Black Friday is coming. And so are millions of shoppers to ecommerce stores. Last year, over 100 million Americans bought online, spending $19 billion across the weekend. Scary numbers, right?
But fear not – we’ve done our research, and will show you how to prepare and prosper this Black Friday with 7 easy to follow tips.
So why the big fuss? Black Friday is the most important day of the year for the US economy. And the majority of Black Friday bargain hunters are moving online for their purchases.
And then there’s Amazon, the beast of Black Friday. In 2016, 35% of in-store shoppers checked Amazon before buying, and last year it took a whopping 55% of the Black Friday market share.
However, we’ve got some great tips for you to grab a piece of the holiday pie, covering everything from campaign ideas to online traffic surges. So after reading this guide, we’re sure you’ll have a blast on Black Friday.
It’s every website owner’s worst nightmare: a huge spike in visitors, and your site crashes. If you’re an ecommerce website owner, you’re losing money. And your competitors are waiting to welcome your rejected customers.
Here’s our top 3 tips for surviving Black Friday traffic:
- Test your loading capacity
- Stagger emails
- Prepare for the worst
First of all, should be testing your loading capacity. This can be done with tools like LoadImpact.com, or if you’re using an ecommerce website builder like Shopify, think about increasing your bandwidth.
Staggering your emails helps bring in customers, one wave at a time. Let’s say you have a discount too good to ignore, and you release it to all your subscribers at once. Guess what happens? Click, click, crash. Also, test the emails way in advance. Make sure they send and read properly.
Lastly, preparing for disasters may sound dramatic, but it’s a safety net. Does your marketing team have a communication plan if there’s a crash? Explain why it’s happening, and how you’ll solve it. It’s really important for a good brand image, bringing customers back in the future.
A common Black Friday mistake is focusing on luring in new customers. Sure, this is great for business in the long term, but not on Black Friday. Why? Because it’s more expensive.
On average, it’s 2.6x more expensive to advertise on Black Friday than any other day. So why spend more money than you need to? Instead, you should prioritize making money from existing customers.
Not only are you saving on advertising costs, but you can tailor your discounts too. But why bother? Well, put simply, personalizing adverts increases conversions. Indeed, a recent study revealed a 500% increase in transactions when the advert was personalized.
You can do this by viewing purchase histories. For example, you know what size sneaker someone has ordered, or that they’ve recently bought a guitar. Use this information to send them stuff they’ll actually read.
Best of all, they’ve already purchased your products, so they’re likely to trust your brand (and shop again!).
For Black Friday marketing, one size does not fit all. It may work for selling socks, but not for email campaigns. According to Pure360.com, revenue per email is 4x lower during Cyber Weekend, so it’s more important than ever to make your campaigns count.
Nowadays, it’s not enough to just pump out more emails, or send great discounts – it’s about making your adverts relevant. In a nutshell: scan through your list of customers, and try to entice them differently.
Our top tips for effective Black Friday email segmentation are:
- Re-engage previous Cyber buyers
- Target first timers
- Offer gender specific discounts
In summary, you need to look at buying behavior. Has this person shopped with you before? Then you could offer them bundles, because they have proven interest. If they haven’t? Don’t scare them away with loads of discounts. Find a balance.
Moving on from #Tip 3, you need to find a balance in your urgency. Now, we’re no psychologists, but we know urgency makes people act fast.
It does this by triggering the FOMO (Fear-of-Missing-Out) in your brain. It’s usually done using time-based offers like ‘Book by midnight for free delivery!’. And most of us have fallen for it.
Another concept is known as scarcity marketing. This is urging customers to purchase by using quantities. For example, ‘Stock Low, Book Now!’ (Just make sure stock is actually low!)
So, just overload your customers with urgent messages, right? Wrong.
Too much urgency means you lose value. If you’re constantly sending ‘Last Chance’, or ‘Hurry’ emails, people will assume nothing is different. After all, if every product is special, none of them are.
Just remember to save your urgent discounts for the right moment.
Abandoned cart rates increase from 69% to 75% during Black Friday. But there are ways to turns those carts into cash.
Our tips for reducing cart abandonment are:
- Use retargeting
- Add a ‘wishlist’
- Don’t make users create an account
Retargeting shopping cart deserters with reminder emails helps bring them back. Of course, there are daily distractions causing shoppers to forget, so don’t pressure them too much. Think about retargeting social media ads, or sending a message when they’re logged on to your site.
Adding a wishlist means shoppers can save items with no commitment to buying. Before, they were adding to their cart, then leaving. By giving them this choice, they can leave those gifts behind, without having to abandon their cart.
Don’t force customers to create an account: It scares most of them away. On Black Friday, signing up is time wasted that could be spent on… well, spending. Offer a ‘Guest’ checkout to maximize conversions.
On this day of discounts, how can you cut through the noise? Get creative. Use different methods to make people stop, click, and buy.
Firstly, take a look at your competitors. How are they attracting shoppers? And secondly, what worked last year? Can you build from that?
Office retail store Staples did this well, using a dash of creative humor on their website. Renaming categories (‘Tech the Halls’) to get customers laughing – it works. Give it a try.
Or focus on social media. It’s a more relaxed platform, so you can really get creative. Think about a catchy hashtag, or a funny photo to get your message across.
Black Friday is a great platform for your website or business. Why? You can get your name out there. As we’ve covered, there will be so many Americans willing to spend, spend, spend.
So why not think about the future? In #Tip 6, we talked about creativity, and we’ll briefly continue here.
We recommend thinking outside the Black Friday box. Instead of dishing out discounts, use the online traffic to improve your brand image, leading to profit down the line. We recommend working with charities.
By donating 100% of Black Friday earnings to charity, you’re helping a worthy cause. And it will make you memorable in the long term. Yes, you’re not making money, but you’re helping others.
One quick thing to remember: don’t celebrate too early. 40% of items bought online are returned, so don’t spend all your earnings right away.
Lastly, for long term thinking, you need to use post-purchase marketing. Sending ‘Thank You’ or ‘Discount off Next Purchase’ emails will help your brand stick in the customer’s mind. So keep shoppers happy, and they’ll return again.
Black Friday is a great opportunity to make a profit, but you need to prepare. So let’s recap our handy tips to make sure you don’t get stuck in traffic this year.
- Prepare for online traffic and test emails
- Don’t focus on new customers
- Segment your emails
- Balance your urgency
- Save your abandoned carts
- Be creative
- Think long term
After reading this guide, you should be excited and ready to go this Black Friday. Be creative, and don’t panic. In summary, just remember these 7 tips, and really make your discounts count. Good luck!
For more information on Black Friday marketing figures, visit Pure360.com today.