Black Friday sales are no longer a one-day deal. Major retailers are offering deep discounts beginning as early as Wednesday or Thursday before extended store hours to give shoppers a jump start on their holiday shopping.
The end-of-year sale event has sparked a backlash among those who want the Thanksgiving Weekend to remain focused on quality time with family, including a few large retailer campaigns. It encourages families to spend the holiday weekend enjoying outdoor activities instead. But retailers are the minority in a sea of businesses looking to capitalize on the holiday rush.
In 2019, Thanksgiving Day brought in $3.7 billion online sales, and for Black Friday, $6.2 billion. The overall sales during this period continue to rise year after year with online shopping owning the largest piece of the pie. Online retailers, therefore, are beginning to recognize that shoppers no longer wait until Cyber Monday to scour the internet for the best deals, so they’re spending their efforts establishing their place in the Black Friday game.
The holiday season is a critical opportunity for all retailers, but especially for e-commerce. November and December drive 30% more revenue for online retailers than during non-holiday months, with the days from Black Friday through Christmas specifically generating 50-100% more revenue than non-holidays.
Modern shoppers tend to prefer online shopping, and while the deals themselves might not be quite as good on Cyber Monday as on Black Friday, the former tends to drive more actual revenue for sellers. Are your team and website ready for the boost in traffic and transactions on all these upcoming dates?
6-Point Checklist before You Get Started with Black Friday Campaign
Site Speed: Low site-speed is one of the biggest conversion killers. Make sure your site speed, for both Mobile and Desktop, is up to scratch in the run-up to Black Friday.
Prepare for high numbers of traffic: Can your servers handle any potential spikes in traffic? Speak to your hosting company to ensure you have the necessary bandwidth.
Segment your mailing lists: Segmentation is an essential part of marketing for Black Friday. Segment your mailing lists well in advance of the big day, thus guaranteeing that the best offers end up in front of the right people.
Organize your email campaigns: Along with a fully segmented customer base, you should have your email marketing content ready well in advance.
Make mobile your priority: As has already been mentioned, most of your visitors will arrive on your site through a mobile device. Mobile optimization and marketing should be at the very top of your to-do list.
Start Early: Start notifying customers about your upcoming offers well in advance of the actual days so that they’re prepared to buy when the time finally rolls around.
There’s still time to skyrocket the effectiveness of your website before the shopping frenzy begins. Know how to convert seasonal buyers into customers first. It will let you know ways to grow your conversion rate, average order value, and customer lifetime value.
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How to Prep Your E-Commerce Store for Maximum Success on Black Friday?
Below are mentioned the practical ways to build, engage, and boost conversions during Black Friday. Never miss it!
Tip1: Advertise Black Friday Offers on Your Homepage & Dedicated Landing Pages
When you send emails to customers telling them about your Black Friday offers, most will click through to either your homepage or a dedicated landing page. This is your opportunity to reiterate what’s on offer and provide any voucher codes.
Black Friday landing pages should be loud and obvious. Leave visitors in no doubt about what’s going on and what they have to gain. Your homepage will be the main point-of-entry for many Black Friday shoppers, so make sure you impress them.
Tip2: Visibly Display Black Friday Discounts on Product Pages and Cart Pages
Many visitors will land directly on product pages without first seeing your homepage or landing page. On product pages, they must understand that Black Friday discounts apply.
You should also make sure customers understand that a discount is site-wide and not just for a particular product if applicable. Let them know that offers are part of a Black Friday promotion. Finally, reiterate any discounts on the cart and checkout pages, thus eradicating customer doubt.
Tip3: Guarantee a Flat Discount that Applies to Every Item
If possible, try to offer a flat rate that applies to all products. And include this guarantee visibly on your homepage, landing pages, and any marketing materials. As soon as you include a statement like this, customers are more likely to engage without worrying about having to search your site to find attractive offers.
Tip4: Show Discounts on Category Pages
Along with landing pages, your homepage, product pages, cart pages, and checkout pages; you should also highlight Black Friday prices on category pages. By covering all the bases, you’ll ensure that all of your site’s visitors know about your offers.
Ensure that discounted prices stand out. Using a bright color, like red, is a good strategy. you should also consider including the percentage discount.
Tip5: Highlight Your Best Offers on Category Pages
Including discounted prices isn’t the only strategy when it comes to category pages. You also have an opportunity to highlight some of your best offers with banners and on-page ads. If these ads can be personalized, even better.
Tip6: Build Scarcity with Low-Stock Alerts and Countdown Timers
Evoking a sense of scarcity is one of the most powerful things you can do as an online retailer. Customers that see a product is in low demand will be more motivated to buy. And Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to build urgency and scarcity.
There are two ways you can do this on product pages: by including low-stock notifications and with a countdown timer that shows how long’s left in the Black Friday sale.
Tip7: Add Extra Discounts to Sale Items
Build urgency by ensuring that discounts apply to sale items as well as full-price items. This is an excellent way for two reasons. First, it encourages customers to make a purchase right away rather than come back at a later date on the assumption that normal sale prices will apply. Second, it further incentivizes customers with the possibility of savings over and above the typical sale price. Furthermore, indicate discounts on sale items in advertising materials and on your homepage/landing pages.
