November 4, 2020
Black Friday is an annual shopping event where businesses offer high discount deals for their products and services. It always comes the day after Thanksgiving and acts as a start line for the Christmas shopping season.
According to one study in 2019, online sales on Black Friday generated $7.4 billion that year in the US alone. These numbers are expected to grow, making it a great business opportunity.
We’ll be sharing the most influential Black Friday marketing ideas that are easy to implement for small businesses and large corporations alike.
Black Friday: A Quick Overview
Initially, Black Friday used to be a one-day sales event. Nowadays, it’s a four-day or even month-long period. Many businesses promote their offers over the weekend and end the sales on Cyber Monday or offer special discounts throughout November.
While some choose only the primary two days – Friday and Monday. Another option is to begin advertising Black Friday deals a week in advance and finish one week after.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to increasing sales on Black Friday. As long as it’s practical for you business.
Black Friday has been on a steady rise in popularity. For example, in 2019, the US market saw a 16% increase in average spendings per customer compared to 2018.
However, it’s also important to note that in 2019 physical brick-and-mortar sales dropped by 6.2% from 2018. Meaning, people are spending more money than ever, but they prefer to do their Black Friday shopping online.
How To Make Black Friday and Cyber Monday More Profitable?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a profitable time of year for any eCommerce business. Planning your marketing strategy in advance ensures that you can maximize profits.
Here are five tips to help you prepare for this holiday season.
1. Build Your Emailing List and Segment Your Customers
One study has found that email marketing generates around $38 for every dollar spent, which is why email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for eCommerce businesses. In fact, 59% of marketers say their most significant source of ROI (return of interest) is email marketing.
However, building an email list takes time and effort, so it’s crucial to start early.
- Newsletter subscription. Ask customers to sign up to receive newsletters with special offers, gift coupons and deals or offer more information about your products. Think of an interesting email subject line.
- Guest checkouts. If a customer is not a part of your loyalty program or doesn’t have an account, ask them for their email address upon checkout. That’s how they’ll receive their order confirmation, and you’ll collect one more email to your email list. Don’t try to trick customers and make it clear that you’re offering a newsletter subscription.
Apply these email list building strategies by using pop-ups and CTA buttons for your landing pages and blog posts.
Once you have a large enough list, you can segment your customer base into three groups by following their behavior on your site.
- One-time customers. Someone who bought an item from your online store once and never came back again.
- Cart abandoners. Visitors that simply browse your store or potentially place items into the cart but never go through the payment process.
- Loyal customers. People who use and regularly shop at your store or are a part of a loyalty program.
Segmentation will help you personalize your email marketing strategy to appeal to each group of customers individually. You can use Google Analytics to gather segment information.
2. Build Your Social Media Presence
It is estimated that at least 72% of adults based in the US alone use some form of social media. That’s a lot of potential customers for your business, as long as you know how to build a strong social media presence.
Social media platforms provide a unique opportunity to engage with your shoppers on a more personal level. It allows you to show your brand voice, display user-generated content, and boost your social proof.
There are two ways to grow your social media presence – organic and paid. Both are effective methods and work great simultaneously.
Methods to grow your social media presence organically:
- User reviews. Encourage shoppers to leave honest reviews on your brand’s social media accounts.
- Engage your audience. Respond to social media posts, comments, and messages related to your brand.
- User-generate content. Encourage shoppers to post user-generated content and tag your brand, such as product pictures or videos and other related content produced by your customers.
- Keep an eye on potential opportunities. Identify market gaps in the industry and determine what your business could offer to fill that void.
The paid methods to build your social media presence are:
- Paid advertising. Using paid advertisements that target your segmented customer groups.
- Influencer and brand ambassador marketing. Agreeing on a partnership with someone with a large online following to promote your products and your brand.
Facebook and Instagram integrated shopping platforms that can be connected directly to your eCommerce store. This feature allows your followers to look through your inventory without leaving the site, increasing the conversion rate, and potentially bringing more sales.
3. Optimize Your Website
Loading time directly affects the bounce rate of a website. Bounce rate shows how many people visited your website and left immediately, shows as a percentage. If a site’s loading time is more than five seconds, around 38% of visitors choose to leave your site prematurely.
This is especially true for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. People are keen to get as many good deals as possible, so every second counts. That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your website and make sure the loading time is as fast as it can be.
To test the loading speed of your online store, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. These tools will not only show you how fast or slow your site is but give suggestions on how to improve your site’s performance as well.
4. Audit Your Inventory
Before Black Friday begins, you should take a look at your product inventory data to see which products sell better than others. Remove the products that don’t sell as much and introduce new inventory. Ensure to stock up and pre-pack as many items as you can if selling physical items.
Consider adding new categories that will help holiday shoppers navigate during this busy season. Seeing as a lot of the customers are most likely looking for gifts, think about these category tips:
- Highlight what purpose the product serves. This could be “Funny Gifts” or “Gifts for the Home.”
- Categorize by the recipient. More targeted products such as “Gifts for Her” or “Perfect Gifts for Grandparents.”
- Bulk deals and offers. Anything that falls under a specific category like “Gift Sets for the Family” or “Pet Care Gift Set.”
5. Create a Marketing Strategy and Organize Your Marketing Calendar
Coming up with an effective marketing strategy takes time, so it’s good to have one in mind in advance. Research your competition and look at what other brands tend to offer for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Use these Black Friday marketing ideas to create a marketing plan that will work for your business.
Once you have a strategy in place, it’s time to plan how you will execute it.
