Black Friday / Cyber Monday is just around the corner and as a business, you need to have your strategies planned and prepped now. The online shopping landscape is about to get very crowded and you need to make sure that you stand out.
Over 74% of shoppers plan to shop online for Black Friday deals in order to avoid crowds, as such, your online store front needs to be ready to receive them! A mobile optimised landing page is only the beginning, you need to decide what you’re willing to offer, whether it’s a discount code, free shipping, a free gift or Buy one get one free. Your strategy needs to be nailed down now. Here are our strategies for how to succeed at the most competitive time of the year.
Exciting Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers are more than just percentages
It’s no secret that come the 1st of November, quite a few of your competitors will already be yelling about their heavy cuts on prices – some going as deep as 80% off in some cases!
However, although this can lead to large swathes of new customers, direct discounts this deep can cause damage to the perception of value of your product for the rest of the year. To take part in Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you don’t always need to cut deep into your price and damage your value. To take part, you just have to get creative! Take inspiration from ‘The Verge’ for example, who ran a clever campaign that wasn’t discounted at all. Instead, customers had the chance to receive a mystery bag with contents valued at “hundreds of dollars”.
This type of value-added campaign adds an element of mystery that captures the attention of your audience during a time when it is notoriously difficult to stand out. Consider running a campaign that will generate excitement and intrigue like this, e.g. every customer has the chance to win a mystery present to the value of £x that will be added in to orders randomly. Make sure that customers know there are a certain amount of these up for grabs so that they feel that they have a chance to win.
Alternatively, value added can be an incredible campaign when run correctly. Instead of slashing prices, offer a free room upgrade on a hotel booking, or a free sample of one of your other products which may encourage them to buy the full product after trying.
Black Friday isn’t only on Black Friday
Black Friday no longer takes place on one single day in November and planning to launch your promotions on this date towards the end of the month can be a risky choice. The entirety of November is now ‘Black Friday Month’ with discounts flying out from brands from November 1st. If you choose to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to launch your promotional campaign, you run the risk of losing out to competitors who launched earlier and devoured your customer base.
Whilst there are still benefits of running a campaign on Black Friday itself, with it being pay day for a lot of people, it is worth considering running something at the beginning of the month as well or even throughout November. There are pros and cons to this, on the plus side you will remain competitive and not lose out on the opportunities that your competitors are enjoying. However, on the other hand, customers may wait until Black Friday in the hopes of an even larger promotion. It’s important to have a strategy in place ahead of November so that you aren’t reactively attempting to keep up with your competitors and sending out half thought out promotions.
Leverage first-party data
Your customer lists are gold dust during this time of the year. The cost of online advertising spikes in November every year. Last year in 2021, we tracked a 130% increase in CPC from October to November across a range of our own managed advertising accounts on Facebook ads in both the US and UK. Therefore, it is more important than ever to capitalise on the customers you already have and who are already interested in your products.
Use the data that you have at your fingertips, consider your website visitors, social media engagers and email lists. Make use of this already available data to target customers who are already aware of your business and may be likely to purchase again.
Make sure that you use ‘gift’ messaging. If you are targeting previous purchasers, they might be interested in purchasing as a gift for someone else. Ensure that your copy is strong and highlights this as a reason to buy again.
Generate exclusivity and reward loyalty
A strategy that works particularly well is creating a list of previous buyers or highly interested customers and sending them early access to your offer via email. This generates a sense of VIP within your loyal customers and lets them know that they are receiving something special above and beyond the general audience. If there is a time limit on the offer e.g. 24 hours exclusive VIP access, this will also ignite a quicker response as they are aware that the offer will be released to everyone soon and stocks may not last.
If you want to expand your email lists further, this is also an optimal time to do so. You can build up to your promotion being released using digital adverts featuring ‘Be the first to know’ messaging. This can help expand your email lists for future marketing campaigns outside of the Black Friday / Cyber Monday period.
Make use of referral codes to maximise your prospects
During the Black Friday / Cyber Monday season you could have more customers than you have ever had interested in your business. This inflated customer base is the ideal opportunity to capitalise on word of mouth advertising. Offering your customers a referral code at this time of year can work extremely well.
We suggest offering a referral code to customers who have already purchased to encourage them to recommend your business to their friends and family so that they also can benefit from a reward.
Ensure your abandon cart messaging is up to scratch
Online users will be shopping around searching for the perfect present during this period. That means clicking ads and abandoning carts left, right and centre. You need to make sure that your retargeting for abandoned carts is fine tuned and that the message is attractive enough to entice those customers back.
Consider the reasons why they may have abandoned the cart, ensure that the items are in stock, if the postage is high then consider retargeting abandoned cart customers with free postage messaging. You can also consider targeting them with a percentage discount if price seems to have been the defining factor.
These customers are low hanging fruit, they have shown a strong interest in your products and while theoretically it won’t take a lot to ensure that they come back and finish their purchase. You do need to ensure that your messaging is right to facilitate this.
Retargeting after Black Friday / Cyber Monday
Once Black Friday / Cyber Monday is over, it doesn’t end there! After the heightened number of customers visiting your website and social media, December is the perfect time to retarget those customers with follow up promotions.
Pull together your fresh retargeting lists and make sure your messaging is fine tuned to reach those who may not have purchased yet but who have shown interest. You can even retarget those who have already purchased but with a fresh offer to reignite their interest in your business.
The most important thinking to remember when planning your Black Friday / Cyber Monday strategy is to focus on your USP’s as a business. Don’t feel pressure as a small business to compete with the big players in your industry that might be offering hefty discounts. Offer something unique or different e.g. handwritten note or a small gift with a purchase. Check out our blog on Black Friday / Cyber Monday considerations for 2022 for some more information.