Tip8: Leverage Mobile Ads [Especially on Instagram]
Well designed content delivered through mobile apps, especially on platforms like Instagram will build interest in the run-up to and during Black Friday. Mobile ads are also an excellent opportunity to target unique customer segments.
It’s also crucial to be clear and specific on mobile ads. Include details about the levels of discounts, dates, and any specific items that will appeal to your audience.
Tip9: Extend Discounts to the Whole Weekend
It’s becoming increasingly common to hear the term “Black Weekend” along with “Black Friday”. The idea behind “Black Weekend” is that discounts apply over the weekend after Black Friday, not just on that specific day.
If it’s feasible, extending discounts to the whole weekend can significantly boost sales. It’s important, however, to maintain urgency throughout this period. Remember to display dates and include notifications about the length of the sale period on product pages.
Tip10: Show Discounts on the Checkout Page
Checkout is one of the riskiest stages of the customer journey. A quarter of visitors will leave your site after beginning the checkout process. To reduce your checkout abandonment rate, reiterate discounts. Show the Black Friday discount next to the checkout form so that customers aren’t in any doubt about the low price they’re getting.
Tip11: Contact People via Social Media Apps
When’s the last time you had a conversation with your customers via social media apps? Your first thought might be, “That’s impossible! I’ve hundreds of thousands of customers.”
But you’d be dead wrong. Messenger bots now make it possible for retailers to interact directly with customers and send them personalized offers and suggestions based on an array of data points. Send curated Black Friday offers to your social media audience via messenger based on their past behavior and interests. There are many online services that enable you to do this quickly and inexpensively.
Tip12: Hold a Pre-Sale Event
A significant part of Black Friday marketing is about building excitement and engagement in the run-up to the buying period. One excellent way of doing this is by giving customers a taster of what’s to come in a pre-sale event. It’s like a mini Black Friday for one day. Executed well, these kinds of events can whet customers’ appetites, making them eager for more. Flash sales should only offer a taster. They shouldn’t replicate Black Friday entirely. The aim is to engage customers and encourage them to come back for more at a later date.
Tip13: Rescue Abandoned Carts by any means necessary
Shopping cart abandonment is still high in online retail, an astonishing 75% worldwide, according to Statista. While many retailers still use email marketing to rescue abandoned carts, new automation solutions are becoming more important for millennials.
Tip14: Automate Front & Back-end productivity
E-Commerce automation tools like Shopify Flow let you automate nearly any customer-facing or back-office process you can imagine. You can also store and execute triggers, conditions, and actions you specify, without any coding.
Merchants can, therefore, automate business tasks for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, such as:
- Customer service
- Fraud prevention
- Design and development requests
- Marketing and advertising
- Managing inventory
Tip15: Invest in post-Black Friday loyalty
Customers who redeem loyalty rewards spend twice as much as those who don’t. That’s because the psychology of a loyalty program email is completely different than promotional emails:
- Loyalty emails include rewards that your customers have worked to earn, so they don’t want to lose those points
- They’re one of the few emails your customers receive that is 100% personalized
Don’t forget to promote rewards in the customer’s cart, as well. Enabling customers to claim loyalty rewards directly from their cart with one click helps to grow average order values.
A loyalty program post-Black Friday also helps bring customers back during the upcoming event.
Finally, Prepare a Black Friday Shipping and Returns Plan
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), “61% of shoppers plan to buy their last gift in the week leading up to December 25.” To capitalize on this opportunity, eCommerce merchants need to have a solid last-minute shipping plan.
Here are two key dates to keep in mind:
December 9: Green Monday
The concept of “Green Monday” was developed by eBay in 2007. It refers to the Monday that’s at least ten days before Christmas. Holiday shoppers are in full swing on this day which makes it a crucial time to increase your marketing efforts.
December 13: Free Shipping Day
During Free Shipping Day, eCommerce stores often provide free shipping on all items and guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. If your store participates this year, be sure to set shipping expectations upfront with customers.
You can use one of several apps to show whether products in a customer’s cart are eligible to ship within a quick time frame. If the products won’t arrive in time, identify them in the cart as shipping separately. You can warn them on the product page as well.
Transform Returns into Retention
Impulse purchases are far too common during the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, as are cancellation and return requests. You’ll lose customers if you punish them with a complicated return policy or poor experience.
- 58% of shoppers want return friction with extra email or phone communication results in a negative return experience
- 80% of consumers expect free returns, while only 25% of retailers offer free returns
- 72% of consumers would like to spend more and buy more often with merchants that make the return experience simple
- 89% of repeat customers who had a good return experience are likely to buy again
Ready to do the Black Friday Sale
Is your eCommerce site ready for the biggest retail event of the year? While online holiday sales are expected to climb in 2020, there’s no guarantee that your site will reap the benefits.
You need a Black Friday strategy that takes everything into consideration – from mobile site speed and performance to integrated online and offline promotion, to shipping and contingency plans for unexpected issues and stockouts.
Take the necessary steps and strategies into account, and be ready for the Black Friday sale!