The popularity of Black Friday isn’t going away, with over half of consumers (52%) telling PwC last year they were interested in the deals. And despite 20% believing the deals aren’t genuine, consumers are intending to spend up to £224 more on average than they did the year before.
Are you ready to take advantage of that increased spending power? Here are some tips, tricks and handy ideas your online business should follow.
- Choose which products you promote
- Generate awareness before, during and after the event using email and social media
- Feature different products/services every day
- Offer a site-wide discount code
- Up and cross-sell to the max
- Throw in freebies
- Offer exclusive discounts to your email subscribers and returning customers
- Use consistent messaging throughout your website
- Ensure you have a mobile-friendly website
- Use a variety of media to promote your products/services
- Stay on top of your inventory
- Prioritise customer service
- Be prepared for increased web traffic
13 Black Friday tips to ramp up your e-commerce efforts
1. Choose which products you promote
Whether it’s some of your products/services or all, carefully choose what you want to promote. If it’s not economically feasible to promote everything, you could discount old inventory. This is a great way to shift older stock to make room for new products.
You could also promote your best-selling products and services at check out to up or cross-sell. This works for any time of the year but is an especially great strategy for building basket value on Black Friday.
2. Generate awareness before, during and after the event using email and social media
Get your customers excited for your Black Friday event by starting your marketing and advertising at least a week in advance. Shoppers will be thinking about Black Friday, from planning which websites to check to researching their product options, so you want to ensure you’re at the front of their mind.
It’s not enough to send one announcement a few days before; you need to build the suspense if you want your customers to flock to your website. Here are a few ideas:
- Tease them with previews of what will come, such as the products/services that will be discounted and the potential savings
- Countdown clock
- Exclusive early access emails and codes
- A launch email
- Social media posts across multiple channels
You can do this throughout the event too - to keep your customers interested and returning to your website. For example, if they abandon their shopping cart, you can send them reminders of what they could be missing out on.
To keep the buzz going after the event, you could:
- Send a round-up of how many products/services were on sale/discounted and how much customers have saved
- Offer one last discount code/promotion for the customers who missed out
3. Feature different products/services every day
This tactic can have customers returning every day to see what the next deal is. To pull this one off, you’ll need to plan which products/services you’ll promote on what day.
Perhaps you can start with smaller products/services and end with the best-sellers. Or start and end with your best-sellers so your sale starts off with a bang and your customers are pleasantly surprised at the end.
4. Offer a site-wide discount code
How ASOS are preparing for their Black Friday 2020 event
This one’s an easy idea to implement. Offer a discount code that’s available site-wide to attract attention to your entire product/service line. All you need to do is set up a promotional code ahead of the big launch day and adjust the time and date it goes live.
5. Up and cross-sell to the max
A particularly great tactic for your high-ticket products/services, personalised product recommendations can be a great way to up and cross-sell. These could be based on:
- Purchase history
- Search history
- What other customers with similar interests have purchased or searched
- Relevant items
You could even offer exclusive bundles, just for Black Friday and display the savings so customers are even more interested in purchasing.
6. Throw in freebies
Everybody loves a freebie. You could offer:
- A free relevant item if the customer’s spend exceeds a certain amount (this is a great way to increase basket value)
- A complementary, add-on item if the customer buys a certain high-ticket item/service
- A test version of a product or service (if applicable)
- Exclusive access to a beta version of a product or software (if applicable)
7. Offer exclusive discounts to your email subscribers and returning customers
Customers love being treated like VIPs so take advantage of that on Black Friday by offering exclusive discounts/promotions if they’re a returning customer or fulfil a certain prerequisite like being an email subscriber.
This tactic encourages customer loyalty and email newsletter sign-ups (plus, increases the open and engagement rate of your emails).
For a generic email subscriber exclusive code, you can easily enable a pop-up box on your website that states email subscribers will receive exclusive access.
If you want to reward your returning customers, set up an email marketing campaign that targets only the customers who have purchased from you. Within the email, thank them for supporting you and send a code that’s exclusive to them for Black Friday.
8. Use consistent messaging throughout your website
If you sell a highly diverse range of products/services, you’ll need to ensure your brand messaging is consistent across your promotional channels (from your website to email communications and social media).
This is especially important during high sale periods, such as Black Friday, where the competition’s higher than usual. An inconsistent experience can be jarring and send your customers straight into the arms of your competition - which you don’t want - so ensure your messaging is consistent across channels.
9. Ensure you have a mobile-friendly website
As technology advances and consumers crave fast, easy convenient experiences, the more popular m-commerce (shopping via a mobile device, usually a smartphone) will become. In fact, it’s predicted to form 44% of overall e-commerce sales by 2024.
So, you must ensure your website is mobile-friendly. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile, your customers’ first thoughts won’t be to turn on their laptop/computer and visit your site that way. They’ll just move to a competitor.
10. Use a variety of media to complement your product description
Give your customers an accurate view of your products/services. As well as ensuring your product description is accurate, use a variety of media to showcase your products/services. Think beyond just imagery.
Could a short video work (fashion retailers use videos of models wearing the products so you could do something similar but with a demo video)?
11. Stay on top of your inventory
Make sure your website accurately represents your actual inventory/stock levels. You’ll disappoint your customers if you confirm their order and then later have to tell them later that the product is out of stock. This could put them off shopping with you in future.
12. Prioritise customer service
Be prepared for more customer service queries and requests for assistance than usual. In addition to having more customer service staff, also increase the number of ways for customers to reach out to you. The traditional phone and email methods won’t be enough during this period - remember, customers want answers to their problems almost instantaneously.
- Live chat
- Social media
- Chatbots (great for FAQs or frequently occurring issues)
13. Be prepared for increased web traffic
If your website can’t handle the potential surges in traffic, it might crash or pages might take longer to load. Even placing customers in a virtual queue will impact their experience (the lure of online shopping is being able to do it wherever and whenever you want so if customers have to wait, they won’t be happy).
That’s why many retailers and businesses host their Black Friday event over a longer period, such as a week-long promotion with the same deals spanning throughout rather than a one-day affair. However, you can ensure your website is braced for surges in traffic by investing in a robust e-commerce platform.
The right e-commerce solution is:
- Capable of dynamically scaling up based on changes in transaction volume
- Integrated with your back-end ERP solution so your website accurately represents your available stock and customers can find the information they need without needing to rely on your customer service staff (e.g. order statuses, tracking numbers, price quotes etc)
Is your e-commerce business prepared for Black Friday 2020?
The key to ensuring your e-commerce business is on the path to Black Friday success is technology. We’re talking about the need to invest in the right solutions, such as an e-commerce platform, a Product Information Management (PIM) system, Content Management System (CMS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Want to find out more? We discuss this in more detail in this handy resource which covers all the solutions required to succeed in this new decade of commerce growth.