Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are two of the biggest shopping holidays for e-commerce stores across Europe and North America, including the United Kingdom. By the mid-morning of Black Friday 2019, Barclaycard was already reporting a 12.5% jump in transaction levels from the previous year. While BFCM doesn’t trump Singles Day on a global level, it’s still a great opportunity to spike your revenue. 

Originally the most popular shopping holiday of the year for retail stores in the U.S, Black Friday has snowballed and seeped into British retail too, becoming a shopping event for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce stores

Black Friday also quickly found its weekday counterpart with the addition of Cyber Monday. The combination promises a weekend of great sales for every kind of e-commerce store. 

The complete Black Friday e-commerce guide for 2020

Don’t miss the chance to market your business to bargain-hunting shoppers this upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday. From prepping your marketing to making sure your shipping processes can handle the influx of orders, this complete guide will teach you all you need to know to ace the biggest shopping weekend of the year. 

Read our complete Black Friday e-commerce guide for 30 proven tips to prepare you for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020. 

The ultimate Black Friday & Cyber Monday marketing strategy

A clear marketing strategy is the first piece to winning more visitors on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Without visitors, there’s no customers. Read our 10 tips to adjust your marketing strategy for more visitors this Black Friday.

1: All good Black Friday marketing begins with a strategy

Competition in the e-commerce industry is at its toughest during BFCM. That’s why you need a comprehensive marketing plan. Your plan should reflect every step of the buyer’s journey and target your different customer personas. Consider what will appeal most to each one at every stage in the buyer’s journey during Black Friday & Cyber Monday.

2: Up your social media game for Black Friday

Social media is a great place to advertise attractive deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consider where your target audience hangs out, whether that’s Facebook or Instagram and flood their feeds with the best deals your store has to offer. 

3: Retarget to convert

Worried customers will slip through your fingertips this Black Friday? 

Don’t let users get away without making a purchase. Retargeting makes sure relevant  product ads pop-up on the social media feeds of customers who have visited your store. A time-sensitive deal is a great way to create ‘scarcity’ and make sure an interested customer converts.

4: Stay consistent with your brand during Black Friday

A consistent brand image helps potential customers quickly recognise your brand. This helps build trust and draws customers back to your store again and again. In the run up to BFCM, make sure you’re creating a consistent brand image across all channels in your targeted marketing campaigns. 

A consistent brand image means using the same colours, brand voice, and style of image on every platform. This will help ensure you convert when the sale period arrives.

5: Don’t overlook Google 

A successful Black Friday sale begins with Google. While most consumers wait for Black Friday to shop, they often research products they want to buy before they hit ‘add to cart’. Out-game your competitors by showcasing your products with Google Ads. Be sure to include your best-selling items and most impressive deals to attract more shoppers.

6: Get Black Friday keyword smart

You likely already have a keyword strategy. But remember to shake this up during the holiday period. Consumers often use different keywords around this time. For example, they may search for “black Friday party dress deals,” rather than, “party dress.” 

You can capture this traffic by including popular BFCM keywords on your website and blog content. Stuck on where to find them? Head over to SEMrush for inspiration. 

7: Sell more with smart Black Friday promotions 

List three of your best-selling items and use eye-catching promotions to draw more consumers to your store. By offering impressive promotions on your best-selling products, you entice potential customers to check out the rest of your store and add more to their cart. 

8: Play with different kinds of content 

Most e-commerce store owners think of social media and blog posts when they think of content. By adding in a mix of different formats to your content strategy, you’ll appeal to different kinds of consumers. This will increase your shares and overall reach.

Video content is a great way to stand out during Black Friday. 89% say video marketing gives a good ROI. Interviews with staff, tips for customers, and sharing looks behind the scenes are all great ways to attract attention and build a stronger relationship with consumers. 

