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5 ways to have the best Black Friday sales ever

5 ways to have the best Black Friday sales ever

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. 

Could this be the year that ecommerce businesses triumph over the monoliths that have long dominated retail’s highest holiday?

While many brick-and-mortar businesses teeter on the edge of insolvency due to pandemic-related social distancing restrictions and low inventory, online businesses are well positioned to take their piece of the $5.4 billion Black Friday pie

Here are 5 strategies to show your customers you’re prepared to earn their business on Black Friday—and their loyalty in the long-term. 

Prepare great deals

Although most Black Friday shoppers are looking for a minimum 20% discount, you can bypass the bargain basement prices if you surprise and delight your shoppers with exciting sales ‘events’. 

Be creative! Try rolling out:

  • New products that are only available during Black Friday or have limited availability to create “get ’em till their gone” exclusivity.
  • Free (and exclusive) gifts with certain purchases. Think $20 gift cards when you purchase a specific product/spend more than $100. Or a free best-selling or unique small product when you buy a full-price item.
  • “Mystery” savings or contests using digital scratch cards. Shoppers are rewarded for visiting your online store leading up to and on Black Friday with the chance to win a prize or get a discount.
  • A special “unboxing” experience with every purchase. Invest in add-ons like cool stickers or white label chocolates/candy, hand sanitizer/disinfectant wipes. Let shoppers know ahead of time that there will be a surprise bonus gift with every order. 

    Create hype with social media, email and SMS marketing

    They may not know it, but shoppers respond to digital and email advertising. Now’s the time to invest in digital advertising, like Google AdWords and Facebook/Instagram ads. And don’t sleep on an SMS or text messaging marketing campaign: last year, e-commerce brands who leveraged this channel snagged a 14.03% click-through rate and a 592% higher order rate than email on Black Friday alone! 

    Forget about generic banner ads. Get the right stuff in front of the right people by digging deep with content that converts: 

    • Showcase photos and videos of your trendiest and most popular products.
    • Make like an influencer and produce short videos showing how your products can be used. They don’t need to be fancy, just brief, informative, and entertaining!
    • Curate gift guides for popular personas, i.e. teenager, mom, neighbour, etc.
    • Create a product category on your site for gifts suitable for ‘virtual Secret Santa’ exchanges. 

      Make a Black Friday landing page

      Customers who come by your site on Black Friday should immediately be able to spot your specials. Make it easy by creating a dynamic page that celebrates the year’s biggest retail event.

      Convert more visitors into customers with features like:

    • A clear and simple headline calling out the main ‘deal’ you’re offering such as: “Black Friday unboxing event starts now!”, “Conquer your holiday list at our Black Friday Event”, or “Our biggest sale of the year”
    • An irresistible call to action button shoppers can’t help but click: “Reveal the deals” or “Show me the sales”
    • An active countdown clock (days, hours, minutes).
    • An indication of how long your Black Friday event will be: “One day only!”, “Until Dec. 2”, or “While supplies last”

    • Remarket deals to already interested customers

      Previous customers and those who have abandoned a shopping cart within the last few months have already shown they’re interested in your products. Send them a ‘personalized’ email to let them know there’s a special deal for them.

      Capture their attention by:

    • Using an eye-catching subject line: “You won’t believe what we have for you”, “This Black Friday deal was made for you”, or “You’re going to want to come back for this”. Don’t be afraid to use an emoji or two, if it aligns with your brand.
    • Ensuring the right customers are getting the right message. Use the information you have, like past purchases or demographic information, to segment your email list and send personalized retargeting campaigns.
    • Showing your previous customers some love by offering a deal that’s exclusive to them. These emails should be all about your gratitude for their loyalty.
    • Sending them an email that’s content-first, showcasing a gift guide, product review video or simply your Black Friday landing page with all the details. Give them a reason to click!

    • Make sure your product pages are in tip-top shape

      You can’t afford a technical difficulty on Black Friday. During this season, there can be no typos or glitches. 

      Do a quality control check by asking:

    • Does every product have high-quality photos?
    • Can you create some urgency by adding updates on inventory like “Only 5 left” or “In high demand”?
    • Are product descriptions the best they can be? If not, consider hiring a copywriter to punch them up. Remember: when in-store shopping isn’t an option, the more product details you provide online, the better.
    • Do you have a “Customers who looked at this product also like…” feature to encourage further browsing?
    • Is everything, from size selection to “add to cart” functionality, working perfectly? 
    • Do your products have reviews or ratings? It’s important: 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.

    • Pitch your products to mainstream media and social media influencers

      We’ve all seen every celebrity on earth opening Beyonce’s Ivy Park X Adidas collection and a certain reality TV family’s notorious “press boxes” with wildly creative (and expensive) packaging. 

      You may not have a multi-million dollar influencer marketing budget, but you can still create your own kind of hype by curating the best of the best of your products and sending out samples and press releases and asking smaller-scale media and influencers to post about it to create buzz before Black Friday. Be shameless about asking for mentions, reviews and likes on social media. If someone genuinely loves your product, they’ll appreciate the reminder to share about it!

      This year has been a disappointment in so many ways, but it has the potential to end on a high note for online retailers (and the customers they serve so well). Prepare for Black Friday like your business depends on it, but don’t despair if you can’t offer deep discounts. Put yourself in the shoes of your wary shoppers and look for ways to give them a little something special. Surprise, delight and a smooth shopping experience go a long way toward customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

      Guest post by Heather Hudson

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