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If you have not already started, it’s time to get ready for Black Friday, the world’s largest sales campaign. The phenomenon has grown year by year and the sales generated by Black Friday have increased steadily, reaching about $3 billion in 2016. Whether it is the first Black Friday you organize or not, we have prepared a guide through which we share our experience: how to prepare yourself starting from planning your campaign to delivering products to customers.

When does Black Friday start?

The rule that sets the day for the Black Friday campaign is simple: usually the last Friday of November. In 2017 Black Friday will be organized on 27 BLACK FRIDAY IS A COLLECTIVE CAMPAIGN Black Friday is a collective campaign, so do not run the campaign a different day than other stores. There is a risk of losing the start, and buyers will spend their money in other stores.

Start early, don’t go with the last minute strategy

The first and most important rule is to not set up the campaign the last minute. You will not have time to announce your customers, stock availability, talk to suppliers, marketing campaigns, and so on, and this will lead to a failed Black Friday campaign. BLACK FRIDAY CALENDAR:
  • Analysis and documentation;
  • Establishing physical stocks and suppliers – discussing discounts and product availability;
  • Preparing the necessary materials (banners, covers, text content, video content, etc.) and setting up promotion channels;
  • Preparing the landing page and the store;
  • Campaign marketing;
  • Black Friday: Campaign unfolding;
  • Analyze your campaign results (expect to see returns);
If you can not participate in the Black Friday campaign, there is no problem. You can prepare better for the following campaigns, such as Cyber ​​Monday or Christmas.

Tell your customers in advance that you will have a Black Friday

Your customers will need to know that your store will participate in the campaign. Announce them 1-2 weeks in advance, using all of the resources you have. Even more, in addition to telling them about the campaign, offer them a “sneak peek” with some of the products you will have on discount on that day. This makes them curious and makes them look forward to when your campaigns starts. EMAIL MARKETING Your newsletter subscribers are one of the cheapest and most effective resources you can call. Subscribers already know you and probably already have purchased from your store, so do not hesitate to let them know and send them a newsletter.
  • Announce that you are doing a Black Friday campaign;
  • Send a reminder one day prior;
  • Exclusive discounts for subscribers to the newsletter;
  • Give them a sneak peek with some of the campaign products;
  • Emails for abandoned baskets during the campaign.
BANNERE ON SITE Display banners in the campaign promotion areas available in your store, such as: homepage, category, menu, sticky bar or product page. SOCIAL MEDIA Are you proud of the number of Facebook fans, followers on Twitter, Instagram or other social networks? Do not forget to tell them about the campaign you will be doing. RETARGETING Use retargeting to track your customers who visited the store and let them know that soon you will have great Black Friday discounts. Thus, you will bring them back to your store on that day. BLOGGING Do not forget to go to the blogs you are working with to let your readers know about the campaign and the great discounts you’ll have on Black Friday. SMS MARKETING You can run an SMS campaign to let your most active customers know about Black Friday. It is not necessary to let everyone know if the dedicated budget will limit you. PAY PER CLICK If the budget allows you, we also recommend that you use campaigns in Google Adwords as a way of communicating the discounts you are about to offer. Keep in mind, however, that because of the popularity of the season you will have to bid a bit more aggressively than usual for your chosen keywords. POST ON DEDICATED SITES With this phenomenon there have also been developed sites dedicated to it. Do not hesitate to register your store to announce your participation.

Keep an eye on the competition before Black Friday

Keep an eye on the competition (we all do it) because it will help you gather new ideas and you can learn from the mistakes that other stores can make. So, you can see the missing points in your competition strategy and integrate them into your Black Friday campaign. The easiest way to monitor your competition is to subscribe to their newsletters and track them on social networks. Study what type of emails they send to their clients and what kind of public content they have in the online environment. If your competition is the big online retailers, do not be discouraged by them. If you are creative, you can make a successful Black Friday campaign with 10 products, so take full advantage of this opportunity. Another way to keep an eye on the competiotion is to use Visual Ping or Google Alerts.

Ensure your stocks and suppliers

Black Friday gives you the chance to get rid of physical stocks faster or to reach a higher turnover target for suppliers. You can increase your sales on certain categories, launch new products, or grow your customer base. Make sure you have enough stock and start preparing them early. At the same time, discuss and negotiate with your suppliers early on to ensure that you do not run out of stock in the early hours. One of the worst things that can happen during such a campaign is to sell faster than you planned and not meeting your customers’ demands.

