Black Friday is no longer just a US phenomenon where thousands of consumers crush brick-and-mortar-stores. Up until 2017, Black Friday used to refer to Black Friday alone. Since then, Black Friday is just the beginning of Cyber Weekend, including the shopping frenzy that peaks on Cyber Monday.
For many years, local retailers pushed opening times on Black Friday earlier and earlier, eventually reaching midnight, before opening on the evening of Thanksgiving! So the retailers seem to be prepared. But how about the digital channels?
Black Friday is a do or don’t event. Either way, you don’t get to rewind. The devil is in the detail, so plan out every little detail. Your customers will surely notice any that you may have missed.
1. Black Friday is all about discount
Your customers will expect huge discounts on beloved products, or product/service bundles. Black Friday is not about launching a new product line. With discounts, customers are tempted to spend more money than initially planned, and with a high quality of the products and smooth services, brand loyalty grows. Are you a wholesaler? Dig into your numbers, bundle what is sold most, and run your Black Friday campaign. Word of mouth will do the rest, and if done right, you will win some new recurring customers for the whole next year.
Even in B2B, participating in what your customers are looking forward to in their private life, can set your business apart from your competition.
2. Create the Black Friday Buzz
Spread the word! You need to tell your customers about your deals and special offers! Based on what works for you and your customers, get the campaign going with:
- Personalized e-mails
The more precisely you are addressing your target accounts, the higher the conversion rate will be. Are you new to personalization of e-mails? The easiest way to pimp is to embed a photo of the sender in the footer of the e-mail. Users are twice as likely to respond if they don’t feel contacted just by automation.
If you already segment your customers, use their preferences to create discounts that match their needs – and address them accordingly.
Newsletters are the contrary of personalized e-mail communication, but due to the fact that your customers opted in to receive them, a basic interest in your offerings can be expected. Use this channel to pop in a great banner that announces your Black Friday campaign. Discounts and promotion codes are better written in the text area because they are easier to copy here. Even simpler: Prepare a link to the shop that directs users immediately to the Black Friday offers.
- Social media
Retailers, but wholesalers and manufacturers, too, need to stay active on social media. Here, not only recruiting is running more smoothly, also your offers and deals are prominent. Publish them with high-quality pictures of the products, services or bundles you offer.
For physical goods, image-centric platforms like Instagram and Pinterest work best. Use every platform according to the users’ preferences. Make a Facebook Live session or direct followers from Twitter to your blog, where preparations for Black Friday can be documented in a small series of articles or videos.
And don’t forget Instagram Stories, which are a cool way to engage your audience.
Social Media management is a great way to increase brand awareness and promote campaigns- not just for B2C, and not just for Black Friday.
- Paid advertising
Your customers will be willing to spend more than the usual amount of money on your Black Friday deals – and so should you. If your niche is competitive, invest in paid social. Research relevant keywords and run a lot of small content pieces on a limited budget first, to find out what works for your target audience. Grow from there.
Do you want to increase your contact base? Announce a giveaway or a contest, and promise a discount code for all who sign up. Don’t forget to share this information on your website, or on print and online magazines. If you have influencers working for you: This is a perfect opportunity to run a campaign.
3. Get your website up to speed
Just like with your physical store, you need to optimize your website and get it ready for a temporary boost in traffic. If your website breaks down, not only temporary revenue is lost – the trust, customers are granting your brand, will be corrupted.
Customers are in for good deals, but great experiences can make up for a higher price. If you offer free shipping, and optimize your mobile website – for example by running a PWA, you are doing well. But don’t forget to take a look under the hood: Stress your system to find out if it can handle traffic peaks on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A feature stress test, done by yourself or your commerce partner, should include catalog browsing, a simple search, product list paging and loading the product detail view. More complex workflows like filtering search results, basket actions, logins, payment selection, promotion handling and checkout or approval workflows should be considered also.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday – the whole Cyber Weekend can truly boost your online revenue. All it takes is a strategy, a robust website with a commerce functionality that has been scaled to handle peaks, and a communication strategy that works for your customer base.