Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States. On this day, the season of Christmas sales starts. This tradition commenced in the 19th century, and today huge discounts on this day are practised in many countries worldwide.
In 2021, Black Friday is on the 26th of November and this will be the start of the three-day big sales. In our digital era, ecommerce becomes more and more popular. Customers don’t want to shop in brick-and-mortar stores anymore. According to the Finance Online, “too many crowds”, “safety measures”, and “long lines” are among the most frequent reasons for not shopping in-store during Black Friday: With the right approach, you can get almost a month's revenue within a short period of discounts, promote your brand and expand your customer base. But you have to make sure you are taking full advantage of Black Friday at the right time. In this article, we suggest a 5-steps checklist to get the maximum of the Black Friday rush. Stay tuned!
Checklist: How to Get Prepared to Black Friday and Boost Sales
Black Friday has become a real fest for customers worldwide: all shopaholics enjoy high-profile promotions and fresh offers. Even COVID restrictions can’t spoil this shopping holiday this year. On the contrary, in isolation at home, the desire to buy something useful with a good discount becomes even stronger, and the users storm the online stores. If you own a web store, then this is an ideal opportunity for you to increase sales without losses. We suggest 5 easy steps to get prepared for the world shopping day.
Step 1. Planning sales and discounts
Before you formulate proposals and create ad creatives, research your options. In particular:
- Assess the entire range of products you can offer;
- Determine what products or services you are willing to sell at a discount;
- Decide how much the discount will be for a specific product.
But just offering a discount is not enough. Keep in mind that your competitors are also getting prepared for Black Friday. Therefore, it is necessary to think about the additional perks you can provide to your customers. The most attractive options are:
- Free shipping;
- An additional gift for a certain purchase;
- Additional discount if an order exceeds a certain amount.
- At the stage of planning, data from past years and the successful experience of different companies will come in handy.
- Pay special attention to the following information:
- Data on user behaviour in your country and your niche: popular product categories, average receipts, periods of activity;
- Summary analytics for different types of business and topics: depending on the type of product or service, the data can vary significantly;
- Your sales data over the past year: what products were more in demand, which of them brought the greatest profit;
- Cases of companies and marketing agencies: you can "peep" interesting features and promotions there.
Analyze last year's demand in Google Trends - enter a keyword related to a specific product and see how much it was in demand last Black Friday. Here you can also compare the popularity of different queries:
By the end of the preparation stage, you will have the data to create great deals for customers. However, it's still too early to think about launching advertising - first, prepare a platform to attract customers.
Step 2. Website preparation
Home page. No matter how enticing advertising on third-party resources is, the client will make decisions when visiting your site. And it is necessary to report on Black Friday and its basic conditions right on the home page. Preparing the cover for the main page, don’t forget to specify:
- Start date and period when the deal is available;
- The amount of a discount offered;
- Additional promotions and offers (if any).
And of course, come up with an interesting design for your title illustration. Traditionally for Black Friday, white, black and red are used as the main colours. But there are no restrictions, and you can get creative with a variety of colour combinations.
End-to-end banner. The next step is to prepare banners for the rest of the site pages. After all, you can't predict where the visitor will start the session from. Place banner ads on all pages of your website. The design rules are similar: thematic image, basic conditions, start date. If you don’t want to spend time developing a unique design, you may use the ready-made templates. Websites like Freepik offer various options:
Promotional pages. To tell your customers more about your Black Friday deals, you can create a separate page on the site or a landing page to direct your users from the ads. That is what a well-known marketplace AliExpress made in past years:
Subscription form. During the sales season, businesses can work to expand their subscriber base. Submit a subscription form to the Black Friday newsletter on the website - offer to subscribe so that you can remind you of the start of sales and send you the most advantageous offers. Subsequently, you can legally offer your regular email newsletters to new subscribers. Just like Pluralsight, an American online education company did some years ago:
Holiday promotions. To increase visitor engagement, offer to participate in various promotions. For example, announce a prize draw for everyone who purchases on Black Friday. The prize may even be the discount itself, but a bigger one.
