As we enter into the most happening season of the year, for e-commerce businesses Black Friday means a whole new level of activity. 2021 saw 88 million Americans head to e-commerce stores and marketplaces on Black Friday for their holiday shopping needs. Research states that even though many US consumers are in a better financial position than they were before the pandemic, inflation has remained above 8 percent since March 2022. This means spends this holiday season will be driven by smart, value-based decisions. Here’s what the Black Friday weekend shopping is expected to look like:
As an e-commerce business eager to strategically win the maximum share of your shoppers’ holiday wallet, we’ve rounded up some of the most effective Black Friday marketing tactics:
1. Build exclusive Black Friday e-commerce landing pages
This is one of the quickest ways to showcase all that you have to offer. Back in 2019 the average time e-commerce website visitors spent on a page was 38 seconds. This has definitely been reducing given the abundance of competitors vying for your cutsomer’s attention. Competitors are constantly trying to reduce costs and create clever offers to gain more customers.
Here’s where an individual page that connects visitors to the store’s main shopping homepage and is designed with the specific goal of announcing new sales makes sense. Some e-commerce retailers even highlight a new product launch or attempt to cater to a new niche on such dedicated pages. Exclusive landing pages are also useful in gaining prospects to sign up for something valuable. For example, being informed of sudden price drops, new sales and discount programs during the holiday season and beyond.
One detail to note is that landing pages generally have a very direct call-to-action, as it results in higher leads and is least likely to confuse buyers. Studies show that maintaining just one link on that landing page led to a conversion rate of 13.5%, but more than five links led to a 10.5% drop in conversion rates. A landing page is only successful in raking in sales if it has the following characteristics:
- Focuses on one specific product, service, or event
- Promotes new products by highlighting their key benefits and special pricing
- Communicates offers effectively and makes using filters as accessible and intuitive
- Contains clear and easy-to-access CTAs
Google recommends placing links to the landing pages on your home page (or similar) to increase their prominence, making it easier for users (and Google) to find them.
2. Leverage Google and social media shopping features
Google Shopping, formerly known as Google Product Search, is a platform that provides images for a certain product search query on Google. Google populates the most relevant products to your search, including the price, store, and rating. This carousel of product images is usually the first search result seen at the top of the page, but all those images belong to paid advertisements.
We recommend Google and paid search features because they make displaying your products and brand name to consumers interested in your product or brand easier for smaller e-commerce companies.
Various shopping features on popular social media platforms are proving to be effective in increasing your e-store’s visibility, piquing the interest of primed shoppers. For instance Facebook Shops provides businesses with a mobile-first shopping experience where they can easily set up an online store on Facebook, and Instagram, including images, prices, and product descriptions. From small to big brands, the platform lets them choose what items to feature, merchandise with product collections, and customize their digital storefronts.
The social media platform lets sellers connect with customers via WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram Direct to streamline order management and queries. To provide smaller businesses and entrepreneurs with the support they need, Facebook is partnering with bigger e-commerce names like BigCommerce, Shopify, Channel Advisor, WooCommerce, CedCommerce, Cafe24, and Tienda Nube.
Interested shoppers can locate Facebook Shops on the business’s Facebook Page or Instagram profile or discover them through stories or ads. Consumers can then browse entire product collections, save products they like, and place orders without leaving the app if they have enabled checkout in the US.
Launched in March 2019 as a beta test group with 26 brands, including Nike, Zara, Warby Parker, and Revolve, Checkout went mainstream in 2020. Consumers can use Instagram Checkout on product pages to make purchases within the app with a simplified, two-tap process.
Shoppers only need to avail of this feature to view product customizations and proceed to payments on Facebook, Instagram, or the company’s website. The Instagram Checkout feature is currently available in the beta form for content creators, influencers, and businesses in the US only. Code and Theory CEO Dan Gardner explains that the feature will allow brands to convert without having to replace their own e-commerce channels once it becomes more accessible.
3. Create BFCM promo codes and pop-ups
The BFCM promo codes are what your customers are really waiting for. Approximately 71.4% of online shopping carts are abandoned (across the Americas) before a purchase is made because of added costs, complicated checkouts, and the need to create an account. This pain point could be reduced or resolved by using Black Friday Cyber Monday promo codes. Care needs to be taken to place these codes where they are easily accessible.
The first type of pop-up is the one that announces the discount code, so your customer can apply it at checkout with a single click. Shopify recommended sharing BFCM codes over email when a customer subscribes via their email address to receive offers, along with instructions on how to use the code and any related terms. Several brands use a floating bar at the top of the website’s home page.
4. Analyze your competition
When it comes to finding those opportunities and insights that can help e-commerce retailers differentiate themselves and understand what works for their audiences, it is essential to examine what the competitors are doing. In this competitor analysis, emphasis needs to be put on the following targets: timing, frequency, and offers.
Reaching consumers on time, before the start of the sale season, is vital to getting their attention before competitors do. It is estimated that 64% of retailers plan to begin advertising before Halloween, but they will not target late-season shoppers due to their focus on early shoppers. Only 5% of retailers plan to advertise to last-minute shoppers.
Mailing multiple times per day on key shopping days allows businesses to ensure that subscribers can respond to their messages as quickly as possible. Countdown emailers are a great way to build tangible hype and get your audiences hooked until the big day. Analyzing competitor activity can help determine the right time to send out those ads, notifications, or emails. The goal is to find the right time to reach the consumer’s inbox before the competition does so that it can help to message stand out more clearly.
