Talking about Black Friday in May, you must think we are mad but hear us out.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the whole sale period that surrounds it is a massive opportunity for online retailers. A well-executed strategy can allow retailers to enjoy huge sales whilst acquiring high numbers of new customers.
The key – get planning now! Get campaigns planned and set up with enough time to test, learn and gather data. Ensure your website is up to scratch and SEO ready, and carefully select discounts that make sense to your customer without damaging your profit margin.
Still not sure? See how early and efficient planning allowed us to skyrocket performance for a client driving traffic to their website for Black Friday Sales and achieving over 700% ROAS!
Black Friday 2021
This online shopping phenomenon has shown huge growth over the years and was only heightened through covid when ecommerce boomed. The way retailers approach this annual sales event is becoming increasingly mixed. Last year consumers spent $8.9 billion across the Black Friday sales period.
Unlike 2020 which, thanks to Covid saw online sales soar, 2021 online Black Friday sales suffered from global supply chain issues and struggled to match the previous years ‘lockdown high’. According to figures from IMRG retail index online retail sales were down YoY by 14% although still up 20% on pre-pandemic levels. If we remove 2020 as an anomaly due to exterior influences, there is nothing to suggest that 2022 won’t continue on this growth trajectory.
With November fast approaching now is the time to start getting everything in place to make this year your best Black Friday performance to date.
Ensure your website is sufficiently optimised
Over the years online shopping has increasingly become a mobile shopping event. With the majority of shoppers scrolling through their phones or arriving at you site through a series of paid ads. Today, mobile traffic accounts for over half of the time spent on the internet.
Black Friday drives huge peaks in interest from shoppers looking for deals. Providing high volumes of search traffic for you to take advantage of. Search interest around Black Friday has been steadily growing year on year, with searches around Black Friday gaining significantly higher traction much earlier than any point in the past 5 years. Therefore, it is crucial that not only is your website fully optimised in preparation for a large traffic flow but that you have covered all devices.
Here is a quick checklist for optimal site performance:
- Test your checkout process. Are there any sticking points that will cause confusion to your customer that will ultimately lead in cart abandonments?
- Do you have clear Call to Actions that will guide your shoppers through the stages of your website?
- Have you streamlined your site and made specific landing pages to direct traffic from any paid campaigns?
- Do you know what keywords you are using to better write and plan your online content?
- Is your website speed up to scratch? There is nothing worse than your website crashing before users can complete their purchase.
Start Campaigns early
Black Friday into Cyber Monday are no longer just one-day events. What used to be one day of sales became the whole weekend and now even stretches for weeks with retailers offering deals earlier and earlier each year.
To efficiently launch and run paid advertising campaigns in the run up to Black Friday it is crucial to give yourself plenty of time to gather data, build your audiences and test what resonates to maximise your results. Before you begin thinking about how you are going to reach your customers over the week of Black Friday, think about how you can connect with them before the big day. Don’t forget to look at the wider picture, some shoppers will plan and research online before Black Friday whilst some may even look online before going in-store to make their purchase!
By capitalising on promotional peaks and gathering data as early as possible we helped Herman Miller drive a YoY increase of over 20%. A company-first online revenue milestone for the brand!
Think about your discounting strategy
It is important to spend time thinking about your discounting strategy. It is easy to get stuck in a cycle of discounting products, in a way that your customers become savvy to. Especially over Black Friday, if you start discounting too early you can lose the hype and urgency that Black Friday provides. Here are a few simple strategies you might want to consider:
Use discounts to increase order value
If you are offering discounts think of ways you can bundle products together to upsell and create a larger basket at a better price for you customer while increasing your average order value. Carefully consider which products you want to discount, perhaps just focus on a few key lines. Just the notion of a good deal will drive increased traffic to your site.
Know what your customer wants
Most shoppers expect free delivery with over 70% of desktop shoppers choosing to purchaser through retailers who offer this as standard. Ensure you know what you customer expects from you, alleviating any issues or sticking points that might increase your drop off rate.
Reward your loyal customers
Segment your audiences and offer loyal customers with “exclusive” discount codes that can be applied at checkout. Or give them early access if you don’t want to reduce your profit margin further. Giving the VIP treatment is a great customer retention strategy too.
Stay consistent with your brand
As great as it is to be able to offer discounts, think of what else you can do that fits in with your brand values. In 2021 Patagonia announced that instead of offering a reduced offering, they would instead donate 100% of their sales over Black Friday to grassroots non-profits. They ended up smashing their $2million target 5 times over!
Keep on top of cart abandonments
Cart abandonment tends to increase over large sales period such as Black Friday with consumers shopping around to try and find themselves the best deals. By using cart abandonment emails you can remind shoppers of items they have left behind and tempt them back to complete their purchase.
With Black Friday you can easily make them more persuasive by pushing the urgency of such a limited time sale. You could even include a countdown timer to increase the pressure to purchase before time runs out. Or highlight the number of items left in stock.
Plan in cart abandonment emails as part of your wider email campaign strategy.
The sheer popularity of Black Friday digital sales means that many retailers cannot afford to ignore it. But as the popularity grows so does the competitive landscape. Get ahead of the curve and start planning now to make this year your best Black Friday yet!
If you need bespoke and tailored advice or a helping hand to guid you through the online madness that is Black Friday, give us a call or head to our contact page to get in touch with us.