Black Friday is considered to be the biggest online shopping period of the year for the US and the UK. Black Friday Sales are already pretty well established in North America, and in the last five years, it’s surpassed the pre-Christmas shopping in the UK.
Black Friday sales aren’t a one-day deal anymore. Most retailers offer heavy discounts on Wednesday or Thursday onwards with extended store hours. Online retailers have come to realize that, shoppers don’t wait for Cyber Monday anymore, and hence try to push maximum sales during Black Friday.
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History Of Black Friday
The fourth Thursday of November is Thanksgiving Day in the US. A Friday was sandwiched between that and the weekend. In around 1950s people started calling in sick to take an extra day and make it a 4-day long weekend and shop for Christmas. Gradually, businesses started declaring that Friday as a holiday too, which made it the most favorable day for people to shop.
In Philadelphia too, there used to be a famous tradition of the Army-Navy football game on the following Saturday. As a result, the town was flooded with tourists because of both Thanksgiving and the game. That also led to high-intensity shopping on Friday.
The Philadelphia Police Department started terming it as “Black Friday” because of the chaos, unmanageable crowd and traffic.
Why Is Black Friday A Big Deal For Businesses?
By 2003, Black Friday was considered to be the ‘busiest shopping day’ of the year in the United States.
In 2018, Black Friday was the most popular shopping day of the whole Thanksgiving Weekend (Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday) which led to 14.8 million online sales.
In fact, the online revenue increased from $1.97 billion in 2016 to $2.36 billion in 2017 from Black Friday Sales.
The combined sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2016 was $3.45 billion, which set a historical Ecommerce record.
Hence, this is the perfect opportunity for businesses, both big and small to boost their sales and revenue.
How To Get Your Website Ready For Black Friday Sales
The biggest challenge faced by online sellers on Black Friday is the poor performance of their websites because of the colossal online traffic. The below-mentioned tips might help you tackle that problem:
- Plan Ahead – Shoppers might start searching for Black Friday even before the day. And you should keep your site ready for the same. An intuitive user interface, a smooth checkout experience with multiple payment options and a high level of mobile responsiveness are a few things that could come in handy. You should also have an efficient customer service option ready for support.
- Site Speed – Online shoppers don’t have the patience to wait for a slow site to open up. If the site takes more than 3 seconds to open up, they tend to move to another site. You can use online tools to make sure your site loads quickly.
- Keep It Up – Downtime is a big no-no. Make sure the server load capacity is intact.
10 Black Friday Marketing Tips
#1 Plan Beforehand
As mentioned earlier, shoppers aren’t going to wait for Black Friday to arrive to search for sales and buying options. Get your website and store ready beforehand, keep your stock ready, plan your marketing strategy well in advance, float newsletters, deals and offers before the sales start to keep your customers glued to your site during the sales.
#2 Apply Smart Retargeting Strategies
There might be customers who add your products to the cart but don’t end up buying them. Use effective retargeting strategies and ads to show them those ads even when they’re not shopping, so that they end up reaching your site and purchasing those products.
#3 Collaborate With Gift Guides
Collaborate with influencers or retailers to curate gift guides that inspire consumer holiday shopping. Doing that will keep you at the top of the customer’s minds.
Focus on quality more than quantity, find and pitch to targeted guides where the popular products fit in, communicate to gift guide editors about the value of including your business, for using gift guides to boost the holiday sales.
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#4 Leverage Limited-Time Windows
With the help of lightning deals, temporary sales and countdowns, it’s a good idea to create a sense of urgency in the customers’ minds. With the realization that the deal that they’re getting isn’t going to last long, they tend to buy sooner. Else they will keep looking for cheaper options for longer periods.
#5 Track Your Success
Use eCommerce tools for insights and analytics of your site. Identify good and bad performance areas. Compare them to the previous year’s performance. Analyze, which products are most popular, where is your maximum visitor traffic coming from, and tweak your site to suit those.
#6 Invest In An Email Strategy
Having an email marketing strategy in place is critical to your holiday sales strategy. Start sending emails to customers and prospects informing them about your attractive offers well in advance.
Keep your subject lines unique yet informative. Float last-minute reminder emails to make sure the customer end-up buying from your site.
#7 Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Different customer groups have different buying behaviors and relate to sales differently. Research your customers well, define the different customer groups, and send customized and tailored emails to each customer group.
Personalized emails and messages attract more customers and lead to a higher number of sales.
#8 Offer Premium User Experience
Keep the user experience as simple as possible. If the buying experience is stressful, users would end up moving to other sites where they can shop hassle-free.
In the first stage, you can mention only the useful production information, and reveal more when they are exploring it more. For instance, you should avoid asking for a compulsory login at the very first step.
You can instead offer people the chance to checkout as a guest user. Or, once the consumer is interested in a product and is proceeding to buy it, login can be introduced. The idea is to make the shopping experience simple and seamless.
#9 Target Regular Customers
Black Friday sales are a great time for you to establish relations with your former clients and get them to return to your store. You can reward them with earlier access to sales, privilege them with exceptional offers, personalize offers for them based on their previous shopping with you. These tactics will help to retain your customers and maximize sales.
#10 Look Beyond Black Friday
Black Friday is just one day of the whole holiday shopping weekend. But Black Friday sales start from Thanksgiving Thursday going up to Cyber Monday.
Plan your offers for the whole weekend so that customers who weren’t able to buy on Black Friday, can complete their shopping over the weekend.
This means you should have an efficient engagement plan to get idle window shoppers into long term customers.
Since it is the start of the holiday season, people like to shop the most during the weekend. Black Friday has gained popularity in many countries and has influenced the shopping habits of people during the holiday season.
This is a lucrative chance to make some big sales, which is why it’s important to get your business ready for the biggest holiday shopping extravaganza.
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