If you are new to the eCommerce world, it’s probably a little late to work on the best Black Friday strategy ever, but there are still a few things that you can do to get the most out of it. From preventing slowdowns on your website to offering flash sales, here are a few evergreen tips.
The history of Black Friday
Despite the many interpretations, rumors, theories and urban legends around Black Friday, the most plausible hypothesis is that the name of this event comes from the police and not from the brain of a genius marketer.
With Black Friday happening in between Thanksgiving on Thursday and the Army-Navy football game on Saturday, it became the perfect day for tourists to shop. The chaos caused by hundreds of shoppers and tourists motivated the Philadelphia police to start talking about that Friday as Black Friday.
Black Friday is not just a day
If you’re a subscriber to any newsletters, you are probably already receiving dozens of emails from your favorite clothing brands, Amazon and other shops letting you know that they have awesome offers that you definitely don’t want to miss. If this is not the case, you’re the exception.
Brands and eCommerce businesses usually start preparing for Black Friday up to six months before the event. It’s such a lucrative date that we can start seeing special offers and discounts a week earlier. They usually last until Cyber Monday is over. More than a day, it has become a season.
According to Adtelligent, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday brought in $3.7 billion and $6.2 billion in online shopping revenue even as far back as 2018. Cyber Monday generated $7.9 billion in online sales the same year. Moreover, Saturday and Sunday taken together grew 25% year-on-year, faster than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
With such figures, it’s obvious why brands and online shops need to make the period last as long as they can.
Tips to survive and thrive
Focus on marketing strategy, design and content
Your main goal is to stand out from the crowd. Your potential customers have to decide between you and your competitors, which is why great deals and good products are not enough. When your ads are appealing, your design is attractive, your texts are clear, your content is relevant and placed where it matters, it’s much easier to cut through the noise.
Start planning in advance
These suggestions are not simple. But if you start planning your strategy in advance, you’ll have time to cover all the important aspects, starting with the optimization of your website.
Remember: CPMs will be higher
There will be a lot of traffic, a lot of ads and, in general, a higher level of activity. CPMs will be higher. Make sure that your budget is big enough to set your strategy in motion without being limited by CPM rates that are 50% higher than normal. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great revenue opportunities and the competition across channels is also huge.
Prospecting, retargeting and emailing
Retargeting your website visitors is key because they have already shown buying intent. Instagram and Facebook are going to be very useful channels for that, but you should build your audience in advance. You need to work on prospecting campaigns a few months before Black Friday. Increasing your budget for that quarter, allocating more money to your prospecting campaigns and even more on retargeting during Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be key to reaching visitors who could become customers.
This should all be coordinated with your email marketing strategy. Identifying engaged users is key to developing a more sophisticated strategy for them, for example by emailing your entire database to let them know about your Black Friday offers. Working on a specific strategy for engaged users is even better. Always avoid spamming users, though!
Promote early access
We can probably agree that pre-engaged contacts deserve early access to your best deals. It’s fair, but also a great way to stand out from your competitors.
Keep in mind that email is still the highest converting channel, so emailing your engaged users a week before Black Friday, will encourage users to start buying things and making wish lists for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. During those specific days, when the competition is at the highest level, you can increase the number of emails sent to your engaged users to maybe a couple a day (more than that would probably ruin your sender reputation).
However, if you keep your discounts consistent throughout the week, sales will also continue to spike.
Use all available channels
Emails, Facebook and Instagram are key to your strategy. Ads, social posts and emails are part of your entire content marketing strategy and should be coherent across channels. So, if you are also active on Pinterest or YouTube, for instance, or if you have a blog, don’t forget to create content that supports your ads, giving your customers another reason to buy your products.
Is your website ready?
If your website is not ready to deal with huge traffic spikes, then all of this effort will be in vain. Advance planning means there’s no reason to panic. Remember to check:
- Website speed
- Unnecessary plugins and elements
- The conversion funnel
- Product pages and checkout process
- Google auto-filler
It all comes down to the same thing: making it easy for your customers to buy your products. Traffic volumes are much higher during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so checking the site speed is basic. Remove all elements that are not necessary, make sure your servers can deal with it and that your APIs won’t be overloaded.
Next, analyze and evaluate your conversion funnel. Can users navigate the site easily? Is the transition from ads and content to your product page optimized? How many clicks are they away from their desired products? Is the product information complete and sufficient?
And the checkout process? Can they buy the product with just one click? Can they do it as guests or do they have to signup for an account? And how long does it take for them to complete the process? Is Google auto-filler active?
Last but not least…
Because you have been performing several tests in advance, you know the kind of issues that may come up. You’re ready. But ALWAYS HAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN!
When it’s Black Friday celebrated?
Black Friday is celebrated the Friday after Thanksgiving, but for brands, it can last more than a single day. Brands prepare months in advance for the big day and the promotions usually end until Cyber Monday ends.
How can brands be successful during Black Friday?
Planning in advance, following the marketing strategy, creating content and themed designs and having your website ready is key for a successful Black Friday.