Create a landing page dedicated to the campaign

On that day, replace your homepage with a landing page for the campaign. Do not let the customer look for discounts through the thousands of products you’ve grouped into dozens of categories. He will get bored and will go to another site, most likely to your competition. Show the stock status you have available and also the “out of stock” badge if you no longer have stock on certain products. MOBILE FRIENDLY Being mobile is no longer an option, because mobile traffic and conversions are on the rise. So your landing page will have to be 100% responsive for all devices: laptop, desktop, tablet and mobile. STABILITY Make sure your landing page loads quickly and your server will have a 100% uptime. When customers access your store, you definitely do not want to be offline. On that day you will have a much higher traffic than usual. NAVIGATION Create an intuitive menu / navigation, because on that day everything will be done in an accelerated way. The customer will not have time to search too much among the tens or thousands of available products. CHECKOUT CURSIV The order flow must be smooth (without errors and without interruption of additional actions) with checkout as a guest (no account, as a visitor), for order placement efficiency. SEO FOR BLACK FRIDAY Do not forget about SEO, even if on that day SEO does not count as much and you will rely more on traffic from email marketing or pay per click. It will help you in future campaigns. So, when you create the landing page, use a structure like www.shop.com/black-friday in its URL in exchange for the structure of www.shop.com/black-friday-2017. This way, you’ll get permanent indexing and not targeting a specific year. Apply the same rule when it comes to titles or meta descriptions.

Keep it simple: the price

When it comes to Black Friday try not to complicate things with various types of promotions: bundles, gift products, loyalty points, etc. A customer who buys on that day is looking for one thing: the lowest price. That’s why all you have to do is to apply a discount as high as possible to your campaign products. QUALITY IN QUANTITY DETERMINATION Do not focus on the number of products with discounts offered in the campaign. If the discount is not quite attractive to the customer, and you’ve listed a large number of products with insignificant discounts, customers might not be able to reach the attractive offers you have and you might not have as many sales as you wanted.

Payment methods available to the customer

Make sure all of your customers can make purchases using any of the payment methods:
  • Cash on delivery – surely the cash on delivery will be the most used payment method;
  • Card payment – a way of payment that grows and gains confidence from year to year;
  • Interest-free payment – is a payment method that you can not ignore especially when selling high-value products such as home appliances. It is preferable that the number of installments be as high as possible (for example, 12 installments are sufficient);
  • Payment order (for companies) – this part will be a little more difficult to manage, due to the agitation and fast pace of things going on that day, both for order management and for the relationship with related services.

Prepare your staff for Black Friday

Depending on the size of your store, make sure you have the minimum staff required to handle the volume of requests. You will be faced with a much larger volume of work than on a normal day and, of course, there may be problems. That is why you should consider increasing the work schedule for that day. INTEGRETE A LIVECHAT Livechat offers the customer the opportunity to quickly get in touch with your store’s staff. If a customer can not get the information or response he needs quickly enough, he will leave the site without buying, which you certainly do not want.

Make sure the products arrive on time

We know that parcel delivery does not entirely depend on you, but try to make sure that they will arrive in a decent time. Customers are aware that the Black Friday order will not arrive on the 2nd day, but it is not good for them to wait a month to get what they ordered. If you work with more couriers, choose the courier that you’ve worked with best and that has met your needs and your customers’.

FREE SHIPPING ?

If profit margins allow you, offer customers free shipping on all orders of the day and you will have an edge over your competition. According to Kissmetrics, free shipping can increase your sales by up to 30% if you apply it correctly.

Monitor your store permanently

Make sure your eCommerce platform provider will provide you with the necessary technical support throughout the campaign so that if you encounter a problem, do not be offline too long. Track your store permanently with Google Analytics (real time) and report any issues as soon as you notice them.

Returns will be inevitable

Do not underestimate the number of returns you will have on products ordered by customers because they will be more than usual. It happens that some customers place orders with the same products in several online stores and keep those with the highest discount or those that are delivered in a timely manner.

Make your customers loyal

Black Friday offers you the opportunity to build relationships and to make your clients more at ease. That’s why you can offer them:
  • Vouchers or promotional codes for future orders;
  • Points of fidelity to use in the future;
  • Free samples, if you are talking about cosmetics or other types of products for which there are samples;
  • Congratulations or personalized messages on shipped packages;

Analyze your results

After each campaign that you run for your online store, you should do an analysis of the results. Use all of the tracking tools you have: Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, internal reports, etc. Do not rush, wait for the returns, because you have to take them into consideration as well. This analysis helps you see which marketing channels worked, where you went wrong, where you scored well, to be more prepared for the next Black Friday.