We break down the holiday season strategy into 3 phases. The 1st phase is pre-Black Friday / Cyber Monday, phase 2 is Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BF/CM), and the last phase (which we are currently in) runs through the end of ordering in time for the holidays (for us, that’s December 17th).
2020 saw eCommerce get fast-forwarded about five years in its progression with market share of wallet spend. Combine that with the fact that both BattlBox and Carnivore Club are products that appeal to a larger base in a post COVID-19 world, we had high hopes for BF/CM.
Let’s review BattlBox’s BF/CM, but first, let’s digress a little. In 2019, we took a very aggressive approach. We did a 70% off sitewide sale. This caused impressive revenue numbers, almost doubling our 2018 BF/CM revenue. Of course, this was NOT very profitable. We knew it was not going to be profitable but served its purpose at the time. The purpose was quite simple, clear out some of our inventory and introduce BattlBox to some new customers in hopes they would subscribe later. Both of these were accomplished successfully. We did however put a massive strain on our warehouse’s non-subscription fulfillment operations. This was not due to the volume of orders, but the makeup of the orders. We had hundreds of orders that were over 10 items with many of these being large items. The huge discounted sale caused a lot of customers who were simply playing the retail arbitrage game and they clogged our efficiency quickly. Of course, the retail arbitrage piece is an assumption, I guess it is possible that a random first-time customer really wanted 20 tents or 25 camping stoves. We knew for 2020, we were not taking this approach at all.
For 2020, we took a segmented approach. We had aggressive offers for first-time subscribers and we had around 20 doorbuster items for existing customers (or anyone that stumbled upon it). This was similar to what we did in 2018 (that 2019 doubled numbers on), but we got a little more advanced this year on how we communicated via segments and platforms.
Our goal was to beat 2019 numbers while not giving away the farm as we did in 2019. We accomplished that and then some, beating 2019 revenue numbers by over 40%. Our Average Order Value was also 21% higher than in 2019. This was a HUGE WIN.
Next up is Carnivore Club. We took over the brand in July of last year, so last year’s BF/CM was our first one. We went with a similar game plan in 2019 that the brand did in 2018. On Cyber Monday of 2019, we made a pivot in the campaign plan (we always have pivots planned and ready should a campaign not deliver forecasted success) which was successful and got us to the same results that we had in 2018.
We knew 2020 BF/CM was gonna be a success for Carnivore Club. The internal back and forth was simply about how big of a success. I tend to be more conservative when it comes to my forecasting and I could not have been more wrong. We beat 2019 revenue numbers by 310%. Yes, more than tripled. Our phase 3 of Carnivore Club is historically the best 2 weeks of the year of Carnivore Club and I cannot wait to see the numbers we are about to put. So proud of the team and what we are accomplishing.