What is Black Friday and Why is it Important?
The infamous Black Friday is just around the corner to cause havoc in the high streets, shopping centres and online stores. This event occurs on the Friday following the celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States. Black Friday spread to the UK in 2010; when Amazon introduced the concept to the UK market by promoting a range of flash deals. Following on from this, the trend spread and now most UK retailers offer deals and discounts over this weekend too.
The phrase ‘Black Friday’ was born in 1950 to describe the heavy traffic that is experienced after Thanksgiving.
Over time, organisations have stepped up and transformed Black Friday into an occasion that lasts longer than a day. In 2018, 1.2 billion people visited online stores between the 19th to the 25th of November for Black Friday deals.
Retailers have recently started to feel the pressure to increase their Black Friday marketing strategy into a week-long event with 67% of discounts being offered on the Monday through to the Thursday before the actual day of Black Friday.
In recent years, the shift to Black Friday sales taking place online compared to in stores has made the day significantly important to eCommerce businesses. With consumers heavily focused on buying gifts and the desire to avoid busy shops during the festive build-up period; online eCommerce stores can expect a flood of sales; as long as they have their marketing strategy optimised to enhance and handle the increased number of online visitors.
Quick Black Friday Statistics
According to The Washington Post, the 174 million Americans who shopped between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, spent on average $335 per person.
This year, Brits plan to spend an estimated £7 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In 2018 Amazon sold over 20,000 toys in their first five hours of sale on Black Friday.
Desktop represented 60% of online purchases, followed by 30% smartphone and 10% tablet according to Adobe.
In 2015, 3.8 million mentions were collated about Black Friday and Cyber Monday on social media.
59% of Black Friday shopping searches take place before the stores open.
In-store foot traffic increases by 65% on Black Friday compared to a normal November day.
With Black Friday coming up on the 29th of November; as a business owner, you should be getting your marketing campaign in shape. These are our 5 best Black Friday marketing strategies that work so that you can prepare and excel on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Make Your Email Marketing Strategy Stand Out
When it comes to your email marketing strategy, it is important to remember that everyone is going to be sending their subscriber list a Black Friday email. Email marketing helps you to engage with loyal customers as well as grow your customer base.
25.1% of sales on Black Friday were made through email marketing according to Custora.
Stand out from the rest by making the subject line of the email different from all the others that will be appearing in consumers’ inboxes.
In the battle to win over customers attention; crafting a subject line that is unexpected will help you be seen in the sea of Black Friday emails.
For example: ‘Black Friday Sale!’ is generic and obvious.
Display the offer and catch the attention of the user simply showcasing how good your offer is compared to competitors. Including a call-to-action and sense of urgency compels consumers to open your email to view the offer. For example,
‘Get 75% Off Black Friday Now LIMITED AVAILABILITY!’
As well as ensuring your email stands out, consider the times of sending your emails. Choose a variety of peak slots where users are active; not forgetting the different time zones for customers across the globe.
Consider giving the consumer the option to add a reminder of your sale event to their calendar; a constant reminder of your Black Friday event.
Segment your emails to suit the desires of new and loyal customers. Loyal customers are more interested in promotions and freebies they might receive on Black Friday, while new customers can be persuaded to purchase through limited offers.
Take Advantage of Social Media
The use of Instagram to find Black Friday deals has been reported to have had a growth of 73%, along with a 45% increase in the use of Pinterest according to the NRF. By taking advantage of social media platforms, you can interact and engage with your customers in real-time.
Before, during and after Black Friday it is important that you focus on using prime times to schedule posts to communicate your offer to the widest possible audience.
Constant activity on social media platforms is a must, consumers are going to be asking questions frequently and expect fast answers. Try as hard as you can to answer all queries on your comments sections or direct messages. Remember that social media posting and engagement is a free way of marketing, so take advantage of this when putting together your marketing strategy for Black Friday.
Don’t Forget Paid Social Media Campaigns
Although social media management is effective and can generate some amazing results; it is important not to forget about the paid functions of social media.
One of the main advantages that paid social has over organic activity is the ability to quickly generate results. With organic posts, you’re limited to showing your message to those who already follow you – and this may initially be small numbers. Depending on your budget, objectives and what you define; as a result, paid social can get you in front of the right people at the right time and at a greater scale than you can organically.
Dive Into Display Ads
I’m sure we’ve all come across these ads while reading a blog, article or even watching a youtube video, they are the ones on the top and side of the website that supports Google ads. These ads are shown in many dimensions and can even be animated now. The animated display ads are really compelling and grab one’s attention and if done correctly, will bring good quality traffic to your website – They are usually created via Google’s Web Designer.
The best part about these ads is that you can target your audience so you get the right return on investment for your company and with the Google Display Network you can get to around 90% of internet users worldwide. Don’t wait for too long to try this, as I bet your competitors are already utilising this digital platform!
Get Creative With Timing
Timing is an element of your Black Friday marketing strategy that can be experimented with. Not only with email marketing and social media scheduling, but the timing of the offer can also be manipulated.
By behaving differently from your competitors you can gauge the attention of the consumers that have become blind-sighted from the flood of Black Friday offers. This may be done through acting early, why not have a Black Friday sale the week or even month before the actual day? Similarly, why not act late and have a Black Friday sale in June?
Think outside the box and experiment with timings. Consumers associate the term Black Friday with awesome one-off deals, so you can run your own Black Friday any day of the year.
Don’t Forget About Cyber Monday!
Cyber Monday is the following Monday after the Thanksgiving celebrations. Initially created by retailers to persuade customers to shop online, Cyber Monday this year will happen on the 2nd December.
By having a well thought out plan, it is so easy to use this week to your benefit by turning first-time buyers into loyal customers. To do this, push forward with email marketing, social media engagement and abandoned cart follow up notifications.
Look at Previous Years and Prepare For The Future
By looking into how you performed last year during this period; you can create realistic expectations and goals about this year’s performance. By locating the areas where you were successful or not, you can strategically plan the next moves.
Further, you can focus in on whether or not your site or store handled the increased traffic well. If not, have you made the required changes? What can you do to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Inevitably you will want to track your performance during this busy time period and so make sure your Google Analytics is set up correctly.
With all of this information, you are able to get ahead of the game and secure your success for next year.
Black Friday is a global phenomenon that kicks off the festive Christmas buying season. By using these marketing strategies, you can experience a boost in conversions and grow your loyal customer base.
Get creative and think outside of the box, impress your customers and stand out in the meantime!
A reminder that Black Friday is on the 29th November this year!