We’re talking Black Friday marketing this week! Are you ready? Are you hyped? Or just terrified?
How will you prepare for the 2020 Black Friday bomb drop?
Check out the video or podcast above where Dan and the Bees discuss Black Friday marketing examples for a banner year in 2020 and what it takes to stand out for what’s shaping up to be a record year in online shopping. 👆
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Usually, we’d be looking for shoulder pads and preparing for the madness that is Black Friday, but this year is shaping up to be very different.
With strict limits on how many people can enter a store and the general fear of infection from large crowds, we’ll likely see a massive surge in online shopping and less crazy people buying $300 tents to camp outside stores so they can save $50 on a flat-screen TV.
Who knows, though. It’s 2020, and predicting anything is questionable at this point.
That doesn’t mean we can’t prepare and get ready for the rush, so if you’re planning to brave the stores, or open your own, you might want to look into a Hazmat suit and some good padding.
Let’s dig into some more realistic options for Black Friday marketing ideas for the rest of us.
Craft a Black Friday Offer No One Can Refuse
What typically catches your attention on Black Friday weekends? Most of us know what we’re looking for, and we look for the best deals we can find.
When you’re crafting your Black Friday sales and marketing, think about what your most popular items are. Maybe put a crazy deal on one trendy item or a bundle offer if they buy certain products together.
This is where you want to get creative and think about the top reasons people love your brand, and then promote that goodness with a sale no one can refuse.
Here are some more Black Friday sales ideas for you:
- Hourly or Daily Flash Sales
- Offer to Donate a Percentage of Sales to Charity
- Give Rewards for a Minimum Spend
- Offer Product Bundles or a Mystery Box
- Can’t Offer Cash Discounts? Offer Free Shipping
- Offer Gift Cards or VIP Discounts
- Set Up Referral Rewards
You could also create a Promotional Content Calendar to send customers to get them excited about the event. Creating a Gift Guide is another great idea and incredibly popular every year. Countdowns and FOMO (fear of missing out) also work great when crafting your Black Friday marketing.
Double-Down Your Black Friday Promotions on Your Social and eCommerce Channels
We’ve been cooped up all summer, with very little reason to celebrate, and not many options for getting out, so it’s safe to assume this year will be busier than ever.
We won’t be spending much time standing in line, but that frees up a lot more time to research deals online. I’ll admit it. I’ve started looking already, and it’s only frickin’ October.
Given that in-store events won’t limit the Black Friday weekend, it’s a good idea to prepare for a longer season this year, as people will be spending the majority of their time shopping online. Hence, it’s not a bad idea to extend your sales to start earlier and end later.
Increasing ad spend on your top sales channels online is a great idea and will help boost your promotions and get them in front of your customers when they’re looking for deals.
Want to advertise on Facebook? Consider increasing your ad spend a few days before Black Friday. This will give the ad enough time to optimize for conversions and allow you to adjust and tweak along the way before the weekend hits.
Add a Chatbot
If you’d typically expect foot traffic to drive your holiday sales, be prepared to try advertising on new channels as more consumers avoid Main Street.
Is Facebook or Instagram part of your channel strategy? Now is the perfect time to experiment as consumers are trying new things and potentially open to foregoing loyalty and switching to a new brand.
Start Emailing Your Customers Early
2020 has been one heck of a year. Black Friday is around the corner; online shopping will set incredible records, and consumers are looking to support local businesses.
Now is the time to get everything ready for a busy November and December of online sales.
You don’t want to be scrambling for the biggest shopping event of the year. You want to be ready when consumers start flooding the internet, searching for the big deals and special gifts for loved ones.
It should be no surprise that this year’s biggest shopping weekend will be dominated by online shopping.
34% of shoppers claim that they will make their holiday purchases before Thanksgiving.
That’s about 1 out of every 3 people! That’s also how many sales you can potentially miss out on if you don’t start your Black Friday marketing plans early.
Now is the time to start emailing your customers with teasers of what’s in store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Also, there’s like a million things to work out, like technical website issues, product descriptions, email and site content copy, SEO, marketing and promotion plans, pricing, etc. So it’s highly recommended to have all that sorted before the shopping Tsunami hits.
For the past 3 years, Shopify stores saw more mobile purchases than desktop purchases during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
This is why it’s necessary to have your store mobile-ready. You’ll want to make sure it’s responsive, intuitive, and easy for customers to make a purchase.
So be sure to test what your store looks like on mobile and go through the customer experience yourself to ensure that it is easy to navigate and making a purchase is as easy as possible.
Test Your Website to be Ready For a Surge in Traffic and Streamline Your Checkout Experience
A good rule in business, and life, in general, is always to expect the unexpected.
Having so much traffic coming to your site that it crashes might sound like a great problem to have – but no, no, it isn’t.
Imagine that happening at the peak of the rush when people are ready to buy. That’s a ton of sales you don’t want to miss out on.
Analyze the data from previous years to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Make sure your site is up-to-date, optimized, and ready for the surge in traffic.
Any backend work you need to have done, you want to do ASAP. Like, stop reading this article and get on it. I joke. Finish the article first. Knowledge is power.
You can check your page speed using the free Google tool PageSpeed Insights – simply enter your site URL to check how your website stacks up.
If you have a Shopify store, you can also check your store speed with its tools.
