The greatest holiday for shoppers (and the worst for those who work in retail…) is around the corner, and it’s time for you to prepare your brand for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday mayhem. If you haven’t done so yet, we are outlining our Black Friday marketing strategy to ensure you are ahead of the competition when it comes to enticing your prospects. Buckle up; it’s going to be a busy weekend…
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are brilliant marketing opportunities your business cannot afford to miss out on. The total spends on online sites for Black Friday in 2016 was a massive £1.23 billion, a 12.2% increase on the previous year. Over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, we spent a huge £6.45 billion (us included…) online. With those stats in mind, we recommend you head straight to the conference room (with a cuppa, of course) to plan your Black Friday marketing strategy.
Research and Plan
It goes without saying that all good digital marketing campaigns start with prior planning and research. In fact, you should be thinking about Black Friday as early as May. The sooner you plan, the more time you have to iron out any wrinkles and ensure your Black Friday marketing strategy, along with Cyber Monday marketing, is water-tight. There are plenty of digital marketing tools readily available online to assist with the preparations, so you don’t have any excuse. As one of the busiest, if not the busiest, days in the retail calendar, thinking about Black Friday (and even Christmas) in the spring is the best time to do so, although you may feel particularly unseasonal.
It’s worth noting that such busy periods for your business are not the time to make drastic changes, but clean up your consumer data and website for a friendlier user experience. Should you implement drastic changes and anything go wrong, it could lead to a loss of revenue.
Tell your Audience
You wouldn’t let your consumers stumble upon a marketing campaign you had spent precious time and money planning, nor should you treat Black Friday and Cyber Monday the same. If you have not previously participated in Black Friday, or advertised your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals through digital marketing services, how will they know to visit your website?
There’s a whole variety of digital marketing tips and tools to get your customers ready for Black Friday. For example, use social media to promote your products and ads, even going so far as to offer a free gift for those who enter your Black Friday Facebook contest (everyone loves a freebie). You could also encourage customers to sign up for your newsletter, sharing products and posts on your shopping deals. Keep them aware of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and they will come.
Our previous point leads nicely into this one (it’s almost like we planned it…); focus on email marketing. If you have your prospects emails, don’t let them sit there and gather *digital* dust. In anticipation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, plan a digital marketing strategy involving email marketing to consumers; whether that be too loyal customers and those you’d like to come back. Keep your brand fresh in the mind of your target audience, and offer an incentive for them to visit your website. Offer exclusive discounts to email subscribers to get your products in front of the right people, at the right time.
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday are busy holidays, your client’s will, most likely, receive a swarm of emails. Therefore, you need to test, test and do some more testing while you’re at it. Create a list of your favourite subject lines and analyse which had the best opening rate. You should be linking to the most popular product pages, so ensure all links are working and you create specific landing pages for those best sellers.
Last year, Black Friday saw a massive 240% increase in revenue from browse and cart abandonment emails, so have a template ready. These emails may be the slight push your consumers needed, and you can’t afford to waste stats such as those.
Make your Site User Friendly
Now you’ve got your consumers on your website; you need to keep them there. Don’t just rely on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, as your website has to be performing at its best. Make sure the user experience is simple, clear, fast and easy. A slow loading page can cause your clients to leave and head to your competitor’s website. Amazon is said to lose $1.6billion in sales for every second the page takes to load and, while you may not be Amazon, take into account your website speed before the holidays. You could even do something as simple as reducing the size of the images displayed on the website to load your content faster.
A valuable digital marketing tool is to place your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals front and centre. Your consumers will not trawl your website to find offers, they will go somewhere else. As part of your Black Friday marketing strategy, create separate landing pages for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping deals.
If you don’t test your website, don’t expect to get good results from either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You should be methodical and keep track of all of your pages for the peak holidays. Run content through Google Page Speed, keep file sizes to a minimum and run plenty of tests on every page. Even a slight change can lead to a huge increase in revenue in your retail calendar.
While you are testing the back end of the website, you must also consider user testing. Ask colleagues, friends, family and strangers to visit the website and each page, noting down any problems they faced while browsing your website. We can guarantee that they will pick up on something you have missed.
Take into Account the Entire Weekend
It may be tempting to advertise all of your products at once, but keep something back for the weekend. Don’t blow it all at once, as what is to encourage those consumers to come back to your site. Release a certain amount of offers and discounts each day, making sure to let your client’s know what you are doing and reap the rewards of your returning visitors.
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday are so fast-paced, communicate the urgency of these offers to your audience – particularly as you are releasing discounts over the course of the weekend. Show a countdown, for example, or list how much stock is available. You could even take a leaf out of the successful book of eBay and state how many people have viewed this product over the past 24 hours.
Bear in mind that in the run-up to the peak retail season, you want your customers to find you. Boost your SEO – you could even take a look at our digital marketing services involving SEO – to ensure your prospects can easily find your products and services. It’s worth remembering that your site isn’t just for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you would like your visitors to return after the holidays. Make sure your website conveys trust and security to encourage repeat visits.