up to digital Black Friday with huge increase in omnichannel marketing, Emarsys finds

This year’s Black Friday saw a major increase in the use of digital marketing channels compared with 2019 as retailers brought Black Friday to consumers in their homes via their laptops, smartphones and other devices, omnichannel customer engagement company Emarsys finds.

Driven by Covid-19, lockdowns and physical store closures across the world, data from the Emarsys platform shows that over the Black Friday sales period, brands sent over 86 million push notifications (messages) via mobile apps (up a staggering 90%) and 834 million emails (up 21%).

With brands seeking to be more agile and personalised in their digital campaigns this Black Friday, real-time event triggers powered by the Emarsys platform (digital campaign triggers based on individual customer behavior) were also up an enormous 177% to 189 million, while segment executions (campaigns aimed at different audience segments) were up to by 29% to 14.6 million.

Some brands, like Sports Direct, have even adopted advanced AI personalisation technology, using visual data to recommend products to shoppers based on their own unique tastes and preferences — a level of personalisation that even Amazon can’t achieve.

2020 has been a tumultuous year for all making this Black Friday an even more important event for retailers, with many relying on the sales period to rescue revenue in what has been a challenging year for retail.

Sara Richter, CMO at Emarsys, said: “With parts of the UK and many other countries under lockdown and physical stores closed, brands have had no choice but to nail their digital promotions this Black Friday, or risk losing out big time.

“Seeing the opportunity in front of them, retailers left nothing to chance and harnessed the power of martech to personalise the experience to ensuring customers were targeted with the right messages at the right time through the right channels — perfectly in line with consumer habits, demands and preferences. Consequently, AI and personalisation have played a bigger role than ever before and Emarsys is proud to have helped retailers step up to the challenge.”

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