Black Friday is nearly upon us, and now’s the time to act if you want to use it your advantage. Friday 27th November is arguably the biggest date in 2020’s retail calendar, and there are very few online merchants who can legitimately claim that they aren’t interested in turning a profit over the famous weekend.
For businesses of all sizes, finding the right Black Friday trading strategy can be a challenge, particularly since everybody is in on the game. If you want to beat the competition, you’ll have to pull out all the stops and that means far more than just offering the best discounts. In this article, we explain some of the most effective ways to increase sales during the Black Friday weekend – no matter what you sell online.
What are the origins of Black Friday?
Falling the day after American Thanksgiving, Black Friday is widely considered to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. It all started in Philadelphia as nothing more than a bad traffic day, but quickly became a retail dream. What was once a one-day discount event has since morphed into a weekend long consumer extravaganza, ending only on what is now known as Cyber Monday.
These days, many businesses tend to start early and keep their discounts in place for the full duration of the weekend. Of course, there are no rules about how you should run your business, but it pays to keep an eye on the market to understand common practices around this time of year.
There are some things that you can do to help boost your online sales figures regardless of your product range or sector – so keep an open mind and don’t be fooled into thinking that price is all that matters.
Create a gift guide
Often considered a staple of well-established traditional retailers, a gift-guide could help consumers to pick out your store from thousands of online competitors. By showcasing the very best of your products, you can encourage new patrons to try out your business at a time when they can make purchases at a reduced rate and maybe even with complementary shipping.
As we mentioned earlier, Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas shopping window – and what better time to help people select gifts for their friends and loved ones? Whether you choose to create a blog post highlighting your choice of products, or even put out a series of suggestions that cover different demographics, gift guides are a real winner when you need to encourage consumers to spend more.
Think of Black Friday as the gateway to solid Christmas sales figures, and you really can’t go far wrong!
Use your email list wisely
With people stuck inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, email marketing campaigns are likely to have even more clout than usual. Whilst any email marketing is a positive step, you can supercharge customer engagement by getting smart with your email list.
Rather than sending out a series of one-dimensional mailshots that list the date, time, and other particulars of your Black Friday sale, take the time to curate more personalised communications. Invites to an exclusive early sale window might just entice returning customers back as they’ll feel like real VIPs, whilst a rundown of your very best offers could attract those prospective customers on your mailing list.
Effort and personalisation go a long way in email marketing, so be sure to maximise your chances of making a sale.
Offer free gifts to incentivise purchases
Loss-leading products are nothing new, but how about giving out free gifts with Black Friday purchases? If you can find a low cost product to fill this gap, you could really incentivise customers to spend with you on the day itself.
It’s an easy way to generate goodwill for your brand, at a time when many consumers are testing the waters with businesses that they don’t yet know. By enticing them in with the promise of a free gift for orders over a certain value, you can upsell without having to give a hard sell. From cufflinks for men’s fashion, to makeup brushes in the cosmetics niche, or novelties for other areas, keep customers keen by treating them to some little extras.
Optimise your product pages
According to Google, 7 out of 10 shoppers are unsure of what they’re going to buy – making it all the more important to optimise your product pages.
If you’re going to persuade consumers to spend on your online store, you need to make sure that they have all of the information that they need and want. This means providing informative and accurate product descriptions, along with high-quality images. These features, coupled with a great design scheme, could make your e-commerce shop all the more enticing and make it a pleasure for customers to browse and buy from your business.
Get your checkout process into gear
Black Friday is a limited-time event, meaning that shoppers are in a hurry. Once they’ve spent time on one retail website, they’re onto the next and this means that you can’t afford for there to be any hitches with your sales process.
Nothing could be worse than losing a sale at the final hurdle, and that’s why you need to ensure that your e-commerce website has a dedicated payment solution that makes it easy for customers to checkout and pay. One such solution is an eCommerce payment gateway, which will provide you with a reliable way to take payments online – even during busy periods like Black Friday!
Efficiency, reliability, and credibility are key here – so don’t fall down on any of them.
Take advantage of social media
Social media is the world’s meeting point right now, so take advantage of people spending more time online. You can even do this for free by simply creating slick social media pages for your ecommerce business, before engaging with customers and commenting on popular posts that are relevant to your niche and target market.
With Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram heading up the pack, there are lots of opportunities for businesses to get involved with potential customers in an organic way. Keep an eye out for #BlackFriday and other similar hashtags, and remember that the goal is to entice people to your online store – so keep your posts light-hearted, witty, and ultimately convincing.
Don’t forget Cyber Monday!
If you’re to have any hope of keeping up with your competitors, you need to realise that Black Friday is no longer a one-day affair. Stretching right the way through until Cyber Monday (which this year falls on 30th November), shoppers will be littering online stores throughout the weekend.
To ensure that you benefit from the sudden influx of bargain-hunters, be sure to keep your sale going in some form beyond Black Friday. You needn’t have huge discounts every single day if you don’t want to, but even a small incentive could push your sales figures upwards.
Make the most of it
Black Friday is a mainstay of the consumer calendar, and it can really help businesses move from the red into the black (pun intended!). There are so many ways to take advantage of this particularly busy period, and getting your Black Friday strategy right could set the trading tone in the run-up to Christmas and the holidays.
Whatever it is you sell, and whether you’re online or in-store, act now and don’t lose out on your slice of the year’s biggest shopping weekend.