How to prepare for Black Friday

How to prepare for Black Friday

Black Friday is the biggest online shopping event in Europe and North America, and it’s predicted to continue to grow over the next couple of years.

Online shopping during Black Friday has increased by 22% year-on-year, with more than 49% of consumers choosing to shop online more now than they did pre pandemic. Which is why you should make sure your eCommerce store is ready for the big event.

Competitor research

Black Friday is a price driven event and customers are going to be shopping for the best deals. That means one thing for your eCommerce store – in order to be successful during the Black Friday sales, you need to be pricing your products at a competitive price amongst your competitors.

One thing that eCommerce businesses can do when preparing for Black Friday would be to look at their competitors. Take a look at what intentful searches they are bidding on – for example, if you are a haircare store take a look at similar brands in the market and what products, keywords and searches they are using as part of their ad strategy. This will help you position yourself alongside your competitors and targeting high intent searches can help you get the most out of your Black Friday sales campaigns.

Take a look at the keywords and phrases that are most affordable for you and your business. It may be worth using more medium intent searches that are more affordable rather than spending your ad budget on a couple of high intent words. Spending less money on more medium intent keywords could see a better return on investment, especially if you can target more of your audience.

Digital PR

In order to have a successful Black Friday sales period you should explore the different ways that you can get your business name and products out there. Digital PR is a great strategy to use that helps drive brand awareness, visibility online and can help you position yourself in front of your target audience.

People trust people, which is why Digital PR can work well for your Black Friday campaign. If you can identify experts in your industry who may run an online blog, column in a publication, or have a strong social media presence then you could consider reaching out to them and ask them to review your product.

Working with a health and wellness client, we regularly got in touch with experts and journalists in that sector and offered them samples. By offering them a product (whether this was permanently, or on a trial) we were able to receive reviews that were then shared with their audience – meaning the brand name and product was becoming more known and visible amongst an audience that could be interested.

Journalists and experts could also be offered a discount to their readership to encourage their audience to become customers – especially as it comes up to Black Friday. This doesn’t have to be a massive discount but will offer exclusivity to the journalist and their readership, making the feature of your brand and product be more attractive to them.

Use influencers

Using influencers to work with coming up to your sales period would be a great way to build even more visibility, and an even bigger reputation.

Influencers and social media creators can have high engagement rates amongst their online following and individual audiences. These followers and audience trusts the opinions and content that an influencer would post about, meaning if they feature your product and enjoy it then there’s a very high chance that the influencers following would also trust your product and brand!

If you have the available budget and scope to send out free products to influencers, you should identify a couple who are specific to your interest that have a reasonable following. Although you may feel inclined to target influencers with millions of followers you should aim for influencers who have a good following, regularly engage with their audience and cover your niche. These influencers could be targeted on their websites and blogs, or their social media channels – especially YouTube and TikTok due to the success that video content marketing can drive.

Aaron Wallace, a male haircare and skincare brand, works alongside influencers on TikTok and YouTube to help promote their products and build their brand awareness. During their sales periods, whether this be Black Friday or any other seasonal sales, they team up with influencers who then make videos and posts specific to Aaron Wallace’s products. This helps build that trust with the influencers audience, and they will be more inclined to then check out the brand themselves.

If you’d like to see more on our work with Aaron Wallace, then please take a read of our case study!

Retarget campaigns

During Black Friday, if someone comes into your online store and adds a product to their basket but then forgets about it before they finish the purchase then that is a wasted chance of gaining another customer. Therefore, retargeting campaigns can be brilliant for converting more sales during these busy periods.

Automations on websites can be set-up to help stop abandoned baskets. These automations will send out an email, or an SMS message, to those customers who have added something to their basket but haven’t completed their purchase. This prompt will encourage your audience to make the full purchase and become a customer – which is really handy during the Black Friday period due to the amount of shops and online deals that your audience is going to be looking at.

If your website uses Shopify or WordPress, then there are many plug-ins that can help set this automation up with ease. Shopify has some free ones that can easily be interlinked with your website, and you can choose whether these be sent to your audience’s email address or as an SMS message to their phone. WordPress also has some great plug-ins that work well with WooCommerce.

Set-up an email campaign

Email marketing is a great activity that will directly target your audience, and is known to have high returns when done well. To find out who would be interested in receiving your email campaigns, especially during Black Friday due to the amount of emails they already may be receiving from others, you should set-up a campaign that will filter these customers out for you.

Staging an opt-in email to be sent out a month or two before your sale period will help you identify those who are interested in your products and upcoming sales. This email can then be sent to all of your existing customers who receive emails for you, which will then allow for you to create a very detailed and specific list of people who do want to receive your sales emails. You can use the email addresses that you already have on file.

The emails that you send out will need to be tailored to the products that you are pushing for your Black Friday sale. For example, if your product is a one-time purchase then you could encourage your customers to take advantage of a refer-a-friend campaign that includes a discount. Or, if your product is a repeat purchase then you could set up an email campaign that includes an offer, such as a discount, for a future purchase. Offering something to your audience through emails allows them to be directly targeted and more likely to engage with the content included.

Working with Juni Cosmetics, an ethical and sustainable cosmetic brand, we set-up an email campaign that encouraged purchases through discounts. Creating emails with special discount codes, such as 20% off purchases made through the email sent, we were able to target their audience directly and drive them to make a purchase – especially during periods such as Mother’s Day and Christmas.

With Black Friday on the horizon, it’s important that you make sure you’re completely prepared before the day arrives. Many customers start looking for deals weeks in advance, sometimes as early as the start of October, so it’s vital that you get your business and products as prepared as they can be.