In 2018, 14.8 million online sales were processed on Black Friday, making it the most popular shopping day of Thanksgiving weekend, including Cyber Monday. Black Friday is one of the most important, if not the most important day of the year for businesses, both online and physically. Last year, 89 million consumers shopped both online and in-store. This year, it’s predicted that 61% of consumers will Black Friday shop online, and online spend will surpass $12 billion. Focusing on digital execution is becoming essential for Black Friday success, no matter your business. As Thanksgiving is right around the corner, now is the time to evaluate your current position and start preparing your digital marketing strategy for not only Black Friday, but the general holiday season.
Preparing for Black Friday
Do Your Research
Research your competitors’ deals. If you’re offering a 20% discount and they’re offering 50%, which would you choose? You want your deals to have real value. Consider increasing the deal amount or adding additional offerings to ensure it will attract consumers. Of course you don’t want to go so low it affects your profit margins, but you want to offer something that will pull shoppers away from the competition.
When shoppers are already presented with so many different options, they’re not going to wait around for a slow or low performing site. 46% of shoppers have said they’ll never return to a slow website. Going even further, Google reported that for every one second delay in page load time, conversions can fall up to 20%. While there can be many causes of a slow site, these are the most common:
- Heavy Page Image: Optimizing images will allow the pages on your website to receive bytes faster, and this makes your page more efficient with a faster load time.
- Plug-Ins: Enabling caching with a plug-in allows pages on your site significantly faster. This saves you copies of pages with the same request, which allows your server load in a much more efficient manner.
It may be beneficial to get a professional digital audit, to ensure your site is performing at its best for Black Friday.
Make Sure Tracking is in Place
There are a variety of tracking and attributing tools and strategies. Google Analytics is one of the easiest to implement and includes a URL Builder Tool to assist you in the process. This will allow you to monitor performance beyond just sales numbers. These additional insights will allow you to be even better prepared in the future.
If you already have analytics tools in place, analyze last year’s data. Have you tweaked your site based on those insights into how your holiday traffic behaves? Analyze what and what didn’t work in the past. Which of your products were most popular? Were most of your visits from email marketing, or did visitors find your site organically? What were they searching for? Use these insights to better plan this year’s strategy.
Black Friday Digital Marketing Tips
In a report by AdWords, 61% of holiday shoppers begin searching online for their purchases prior to the weekend of Thanksgiving. Consider creating a Black Friday landing page and letting it run all-year-round. If a shopper is doing early research for the deals they want to take advantage of on Black Friday, yours could be one of the first they see. If you keep that landing page up all year round, it will allow for continuous SEO work. By the time it gets close to Black Friday, and the searches get higher, your page will likely rank much better than those that just released their pages a few weeks prior.
In addition to a specific Black Friday landing page, include the usual promotions and email blasts. Email marketing is an important aspect of Black Friday, but it needs to be done tactfully. The subject line is one of the most vital aspects, as if it doesn’t grab readers’ attention, it’s likely to remain unopened or marked as spam. Timing is also everything. Schedule your emails based on time zones or peak of online email users.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is becoming a great tool for ecommerce. The amount of users that purchase products via social media ads continues to rise. Both paid and non-paid social posts can be effective to create awareness for your sales. Include Black Friday hashtags in your posts so prospects searching for deals will easily find yours. Make sure to include a strong call-to-action in every post as well. Whether it be to visit your site or request more information on the sale. It’s additionally as important to engage with your audience. Don’t leave any comment unanswered. It always looks better when businesses are prompt with responses to questions or concerns.
Initiate Referral Programs
Consumers trust other consumers. Recommendations and referrals are some of the strongest forms of advertising. Take advantage of that and consider implementing a Black Friday referral program. Referred customers can actually be a great driver of brand loyalty and striking profitability than any of your other clients. The key is the reward has to be too good to pass up. If it’s not worth it, no consumers will care enough to put in the effort. There are a variety of ways to create enticing rewards without hindering profitability.
Add a Countdown/Timer
Shoppers can be indecisive. They often take their time to price shop and compare deals before making a final purchase. A countdown timer can add a little pressure to the situation and may be just the push a shopper needs to make a quick decision. It’s beneficial to include one for every product with the specific date and time the deal ends. Timers can be effective in more places than just product pages. Consider adding them as banners to landing pages, in promotional emails, or even social media pages.
It’s no secret that serving highly tailored and personalized messages to each potential customer can drastically increase the chances of them converting. In fact, 63% of shoppers expect their purchase history to guide personalized experiences from brands. When it comes to Black Friday here a few ways you can try to make your marketing efforts more personalized:
- Include the recipient’s name in email blasts.
- Offer different deals to different customers. For example, existing or loyal customers are offered larger discounts or better deals.
- Include recommendations on product pages based on users past purchases and buying behavior.
Black Friday is basically the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start your efforts long before Black Friday. Most of these strategies include detailed planning and targeting to be effective, which usually isn’t something that can be accomplished in a few days. It’s never too early to prepare for Black Friday.
How We Can Help
Even the best ecommerce sites can need help with digital marketing, especially around the busy season. At Onimod Global, we’re experts in all areas including SEM, SEO, social, web dev, automation, and analytics. With our expertise and unique cross-channel digital marketing campaign strategies, we can power entire corporate marketing departments, or provide custom solutions for local businesses. We are your 24/7, in-house marketing partner.