Take advantage of the available free marketing calendar templates, and organize a clear plan of action. Use it to set dates for marketing emails, content publishing, or other goals in your marketing plan.
Also, use the calendar to organize what products will go on sale and when. Note down the current and sales prices, as well as the start and the end dates of the Black Friday offers. Decide on what promotion channels you will use and generate discount codes if needed.
Easy Black Friday Marketing Strategies To Sell More This Year
On average, the last holiday season online sales consisted of 20% of total holiday sales. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, this number can rise significantly this year as long as effective Black Friday marketing strategies are in place.
To ensure you don’t miss out on this profitable time of the year, see the best Black Friday marketing strategies we compiled below.
1. Launch a Black Friday Email Marketing Campaign
49% of consumers said they look forward to receiving emails from their favorite brands. Knowing this provides an opportunity to create Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns to effectively increase your sales.
Start working on your Black Friday email campaign at least a few weeks before the holiday season comes. You can use this time to make some pre-Black Friday sales and offer a sneak-peek into the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
To further increase your email marketing effectiveness, create separate email campaigns for each segmented customer group. For example, offer coupon codes or free gift guides for one-time customers and people who simply browse your store without purchasing anything and exclusive deals or free gifts for your loyal customers.
Design the emails to be thematic with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales by using relevant banners and call-to-action buttons. Use strong email subject lines and personalize your emails to improve the opening and conversion rates.
As for the timeline, begin sending out a few emails containing smaller offers and build-up as Black Friday nears. Make sure to send an email on Thanksgiving, and then at least three emails on each day of the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales.
Keep in mind that one of the best ways to get last-minute sales is the last chance email marketing campaigns that include effective email subject lines. They create a sense of urgency and scarcity, which is another part of a successful Black Friday-Cyber Monday marketing practice.
2. Use Social Media Marketing
According to one survey, 37% of users have agreed that good social media marketing campaigns have inspired them to purchase products.
So, when Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around, use the knowledge you have about your target customers and place paid Black Friday ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Make sure to use the most popular Black Friday hashtags for your Instagram marketing campaigns.
Include relevant hashtags to your products, as long as they fit what you’re selling.
3. Create Urgency
Creating scarcity and urgency is a well-known marketing tactic to increase sales. It’s especially useful during the shopping season, as people rush to get the best Black Friday deals for their holiday purchases.
Some of the most effective ways to implement this during a Black Friday sale are using specific call-to-action keywords:
- Offer free shipping for a limited time or a limited amount of customers. “Free shipping today only” or “Free shipping for the first 200 customers”.
- Note a limited stock of products. “Get a limited edition t-shirt.”
- Reward users who are fastest. “A free gift for the first 100 customers.”
- Limited time offers. “24-hour flash sale.”
Other great ways to build urgency:
- A countdown timer. Display a countdown timer on the landing page and every product page to induce a sense that time is running out.
- Flash sale. Organize a flash sale that lasts for only up to three hours.
- Fear of missing out. Use persuasive language for your landing pages and product descriptions. Make customers feel like they will miss out on an offer if they don’t take advantage.
4. Increase Average Order Value
Another way to help you make more profit during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales is to increase the average order value. This strategy does not focus on attracting more customers to your site. Instead, it works on persuading the customers that are already there to spend more.
You can increase the average order value by applying these marketing ideas:
- Minimum spend bonus. Free shipping for orders above $50 or a 10% discount on all orders over $100. Prices should be adjusted on your overall product pricing.
- Offer bundle deals. 3 for the price of 2 or a buy one, get one 50% off deal.
- Cross-sell and upsell. Get a 10% discount on a matching set or add a You may also like… section.
- Gift cards. Gift cards are a great way to increase AOV (average order value). Offer gift cards for rounded sums, like $20 or $50.
5. Update Your Store Design for Black Friday
Another great Black Friday marketing idea is to modify your eCommerce store to suit the holiday season.
Build a landing page explicitly for the Black Friday event. Have Black Friday sale banners on every page of your site. You can even edit your product descriptions to be Black Friday-themed.
Make sure the changes you make will work smoothly on mobile devices. Nearly 67% of Black Friday shopping happens using mobile devices.
6. Tackle Cart Abandonment
In 2018, the average cart abandonment rate during the Black Friday holiday season was nearly 82%. That’s 7% more when compared to the data from 2017.
It shows that most visitors that visit online stores never make use of the Black Friday promotions. Instead, they leave the website before buying the items they have added to cart.
There are a couple of ways of how you can reduce the cart abandonment rate for your store during the Black Friday weekend:
- Make checkout fast and easy. During the Black Friday weekend, people are always rushing to get as many deals as they can. Make sure the checkout page on your website is easy to navigate, and the process is fast. It will increase the likelihood of the shoppers going through with the payment.
- Send out cart abandonment emails. If your visitors left an abandoned cart, make sure to send out an email persuading them to come back. You can do this by reminding them of the products they picked and offering further discounts. If done right, these emails present an average open rate of 40% and a click-through rate of 29%.
The Black Friday season is one of the busiest times for all types of businesses across the United States. If you own an online business, it’s an excellent opportunity to not only boost your sales but attract new customers along the way.
To summarize, here are the best Black Friday marketing ideas and strategies that can help you make more sales this year:
- Start preparing early, research your competition.
- Launch a Black Friday email marketing campaign and update your store accordingly.
- Build a strong social media presence.
- Create a sense of urgency and scarcity for your products.
- Increase the average order value.
- Remind visitors about their abandoned carts.
Try to implement as many of these marketing strategies to your online store as you can, and see your profits rise this Black Friday season.