The Black Friday 2023 season is just around the corner. As the holiday shopping season approaches, the big event on every savvy retailer's mind is undoubtedly Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
More than $9 billion spent on Black Friday alone in 2022 (plus $11 billion on Cyber Monday!), it's imperative that businesses understand how to prepare for this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday to make the most of the annual event.
Thinking about it, we share with you in this article the most important tips that you should consider so that your ecommerce sales are the best gift for all the effort invested.
Go for it!
Black Friday… Why is it important for retail?
Every year, one week in November stands out in the digital world due to the commercial movement that occurs. And the so-called "Big 5" of ecommerce extends from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday.
That's five full days of intense consumer spending year after year.
In 2022, said "Cyber Week" represented almost $36 billion in online spending, Black Friday raised almost $9 billion and Cyber Monday generated more than $10 billion online.
Considering that 2022 saw approximately $1.03 trillion in total online spending throughout the year, it is highly significant that just five days out of 365 were responsible for almost 4% of total annual spending.
With sales volume increasing during this time and consumers wanting to shop until they drop, it is more important than ever for brands to build new relationships and nurture their existing customers for better retention.
Black Friday Trends to Check Out
According to Mackenzie Frazier of TechRadar:
"...retailers typically reserve their best deals for Black Friday itself, but last year we saw the best deals leading up to Black Friday."
Throughout 2021 and 2022, we're seeing many retailers extend a shopping week to a full month. That includes large marketplaces like Amazon, which continually drive consumer behavior.
Thanks to supply chain challenges, we're likely to see retailers extend their sales windows to reduce strain on their fulfillment networks again this year.
Instead of focusing their sales on Cyber Week, we can expect marketplaces and brands to start promoting early deals and extended deals throughout November and even the entire fourth quarter.
Mentions Shannon Flynn of BlackFriday.com what:
"…the pandemic inspired both shoppers and stores to focus more on online deals than in stores. “People love the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their home, so this shopping format will continue to be popular."
This is why consumers are expected to continue shopping online during Cyber Week, including Black Friday itself, a shopping day when traditionally all the strongest movement takes place in physical stores.
Last year we saw that while shoppers were avoiding the hustle and bustle of physical stores, they were still coming in to pick up their online orders through the increasingly popular “Buy Online Pick Up in Store” (BOPIS) option.
Consumers have changed their habits. In fact, thanks to the pandemic, more consumers learned the convenience of online shopping. Now they know they can avoid crowded stores—especially during seasons when we're all in the same boat—and shop from the comfort and safety of their homes, or even from the palm of their hand. However, they can still enjoy the physical shopping experience with an omnichannel experience.
For its part, McKinsey & Company found that 71% of consumers expect companies to provide personalized interactions and 76% are frustrated when that doesn't happen.
That means launching blanket deals during Black Friday isn't enough.
Instead, brands should tailor their messaging to their buyers at each touchpoint, such as using different emails and promotions for different audience groups.
A good practice: You can use your audience's previous purchases to personalize messages. Try to connect those previous purchases with some of the deals you'll be offering during BFCM. Look at purchase history throughout the year to influence and guide your current Black Friday advertising.
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9 tips to boost your sales on Black Friday 2023
Now that we've covered the basics surrounding Black Friday and what we can expect throughout the season, it's time to share our top tips so you can make the most of this new season.
Here's what you should do to achieve success on Black Friday:
#1. Planning. ASAP.
Start planning several months in advance. The best recommendation is to start as soon as possible and create ideas for Black Friday in the months of July or August. So if you haven't done it yet, the best time is now.
Define your sales goals and create a detailed strategy for Black Friday. Analyze sales trends from the previous year to adjust your inventory and promotions accordingly.
You will certainly need to give yourself time to plan enough inventory for November, as well as to change and adjust your Black Friday marketing strategy.
This will also give you the space to plan your campaign and decide what elements to include. Start by determining which products will be promoted for the entire Cyber Week.
Consider whether you are introducing new products or promoting existing ones and what kind of deals or offers you can feasibly make.
Then, think about Black Friday marketing ideas, a campaign theme, or tactics that will excite (and boost trust) your customers. Don't forget, your goal should be to create a long-term relationship that lasts beyond the Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion.
#2. In the days leading up to Black Friday: build the anticipation.
There are many ways you can get potential customers excited before the busiest days of the season, no matter when you start planning.
Generating anticipation around your offers and products will undoubtedly be a very important factor in receiving more conversions and sales. Start with the most powerful offers and make the most of your time.
#3. Prioritize the best offer for your store.
When creating a successful Black Friday campaign, think about what makes an ecommerce offer attractive.
Before developing your campaigns and projections for this holiday shopping season, you need to decide on your offer. It must be attractive to both your client and your business.
Each brand is unique. This means that the type of offer that will work best for your brand may not be the same as others in your market.
Therefore, choose your offer carefully based on what you want to get during Black Friday. The most common types of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) deals are:
- Exclusive product launches
- Packages or combos
- Sitewide Discounts
A good practice: Too many offers can complicate consumers' shopping experience. For example, it will be better to promote a “25% off sitewide” sale on BFCM, rather than presenting a different offer for each day of the week.
Effective Black Friday campaigns target specific customer segments to deliver relevant and targeted deals. Some potential segments to consider are last year's buyers, bargain-hunting buyers, and website visitors who haven't yet made a first-time purchase.