Technical check. After completing your website visual design, take care of the technical side. Check the site for errors - whether all pages are working correctly, all products are listed in the catalogue, and the shopping cart or chatbot are working properly. You can use various tools to simplify the verification process. We suggest taking a look at the following:
- Crossbrowsertesting is a service for checking the display of a site in different browsers, operating systems and on different devices. The service is paid with a weekly trial period;
- Multibrowser viewer is an application for testing a website for the correct display of visual elements. There are paid and free plans;
- K6 allows you to test the load of the site. 50 visitors will be on the site for 15 minutes.
- Loadstorm. Using this service, you can set user behaviour scenarios and test your website performance.
Step 3. Working with existing clients
Leverage the channels you use to communicate with customers. Email newsletters. Announcing your deals in the newsletter is not enough. On Black Friday eve, the mailboxes of most users will be filled with a variety of offers. Your offer may simply not be noticed. Therefore, start the mailing list in advance up to 7-10 days before Black Friday. We recommend running an automatic mailing chain with the following content:
- Sales announcement (start date, sales conditions) - 10 days in advance;
- Notification of the imminent start of the event - a few hours before the start;
- A selection of interesting offers during Black Friday - after the sales start;
- Alert about the end of sales - 3-4 hours before the end of the discounts;
- Exclusive offer for subscribers (additional discount by promotional code or products not participating in the general sale) - a couple of hours before the end of the sale;
- "Last Chance" (unannounced offer for latecomers) - immediately after the end of the discounts;
- Announcement of offers after Black Friday or announcement of Cyber Monday (to retain customers and turn them into regular customers) - a couple of hours after the end of Black Friday.
As for the content, try to be as laconic as possible - subscribers are unlikely to study multi-page letters. The most important things should be clear from the first lines. Apple for example used the following emails to attract the attention of the customers:
Try to come up with a subject line that will make the recipient read the message:
- Write the amount of the discounts;
- Specify the categories of products with discounts;
- Offer the maximum discount to your first customers;
- Include information about additional free services or gifts to the discount
You are free to use various design tools. Gamification, vivid illustrations, unusual style - you can apply any design elements that will help attract the users’ attention and stand out from the competition.
Retargeting. Set up targeted ads for your followers and those who have already interacted with the brand on social media. We recommend launching a campaign in advance: before the sale starts, announce Black Friday, and show banners with the most advantageous offers after. Retargeting helps you catch up with your site visitors and show them relevant ads. For example, a user first visits your website on Black Friday and leaves without buying anything. Show them a great deal in search engines ads - and they may come back for a purchase.
Messengers. With messengers, act the same as with email newsletters. Create an automatic series of messages that will consistently warn your customers about Black Friday, announce the start of sales, and report on great deals. Send messages only to those users who have previously agreed to receive the newsletter.
Chatbots. You can add information about Black Friday to the chatbot script. For example, if a client asks a question, the bot responds and at the end sends the message “Black Friday starts on November 26th. If you want to buy our products with a 50% discount, follow the link." Don't forget to tweak the script after the sale ends.
SMS. If you have a database of customer phone numbers, make an SMS-mailing with the announcement of Black Friday. Not all clients monitor news on the site, actively communicate on social networks or subscribe to email newsletters.
Referral program. To boost sales on Black Friday, you can launch the "Bring a friend and get an extra discount" promotion. You can vary the amount of the discount depending on the number of buyers who came through the referral link. Be sure to report the referral program on the homepage of the website and social networks.
Certificates. Offer to buy discount certificates for family and friends. On Christmas eve, such offers will be relevant.
Social media marketing. Announcing Black Friday on social media today is one of the best ways to convey information to large audiences and attract new customers. If your posts are interesting, subscribers will repost and share them with their followers. Types of posts that can grab attention:
- Purchase offer according to the "1 + 1 = 3" pattern. You may offer to buy three expensive items at a price of two. If interested, your followers can share the publication attracting the attention of new users;
- Post with a gift for a repost. Your followers will gladly distribute the publication if they get a guaranteed present in return. At the same time, a gift can be promised to new subscribers who will join the community;
- Post with “disappearing deals''. With 1-2 hours intervals, post publications with a super-discount offer to the first responding user. Gambling subscribers will follow your posts hoping to catch a discount.