9: Convert more with wishlists

Wishlists are a great conversion strategy. Online store sales typically increase by 19.3% after adding wishlists to their site. Customers no longer need to track down their most coveted products. You can use wishlists to make similar suggestions with an added personalised discount to increase your conversions even more. 

10: Win them over with Black Friday related email marketing

Email Marketing campaigns are one of the best ways to draw visitors to your store in the run up to Black Friday. The best ways to grow your site visitors with email? 

  1. Send personalised product discounts based on your customer’s wishlist. 
  2. Build momentum by offering better, time-sensitive deals in the week leading up to Black Friday.
  3. Add a countdown at the end of the sale period to create urgency and get customers to buy more. 

Make sure your Black Friday leads turn into sales

The above tips will help you attract new customers and bring back old ones back to your store. Once on your site – how can you make sure your visitors convert? Read on to find out. 

11: Re-engage visitors looking to leave  

Exit intent pop-up tools are a great way to get people to stay on your site. These tools register when a visitor is planning to leave your webshop. Next, they show them a pop-up with a special offer to entice them to stay. Don’t forget to make your offer time sensitive to increase your conversion rates.

12: Promote seasonal products for Black Friday

It’s no secret that different products do well at different times of the year. Make sure your product positioning on site reflects the most popular items for the winter holiday period around the Black Friday weekend. Position your winter bestsellers at the top of your product categories. Also be sure to heavily promote these products in the run up to Black Friday. 

13: Give something to get something  

One of the great rules of marketing is The Law of Reciprocity. This law holds that in order to make a sale, you have to give something first. When people get something they feel compelled to return the favour. In retail, what you ‘give’ could be:

  • Free shipping for the entire BFCM period. 
  • A personal discount code
  • A special free gift.

14: Boost Black Friday sales with social proof 

 

We all like to buy on-trend products that other people love. When shopping, we often look for social proof. This down to the fact, as ‘pack animals’ we unconsciously look for validation from our wider social groups. There are a number of tactics you can use to inspire your customers with social proof: 

  • Feature a best-seller list on your homepage. 
  • Add gushing testimonials to product pages.
  • Include an Instagram reel of happy customers using or wearing your products. 
  • Add a like button for each item on your site. 

15: Beat Black Friday abandoned shopping carts

Abandoned shopping carts are one of the most frustrating aspects of running your own e-commerce store. Consumers often forget they have a product in their shopping cart. 

How can you persuade them to return to their cart? Send out a reminder email with a discount code on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. 

16: Give them the products they want to see for Black Friday

Rather than flooding visitors with emails and a homepage fall of products they aren’t interested in, use their search behavior and purchase history to make relevant product suggestions and send discount codes their way. 

For example, you may like to make suggestions for products similar to the items already in their shopping cart. Alternatively, you may like to make suggestions for products that other customers purchased when buying the item your visitor is viewing.  

17: Create a Black Friday sales page 

Create a BFCM sales page to show off all of your best offers. This will help inspire your visitors to rack up the purchases as they seamlessly surf deal after deal. This approach reduces customer frustration and increases conversions by making all of your deals as easy to find as possible.

18: Create desire with a ticking clock 

Time limitations on bargain deals create desire in your customers. Customers are more likely to buy when faced with a time-sensitive deal. This tactic can increase your sales by up to 300%. You can further capitalise on this effect by emailing a countdown timer in the last hours of the sale season. 

19: Notify customers of low stock on Black Friday

Low stock notifications can trigger a rush to buy. Nobody wants to miss out. Set up a live stock tracker or a discount of a limited number of items to get visitors to buy straight away, rather than waiting. 

20: Offer instant customer service for Black Friday

It’s always important to make sure you stay connected with customers. You can make sure your customers’ questions get answered with a homepage chatbot. Set up your chatbot with personal greetings and BFCM discount codes for the best customer experience. 

The ultimate Black Friday e-commerce guide: shipping and returns

Your success during the sale period depends on a solid shipping and return policy. Check out our below tips on how to make sure shipping and returns run as smoothly as possible. 