#4. Personalize your messages.
Let's not fool ourselves. We live in the age of hyper information. This is why customers of ecommerce businesses are inundated with messages during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It can be truly crazy.
However, you can make your brand stand out from other businesses by customizing Black Friday messages for your customers. Work on creating a long-lasting relationship instead of a temporary relationship that ends when the holiday season hits.
91% of buyers are likely to buy if you offer them what they want. While personalization based on customer segmentation, past purchases, and browsing history are solid options, you can also offer something focused on vacations.
For example, you can feature an interesting new product unboxing experience on your YouTube channel (and maybe start one first to talk directly to buyers).
Or you can incorporate digital shopping and wish lists into your ecommerce site that consumers can send to family and friends. Even create a marketing campaign to motivate people to use these lists to shop together digitally.
Other ideas could be:
- Listen to social media channels to understand what your customers are looking for in their niche and tailor offers accordingly.
- Customer surveys are also useful for maximally personalizing each individual's experiences.
- Create shareable discount links that eliminate the need for shoppers to search or enter a code.
- Whether you send emails or SMS messages, using personal information can surprise and delight customers.
- Include their name, the last product they purchased from you, or even an item they saved for later.
By adding these types of details, your audience will feel a more personal connection with your brand. Of course, respecting all the rules and regulations that regulate the use of data privacy in your target market.
#5. Make your brand more human.
It's a well-known saying: people do business with people. A good idea is to give your brand personality so that people can see the real people who work at your company.
For example, you can try a message like this when a customer has left their shopping cart:
«Hello, I'm José from [Name of your company]. I saw you abandon your cart. Do you have any questions or can I help you with something?
Knowing that they are people, the ones behind our favorite brands, undoubtedly produces closeness and promotes trust, a crucial emotion that triggers or not the sales of an e-commerce.
#6. Convert more by designing and testing optimized landing pages.
Companies often use the home page of their website to promote their campaigns. However, this can cause confusion and distract customers since homepages often contain a lot of information.
A Black Friday-specific landing page reduces that risk of too many options and directs customers to a single, certain action, simplifying their decision-making process.
Optimizing this landing page for SEO also helps drive organic traffic to your store during the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
Landing pages not only increase click-through rate (CTR), but also provide data and insights for marketers to improve the effectiveness of their campaigns by monitoring factors such as conversion rate and inbound leads.
You can use a tool like Valido App, to monitor and evaluate all the critical metrics of your ecommerce, especially before the Black Friday season.
#7. Manage your inventory and avoid running out of stock
How have you felt when you try to buy a product and the store says it is out of stock? Bad, right? Well, nothing annoys holiday shoppers more than discovering that an item is out of stock. Which is highly counterproductive not only for sales, but for the reputation of the brand.
When digital customers are faced with an out-of-stock item, 37% of them will purchase the product… from a different brand.
Some actions you can take in advance are:
- Estimate demand and expect sales to peak during BFCM.
- Order enough supplies and determine the reorder point.
- Look at past purchasing trends to understand which products customers liked best.
When thinking about inventory management, you should also plan for fulfillment and last-mile deliveries. Try to reduce shipping issues with your suppliers, especially during the busiest time of year and for small businesses.
On a related note, establish a transparent process for addressing product returns. Actively solicit feedback on returned merchandise and work to reduce friction throughout the returns process.
#8. Shipping…better free.
It is irresistible and a very important trigger in ecommerce sales. We all love free shipping and giving it away on Black Friday, even if you don't offer free shipping regularly, is a smart way to stay competitive.
While you're at it, consider offering 2-day delivery during your seasonal sales.
Given that consumers expect fast and free shipping, the more e-commerce permeates global purchasing habits, fast and free shipping should be a relevant bet.
#9. Shield your online store.
Yes, your ecommerce website must be secured before Black Friday. The last thing you want is to face a drop during the biggest sales event of the year, as it can impact your revenue goals and customer experience.
And you certainly don't want to send your customers directly to a competitor's store to... check out their offers.
To ensure a smoother online shopping experience, we suggest the following:
- Test your website's volume capacity. Make sure your website can handle traffic unprecedented during the Black Friday online shopping surge.
- Double-check your online purchases and purchase flows. Perform usability tests to determine if your website is user-friendly.
- Check that your website is mobile responsive. Black Friday 2019 saw 2.9 billion sales on smartphones alone. Therefore, verify that your site is mobile optimized to increase the conversion rate.
- Shorten the payment process. The checkout page makes or breaks a sale. 17% of US online shoppers abandoned a purchase mid-purchase due to a long checkout process. Expedited checkout buttons like Shop Pay or Apple Pay help returning customers quickly complete payment options for their orders, eliminating any friction in the process.
Now is your turn!
Black Friday and the Big 5 (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) are the best time for ecommerce retailers to make sales, build customer relationships, and strengthen their brands.
Prepare ahead of time by generating excitement, strategically selecting your offerings, personalizing marketing, testing new channels, and strengthening technology infrastructure to support a strong influx of sales.
The BFCM season will undoubtedly test your brand from strategy to delivery, so it's vital that you get every step of the buyer experience right and can do it in high volumes.
We hope you can take advantage of every tip we share in this article to make this Black Friday your best day of sales yet. Ready?
If you need help preparing and optimizing your ecommerce for the next shopping season, contact us here.
Digital Marketing Manager at Orienteed.