Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. It marks the start of a 4-day long holiday season extended till Cyber Monday. Majorities of US citizens are on a non-stop shopping spree in this phase. It is one of the best times for the eCommerce stores to offer exciting discount deals and boost their overall sales.
Did you know that in 2020, Black Friday sales hit a new record of $9 billion? This tells us that 2021 Black Friday sales are also going to be epic!
So are you ready with your best strategies yet? Here’re some tips to get you started.
- Start your BF promotional campaigns early
- Promote your deals on every channel
- Develop compelling creatives that go with your deals
- Make the most of your store’s home page
- Use countdown timers to trigger FOMO
- Don’t underestimate referral programs
- There should be special offers for loyal customers
- Don’t neglect post-purchase experience
Let’s get started,
1. Start your BF promotional campaigns early
We can never stress the importance of starting early. The earlier you start your BFCM campaign, the more time you get to plan and execute your strategies. On average, a business needs at least three months of time to pull off the whole BFCM sales plan. So, start with a master plan and make sure that nothing is left off for a last-minute completion.
Here’re a few easy tricks to start your BFCM master plan:
- List all the activities in one place. These can include inventory restocking, discount deal planning, creative designing, promotions, etc.
- Assign individual timelines to each of these activities. You can always use a Gantt chart for convenience. It gives you a visual presentation of what is done and what needs to be completed.
- You can add sub-tasks under each of these activities. For example, under promotions, you’ll require sub-tasks like social media promotions, newspaper promotions, paid ads, and so on.
- Finally, use project management tools like JIRA, ClickUp, Trello, etc. to assign different team members with different activities. Add the time frames for each task so that they get notifications.
2. Promote your deals on every channel
Once you have your master plan in place and you figure out what deals you’ll be offering, it’s time to promote these deals. And when we say “promote” we mean every possible channel. Whether it is email, social media, text messages, or any other channel, start promoting your offers everywhere.
You never know which channel will work for you. So, it’s better to use it all and reach out to as many customers as possible. You can start with promotions at least 3 weeks before BFCM. We agree that too many promotional posts can look spammy at times. But, again, it’s one of the best ways to create buzz among the customers. So, manage a balance between frequently posting and spamming. But don’t stop the promotions at ant stage.
If you’re worried about the frequency, here are some tips from us:
- You can send up to 5 emails a day.
- Go for up to 2 social media posts every day.
- Send at least 2 BFCM text messages daily
You can customize these based on your brand’s positioning and customers’ expectations.
3. Develop compelling creatives that go with your deals
As marketers, you should always go for trial and error. Try new things, perform A/B testing and finalize your marketing approaches based on the results you get. But, is BFCM sales the right place to do experiments? Nope.
It is your one shot at driving massive revenue. So, go for the strategies that you’re absolutely sure about. Creatives play a major role in any sales program. Instead of trying out different types of creatives, ensure that you’re only displaying creatives that previously worked for you.
Small changes here and there are okay. But don’t use completely new creatives while revealing/displaying the deals and discounts. An untested campaign should not be part of your BFCM strategy.
4. Make the most of your store’s home page
Don’t forget to customize the home page of your eCommerce store. Majorities of the traffic you get will land on your store’s home page first. So, creating a theme-based home page can help you convert a large percentage of this traffic.
Here is an example from Wal-Mart:
See how they have added a big banner highlighting the Black Friday deals. Such a customized home page can help your customers navigate through the store and find the discounted items in a hassle-free manner. Some brands even prefer highlighting the coupon codes within the home page to ease the users’ shopping experience.
5. Use countdown timers to trigger FOMO
Never undermine your customers. They are smart, informed and they make a lot of evaluations before making any purchase. Chances are that, as you’re reading this blog, your customers have already started searching for the BFCM deals on your competitor’s stores. They know which store is offering the cheapest deals and what they’ll buy from where.
So, offering crazy deals may not be the only solution here. Remember that your competitors are also offering the best deals and customers can switch anytime. So, what you should do instead is to trigger FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Instead of giving your customers all day to complete their purchase, make sure that you add certain deadlines. Use a countdown timer to remind them how many hours are left to a particular sales deal. This can trigger FOMO and customers may complete their purchase at the earliest. Some brands include countdown timers in their promotional emails too.
6. Don’t underestimate referral programs
Did you know that word of mouth marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing? 64% of marketers still believe in this old-school marketing trick. And one of the best ways to advocate word-of-mouth marketing is through referral programs. It is both cost-effective and worthwhile to attract new customers.
The whole idea behind this strategy is that you ask your existing customers to refer your products to others and in return, you offer them special discounts. You can post about your referral programs on different social media platforms to get the customers hooked. Some brands offer rewards to referrer and referent both.
Try this strategy for a limited period. If it works, you can make it a part of all your active campaigns.
7. There should be special offers for loyal customers
Customers who purchase frequently from your store or bring new users to your store without any referral programs are your most loyal customers. You should never risk losing them. And when you’re planning the deals for BFCM, make sure that there are some special discounts for these customers.
See how Williams does it:
Williams has shown gratitude to their loyal customers through an email. Plus they are offering loyal customers special access to Black Friday sales. This is a smart way to win appreciation and trust from your loyal customers. Such a gesture will convince them to keep purchasing from your store in the future.
8. Don’t neglect post-purchase experience
Getting more customers to purchase from your store should not be your ultimate goal. If you want to retain your customers, make sure that they have an unmatched post-purchase experience. These include live tracking of the order, timely notifications, a flexible return policy, and so on. So, don’t neglect any of these aspects.
We know that the whole BFCM campaign is going to be hectic for eCommerce stores. They need to take care of everything from organizing inventories to promoting shopping deals to technical issues. Since there’s already too much on their plate, the concept of post-purchase experience often slips their minds.
So what we suggest is that eCommerce merchants should use a tool like ShippingChimp. Branded live tracking pages, regular notifications, return and refund – ShippingChimp takes care of it all. With this tool by your side, you don’t need to worry about the post-purchase customer experience.
So, have you started with your BFCM campaign yet? What we want to suggest is that don’t worry about it. Just follow these strategies and keep calm. We’re sure that you’ll manage it all. If you face any issues, you can always let us know in the comments section.