Next Friday, shoppers all over the world will rush online to take advantage of the annual frenzy that is Black Friday. A race to make the most of the event’s promotions, this is a day for every e-commerce site to benefit from – but if you haven’t started your Black Friday preparations, don’t worry, it’s not too late! Although here at Burnthebook we believe it is always better to plan in advance for optimal results, we do have some useful last minute tips on how to maximise your Black Friday potential.
Creating Brand Awareness
Black Friday is an opportunity to create a buzz around your brand and a way to get your products noticed. So how do you stand out from the thousands of offers?
Customers are in the mood for buying during the festive season, with some retailers making up to 40% of their yearly revenue in the last quarter alone. £1.27bn is predicted to be spent this Black Friday, which is a 16% increase compared to 2015, so make the most of it by regularly reminding customers of your seasonal offers.
Planning for Black Friday
We advise to execute a simple marketing plan that clearly outlines what you want to achieve from Black Friday. As a result, through a well thought through digital strategy, sales, customer loyalty and brand awareness are all areas that will have potential growth.
If your marketing efforts are a success, then you should see a significant increase in traffic to your website, however you don’t want this to cause your site to crash and therefore lose out on sales. Our advice is to contact your web service administrator beforehand and advise them on the potential escalation in traffic to your website. They can then plan and advise on how you can cater for this increased traffic.
It is always best to plan campaigns well in advance, looking at all of your products and creating a plan of the dates promotions will be launched. This will enable you to feel organised in planning graphics, social media content and email copy. But remember, one of the most important parts of a campaign is analysing its results to see where your successes lie. If you have previously delivered promotions this year, look at which had the highest click through rate and look to replicate something similar for Black Friday.
As well as prepping your website and planning your campaigns, it’s important to ensure you have the correct resources on the day and throughout the weekend. You don’t want your website to crash, but you also don’t want your customers leaving your site if they’re not able to get the assistance they require. Integrate a live chat system for the weekend, being on hand to help with any customer queries. This won’t just assist with your increased sales, but will also illustrate your standard of customer service, enticing new customers to visit your website again. Make sure your phones are well manned, offering extra support to customers.
An estimated £3.3bn was spent over the 4 day period in 2015. Therefore, to gain the most from the day, extend your promotions and be prepared for the Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday, as well as on the Friday.
Optimising Social Media
We advise exercising your social media channels, drawing traffic from these platforms, directing them to your website. Consider promoting your seasonal offers through themed graphics on your home, product and event pages. Change the header on your Social Media pages, tying in with the new designs on your website. It is important that you remember your page represents your brand, so don’t cheapen your profile with brash graphics and tacky design. Your promotions should be catchy and in keeping with your brand. Also remember that social media is now seen as a form of customer service, so monitor your Direct Messages and stay on top of mentions and shares.
Ask your customers and followers to tag friends in your posts, therefore drawing in a larger audience for your promo. Offer rewards to new followers, or current customers that share your post.
Throughout the day, or entire weekend, have a new promotion every few hours, therefore engaging with different customer needs, and a variety of offerings will entice a new audience each time. Utilise Instagram’s new Story feature to share your updated offers throughout the day.
One way to analyse your success on social media is to offer exclusives to each channel, helping you direct your Black Friday efforts for next year. Consider which group of followers you gained the most sales from, resulting in a clear picture of where you should focus your efforts.
Black Friday not only opens the doors to new traffic, but also serves as an occasion to reward loyal customers.
An email campaign sent to frequent customers can offer them a promo code, or a gift with their next purchase, as a reward for their loyalty. These rewards can be extended into the weekend, encouraging further repeat business and customer engagement.
In 2015, Email Marketing drove the most Black Friday online sales, driving 25.1% of orders. Surprisingly, Social Media (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) drove only 1.7% of sales.
With time not being an asset, emailer campaigns don’t have to be fussy. Speak to your design agency about creating engaging templates that can be used for multiple email campaigns. Schedule emails to be sent out throughout the campaign period.
Another interesting point from Black Friday 2015 was the growth of mobile email clickthroughs, rising by 22.8% compared to 2014. Make sure your Email Marketing is mobile friendly, as we anticipate this percentage to only increase in 2016.
Google Shopping and Third Party Promo
A large proportion of your target audience will start their search on websites dedicated to deals. Popular choices include Vouchercode, Vouchercloud, HotUKdeals and Topcashback. Groupon is a great place to push your products, offering it at a subsidised price, but to a substantially large audience. You could also target students through UniDays and NUS. Make sure you post your promotions on at least one of these websites to gain further brand exposure.
Google shopping is another way to successfully push your promotions. When using search engines to start their online shopping, 52% of customers click through Google Shopping results or Product Listing Ads (PLA) instead of going directly to brand sites or searching on Amazon/eBay. For you to achieve the best results here, place your most important keywords at the front of your title.
Ready, Set, Go!
Hopefully, you should now feel well prepared and have a clear idea of how to manage Black Friday. This is just an insight and some ideas, and it changes per business industry.
Remember, if you are considering a big marketing push, make sure you can deliver. Have extra support in place, from staff answering the phones, to a disaster plan ready with your website admin, order in more stock, update your social media constantly and make sure all hands are on deck to deliver exceptional customer service over the entire weekend.