Frequency refers to the number of times a competing brand advertises, emails, or approaches its audience with messaging. This assessment defines the amount of exposure the target audience has and the best ways to match that exposure. Google Adwords is a key contributor to Amazon and Walmart’s Black Friday sales.
The cost per click is an important benchmark to use when studying industry-wide ad performance. An ad platform’s cost per click (CPC) is how much it costs to drive a single visitor to your online store or landing page through ads.
Monitor your competitors’ homepages and landing pages based on the campaign and the relevant keyword to see what communications they are sharing. By following their link, review their e-commerce landing page for more information about their Black Friday deal and digital marketing strategies. Alternatively, you can sign up for their newsletter to receive information about their promotional strategies directly to your inbox.
E-tailers could try tracking their competitors’ content on various channels, like their blogs and social media pages. Additionally, they could even follow their competitor’s social media channels to receive notifications when they share new content. Furthermore, you can analyze how their audience interacts with those contents and optimize your approach accordingly.
A smart competitor analysis tool like Stillio can also create automated snapshots of the posts on those channels. Given that Black Friday shoppers are primarily concerned with price, this analysis could give e-commerce brands a better idea of how many discounts they are offering.
5. Ensure optimization for heavy website traffic and product page performance
With Google Analytics, you can monitor your site’s performance in real-time. It includes information about the number of visitors to the site, where those visitors live, and which holiday marketing tactics drive the most traffic. In addition, you can find out which of your visitors converted into sales, which pages get the most traffic, and which users converted into sales.
Also, consider making your website more responsive for mobile shoppers. Since mobile apps are faster and more conducive to shopping than optimizing websites for mobiles, many e-commerce brands have launched their own mobile apps. Consider increasing your landing pages’ visibility, alignment, and scrollability if the website has optimization needs. The payment gateways must also be active, as well as all the links should be clickable. A few critical checkpoints need to be set up to further enhance this website and page performance optimization phase:
- Optimize product title performance
The product title is the first thing that consumers see. The best way to optimize a title is to include the brand, product type, product attributes, model, etc.
- Product data audit:
In addition to product descriptions, all related data, such as GTINs, sale prices, and original retail prices, must be accurate.
- Updating inventories:
Run multiple updates to ensure that the inventories reflect the correct data at all times, offering consumers value by updating sale prices and product availability. Choose your products strategically instead of randomly discounting them. There may be a need to leverage yourself over competitors, make an item more known, or eliminate excess inventory, for instance.
As the holiday season approaches, your inventory will sell out quickly. Therefore, your feed needs to be updated as frequently as possible to always look fresh. If an item is out of stock, you should pass that information to Google as soon as possible. In order to do this, one can use software applications that manage data feeds, update Google Ads, and inform buyers before stock runs out.
Product data feeds can be managed for multiple shopping channels through these applications. The system helps sellers optimize their product data feed so that their products are correctly displayed on the selected shopping channels, thus increasing sales.
6. Embrace flexibility with BNPL options
The BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later), which allows consumers to divide purchase payments into installments, became increasingly popular when Americans relied on online shopping during the pandemic. Shoppers felt that such payment options helped alleviate shopping stress and management with financial limitations due to reduced incomes.
Consumers are less likely now to spend money on apparel and accessories. Many expect their household income to continue to decline over the next few months. Consequently, many companies have difficulty making sales, and their ‘buy now, pay later (BNPL) models are becoming increasingly popular. The UK sees growth of 39% each year for BNPL schemes such as Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm.
Consumers are still eager to shop on Black Friday, especially in the US, even as inflation rates increase. In fact, 84% of consumers say they prioritize sales and promotions in their gift-giving decisions.
According to a recent study, about a fifth of Americans say they will use a BNPL service, while another 15% will be using their store credit. As a result of the pandemic, the American Gen-Z are more cautious about using BNPL as a finance option, as they feel that it is a risk. They have even returned purchased items before they are charged.
To remain competitive in this year’s e-commerce market, BNPL, as a marketing tactic, would prove instrumental in driving conversions. BNPL alternative payment options are available on Neiman Marcus’ online store, Macy’s, and GameStop’s online store, thanks to a partnership with such fintech apps. By attracting more younger customers and encouraging impulse purchases, they hope to increase sales.
7. Retarget your customers through SEO, email, and social media
Keywords and specific hashtags are a small but critical art of pulling together a Black Friday marketing campaign. It is essential to have a strong keyword strategy for SEO since it increases both page visibility and traffic to the site.
You can use keywords to attract your target audience through your business and advertising campaigns. The importance of quality keyword research for marketing strategy cannot be overstated:
The number of consumers searching for a particular word or phrase is measured by the Localized Search Volume metric. Competition, relevance, popularity, and specificity all contribute to localized search volume.
The competitiveness of keywords refers to the frequency with which a particular keyword appears on other websites, indicating whether certain strategies are utilized on other sites. Determine what keywords your competition uses by analyzing the ranking competition of the keywords.
- Developing a special Black Friday email list
- Sending out the emails ahead of time and at different time slots not used by competitors.
- Be creative with subject lines and CTAs based on buyer preferences
- Offering buyers conveniences like customized offers on select products and calendar reminders
To stand out and drive awareness of their amazing holiday deals, e-retailers need to find the best, proven strategies this year. Take advantage of Black Friday’s rush to drop your e-commerce sale before everyone else by creating a unique customer experience.
We can help you with that. We offer a wide variety of e-commerce marketing technology solutions to help you stand out from the crowd and maximize the potential of a record-breaking holiday season with research-based analytics. Contact us to know more.