Optimize Your Fulfillment Process
A surge in sales volume can make fulfillment processes more difficult, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re prepared for the rush.
You’ll want to make sure your inventory is stocked, and your most popular items are readily available for pick up or shipping.
Some other things to consider include:
- Hiring extra staff, if needed.
- Over-communicate with suppliers and delivery services to ensure everything goes smoothly.
- Prioritize and organize your orders so they can be processed more quickly.
- Customer priority to show appreciation for your most loyal customers.
- Shipping priority so that customers who paid for expedited shipping get their items first.
- Product type priority to optimize the time needed to pick and pack products.
Retarget Past Visitors and Customers for Black Friday
Existing customers are generally easier and more cost-effective to reach and market to new customers since they already have a proven interest in your brand.
It’s always a good idea to segment your audiences anyway. It allows you to craft more personalized messages and reach more qualified leads by narrowing your target to specific groups with interests that align with your brand.
You could also try offering them a special VIP discount code that gives them additional savings when they buy.
You can also offer product recommendations based on past purchases and behaviour.
Abandoned cart emails can also be incredibly effective. If someone was visiting your site and considering a purchase, they were interested, so follow up and remind them of the great deals you have available. This can and should be automated, so get that set up before the big day comes around.
Add a Live Chat Feature and Provide Prompt Support on Black Friday
It should always be easy for a customer to reach you, and on Black Friday, it’s even more important. If you’re not available to your customers when they need you, they won’t stick around with such a tight window of opportunity.
Competition is fierce this time of year, and with so many options available to customers, you need to stay top of mind and readily available if you hope to stand out in the crowd.
If your customers can’t get answers from you quickly enough, they’ll just go to one of your competitors.
With Live Chat set up, you can communicate with your customers in real-time, or even have those cute little chatbot friends set up. You can check out our blog on chatbots if you don’t have one set up and are unsure where to start.
Track Everything and Reflect on What is Working and What Isn’t
Analytics are imperative to understanding consumer behaviour and patterns, as well as tracking what is working and what isn’t. Without data analysis, you’re flying blind in a storm, and the odds of success are about the same as winning the lottery.
There are so many tools available that there’s no reason NOT to be tracking pretty much everything.
Make sure you have Google Analytics set up. It’s free and invaluable. Shopify also offers analytics reports that include tracking how your marketing efforts are converting to visits and sales.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all provide their analytics, as well. Facebook also has some great options for A/B testing ads to see what combinations of copy and imagery work best, as well as a robust custom audience set up for targeting specific groups with interests that align with your brand.
Incentivize Black Friday Shoppers to Become Year-Round Customers
Black Friday may be the biggest shopping day of the year, but it’s also only one day, so why not offer shoppers incentives to become year-round customers?
Keep your customers engaged by staying active on social media and communicating regularly. You want to maintain and nurture your relationships, so don’t forget about them after the end of the sale.
Set up post-sale emails for your lists, set up retargeting, bring back those one-time customers with new promotions, and appealing marketing, product recommendations, and even new discount incentives.
Ultimately, you want to keep your brand top-of-mind by continuing to share your most recent and most popular products with your audience. Keep the conversations going!
Let’s wrap this up with a breakdown of a Holiday Planning Calendar.
Your Holiday Planning Calendar
Segment your contact list. Who will you target for your Black Friday campaign? Use purchase history, engagement, and persona data to identify your highest priority segments.
Target your segments with social media ads. Where do your potential customers hang out? Use filters and targeting tools to get your products in front of your target audience.
Optimize your eCommerce store for mobile. Is your site optimized for mobile users? More consumers are purchasing via mobile than ever before, test your site’s mobile presentation to ensure you don’t lose out on ~50% of consumers!
Test and send your announcement email. Does the email look like it’s supposed to? Make sure everything is spelled and formatted correctly before you push that button, don’t let a grammatical error stand in the way of your amazing offer!
Create abandoned cart automations. How can you reclaim some of that lost revenue? Somewhere between 7 and 8 out of 10 consumers abandon their shopping carts before converting — don’t let them off the hook, send them a reminder.
Plan for common customer experience interactions. How will you handle an influx of customer service needs? Draft pre-written responses to common inquiries like shipping & billing issues and returns, and create a protocol for everything else!
Launch. You crushed it. Black Friday 2020 is in the books. What did you learn? Gather your data and insights to make your next campaign even better.
Follow up with engaged contacts. Why not reach out to the contacts who showed interest in your Black Friday campaign one more time? The holidays aren’t over! Send an email to the contacts who purchased, almost purchased, or engaged — remind them of what they want!
Here are some more resources for those that want to dig deeper! Thanks for reading!
The 27-Point Checklist to Prepare Your Store for Black Friday Cyber Monday – A great resource from Shopify with tons of tips, and the inspiration for this week’s topic!
2020 Holiday Season Predictions For Digital Marketers – Some awesome insights on trends and changes in 2020 for digital marketers, such as eCommerce domination this season.
15 Creative Black Friday Marketing Ideas For 2020 – Need some creative ideas? This article has some great ones, like deal-an-hour and gift guides. Read on for more.
Black Friday Email Campaign Best Examples for 2020 – Looking for inspiration for email campaigns? This article has some great real-world examples.
22 Black Friday Marketing Ideas to drive Record Sales – This article has some great Black Friday marketing ideas, such as mystery boxes and VIP discounts. Check it out.