Step 4. Attracting new audiences
Black Friday is a period when you can significantly expand your audience reach and get new customers. During this period, people are actively exploring various offers and looking for information about discounts. Contextual advertising. If you are already using contextual advertising, you do not need to start a new campaign. Just change the declarations a bit:
- Add the phrase "Black Friday" or "Black Friday + / your request /" to the standard keywords. Such text can increase conversions. But we do not recommend using the phrase "Black Friday" as an independent key, as it will be too widespread;
- Add a second headline to your ads with the announcement of Black Friday, the amount of a discount and the duration of the deal. It will help to make your ads more relevant to the users’ search requests;
When launching a new campaign, create a few ads with the best deals and test variations by disabling low-performing offers promptly.
Social media marketing. We have already described the advertising opportunities of our own communities in social media networks. But you shouldn't ignore the promotion through other groups. You can find large communities that attract the attention of your target audience and negotiate with the admins to place an ad post. This option is attractive because such posts are not blocked by AdBlock. And regular targeted ads will not be visible to the users who use various ad blockers.
Influencer marketing. Influencers and content creators can help you expand your audience reach. Find popular users who can talk about your Black Friday deal in their posts, videos or stories. This method can be used to attract buyers from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. Working with influencers is one of the most effective tools. The key point is to choose the most effective influencers for different types of business, even the offline ones. For example, you have a small local brand, like a family-owned coffee shop in a residential area. Black Friday can become a universal tool even for such a business: you can announce a crazy coffee offer like “the first 10 cups on Black Friday for 50 cents”. And to spread the word about this offer, you should go to local bloggers - for example, the so-called “instamoms”. The number of followers of your local influencers may not even reach several thousand, but you can be sure that the target audience you need follows them. Important: how to understand that the target audience is relevant for your business, and the blogger has an authentic audience? First, ask for screenshots from internal statistics. Evaluate proxies using platforms: for example, a quality blogger is liked by the followers and not by the third-party profiles. Cooperate with influencers and provide them with special promo codes with additional discounts that they can spread among the followers. You can easily track how many customers will be attracted by the influencers later with these promo codes. If you don’t know how to deal with the influencers or don’t want to spend time on finding the right one, you can use a dedicated solution, like the one offered by BuzzGuru. This solution helps to resolve several issues at once:
- Quickly find influencers applying comfortable filters;
- Find the influencers by keywords: you only need to enter any keywords relevant for you and the platform will provide you with all the influencers that mention the same keywords in their content;
- Get all the influencers’ metrics in the info cards and make the informed decision on whether to cooperate with an influencer judging by the performance.
Step 5. Pre Launch preparation
Unfortunately, no one is immune from failure. Things can go wrong even on Black Friday. Thus, you can come across the following issues:
- Key product ads rank low. You can change the ad text or replace the offer with another product;
- No sales for key items. It is necessary to think of various deals types with different product categories in advance;
- Managers do not have time to process all the orders. Set up automatic handling for situations where a manager's help is not needed.
Other “force majeure” may arise as well: some products can be sold out, the budget is exhausted, website crashes, etc. Think over what actions should be taken to resolve such issues and appoint a person who will be in charge. Also, ensure fast response times across all communication channels. Find additional employees if necessary. A client who asks for help during this period should receive instant support, regardless of your workload. Otherwise, they will simply go to your competitors. Meet your team on Black Friday eve. Warn colleagues that you will have to work hard and this applies not only to consultants and operators: marketers need to monitor the campaigns progress, developers - to ensure that the site is working correctly, etc. Any failure of the website performance during this period is the failure of the entire event. Finally, check once again:
- The necessary amount of goods in the warehouse;
- The website and other communication channels are working successfully;
- All employees are aware of their responsibilities during this period;
... and start taking orders and making sales!
Black Friday 2021 is fast approaching and you can’t miss it this year: consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier and a new increase in ecommerce sales is expected. Following our miniguide, you can easily boost your sales and attract new customers. Remember that BuzzGuru can help in case influencer marketing is a novelty for you. If you are not sure cooperation with influencers will help to make this Black Friday profitable for you, contact us - together we will find a blogger to skyrocket your conversion rates!