21: Keep customers informed

Customers are most anxious about receiving their items on time during the peak season. That’s why it’s important to be totally transparent on both your costs and delivery times. Don’t surprise customers at the last minute with added fees or complex jargon on your shipping processes. That will only leave them frustrated. 

Here’s how to get it right:

  • Clearly state shipping options, costs, and times on your website. 
  • Share this information via email and social media channels
  • Include information on your shipping policy, delivery times, and costs on a your FAQ page

 22: Don’t create ambiguity around your returns

A mistake many webshops make is to make their returns process as ambiguous as possible. This only aggravates customers. Most customers are looking for clear information on returns for any sales items they no longer want. Include clear information on your return policy, both on site and via email and social media. 

23: Multiple carriers offer extra assurance

Multiple carriers offer both you and your customers extra assurance that packages will arrive on time. Carriers get overwhelmed with packages during the sale period. Multiple carriers allow you to swap between carriers if one becomes overburdened to avoid any delivery delays. Have a look here if you want to take your e-commerce logistics to the next level.

24: Swerve costly mistakes 

Mistakes are bound to happen during the sale period. A mass influx of orders mounts pressure on you to process them as quickly as possible. The added stress often leads to expensive mistakes and unhappy customers. 

Sendcloud shipping software automates most of your shipping process for you, allowing you to avoid manual mistakes – keeping customers happy in the process.

25: Go for flexible shipping options, especially during Black Friday

By using multiple carriers, you can offer multiple shipping options. This lets customers choose when and how they get their package – boosting customer satisfaction rates. 

Here’s what to offer: 

  • Same Day Delivery for last-minute holiday buys. 
  • Next Day Delivery: offering Free Next Day Delivery is an effective way to convert more customers during the holiday season. 
  • Saturday Delivery: most people are in on a saturday – making this one of the most convenient time slots. 
  • Evening Delivery: evening delivery is also super convenient for your customers. 
  • Pick-Up Point Delivery: pick-up points let customers pick up their package when they’re out and about. They don’t have to stress about missing a delivery. It’s typically also cheaper and more environmentally friendly. 

26: Insure your parcels 

Shipped packages often get lost or damaged during the holiday season. Insurance can provide you with peace of mind that you won’t need to eat the expense in case anything goes wrong. Sendcloud makes it easy to send shipments insured for a competitive rate. 

27: Don’t run out of packaging supplies during Black Friday

Don’t run the risk of running out of material and supplies. It can be easy to forget that you may need a back-up stash of shipping materials and supplies during BFCM. Order more beforehand to ensure that you can meet customer demand. 

28: Make your Black Friday packaging extra special 

How can you make your company unforgettable after your customer has placed an order? By adding something special to your packaging. Wherever it’s layers of technicoloured tissue paper and added ribbons or a personalised gift card, those added touches can help create a more enjoyable unwrapping experience. This is a useful advice, you could consider it for Singles Day as well!

28: Personalised Black Friday tracking mails

Customers like to track the status of their order. This helps them know exactly when their eagerly-awaited package will show up. Sendcloud lets you send branded tracking mails – complete with your brand’s logo, colours, linking banners, and social posts. 

29: Extend the return period for happier customers 

Extend the legal return period beyond 14 days to give customers an added sense of security that they can return anything they don’t want. This sense of comfort means customers are more likely to order more from you during the BFCM sales. 

30: Make returns hassle free

Make returns as easy as you can, for both your team and your customers. You can do this if you automate the process as much as possible. The Sendcloud Return Portal lets your customers create a return ticket – saving you time and hassle. 

Make Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2020 your most profitable yet

We hope our Black Friday e-commerce guide has given you a great starting point for making your next Black Friday and Cyber Monday a success. 

Want to get started with Sendcloud? Create your totally free Sendcloud account here.

 

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