According to recent research from Shopify, brands should be preparing for higher-than-usual demand on this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
With inflation driving the cost of living crisis, consumers are looking to make their money go further this Christmas, and in the UK, 50% of consumers are waiting until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to seek out the best bargains online before they splash the cash. In addition, 84% of shoppers in the UK, Germany, and France have stated they will be comparing prices across retailers ahead of making a purchase.
So, what should brands be doing to prepare for this increased demand?
Get your site ready
If your site is expecting to receive an influx of traffic during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s important to check that it’s capable of dealing with it. Check that pages load quickly on both mobile and desktop, and perform load testing to ensure that the site won’t crash under the strain of a higher-than-usual number of visitors.
When it comes to product landing pages, you should put a lot of time and effort into writing great product descriptions. Make sure the sizing or product spec is clearly displayed, use eye-catching images, and include user reviews.
Use contrasting colours to make your calls to action stand out. Deploy psychological tactics that encourage users to buy. Add a sense of urgency to copy – add ‘almost gone!’ or ‘only 3 left!’ messages next to stock levels.
Include reassuring language around returns, delivery and getting in touch – and keep these visible during the checkout process so users don’t get the heebie-jeebies last minute and bail on their purchase to check out your fine print.
If possible, have a live chat agent, or even an AI bot, that can respond to common customer questions promptly.
Having a quick and simple checkout is obviously a massive win (guest checkout option – yes please)!
And if you only offer a single payment method, you may want to consider adding alternatives such as Google Pay and Klarna to the mix, as some consumers will bail if their preferred payment option isn’t available.
There are so many elements that make up a great site, and there is no such thing as a perfect landing page.
If you’d like to see your conversion rate increase before the busy shopping period, you may be able to squeeze in a few CRO and UX tests. If you get enough traffic to run tests to reach statistical significance in a short timeframe, test a small number of core landing pages, and launch the winners before Black Friday.
Identify any pain points now – user testing can be a great way of getting insight into how others perceive your site and your brand vs. your competitors.
Check your stock levels
If you haven’t done so already, forecast what may be popular based on data from previous years, and do your research around popular Christmas presents and hotly tipped best sellers for 2023.
If you’re planning to offer big discounts on a range of products, make sure you have sufficient stock to meet demand. It can be hugely frustrating when you think you’ve nabbed a great deal… only to be told the item is out of stock. It’s happened to me before, and on top of the annoyance of having to seek out the product again, the stockist was slow to inform me about it, and even slower when it came to processing the refund. If your back end isn’t capable of real-time inventory management, it’s probably time to invest in software that can help manage stock levels and orders.
If you know that you’ve got pages of products that are out of stock, don’t let them go to waste. At the very least, redirect these pages to the brand/category or serve a user with some alternative products instead of letting the page die. You could be missing a lot of potential sales if you serve them a 404 page with nowhere to go.
Budget to get the most bang for your buck
With so many advertisers ramping up spend for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, costs can quickly spiral out of control, especially for paid search. Look at which channels already deliver the best ROI/ROAS, and focus most of your budget there.
Remarketing is a great way to reach past visitors, checkout abandoners, and previous purchasers with exclusive offers to entice them back, and as they are already familiar with your brand, the CPA is likely to be lower than it is for new customers.
For a lot of brands, email is their best-performing marketing channel. Make sure that your email marketing provider is connected with your ecommerce platform so you can segment users and deliver tailored messaging based on their past behaviour.
Google provides brands the opportunity to show its products for free in Google Shopping via its Merchant Centre, and while paid placements are given premium positions, you’d be daft to not take advantage of it!
Plan what discount is going to be applied to each product/range. If something already sells well at full price, consider how offering a huge discount will impact your bottom line.
Start early and plan ahead
Even though we’re still over a month away, that doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t already researching what’s on offer during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
If you don’t have a Black Friday/Cyber Monday landing page set up, consider doing so as soon as possible so that potential customers can see what will be included. These landing pages can also provide a valuable source for collecting visitor data which can be used for a remarketing campaign a few days ahead of, and during the event.
In the run-up to Black Friday, you could even run a PPC campaign and direct users to a sign-up page that gives them an extra incentive, (like free delivery or early access to discounts) if they provide their email address. By doing this, you can email them on Black Friday – and hopefully, they’ll return to make a purchase.
Running Google Display Network/Performance Max campaigns and social media ads across platforms where your users are most engaged helps to build brand awareness and create a buzz around the event.
Keep a close eye on what your competitors are up to – sign up for their newsletters and check their social profiles. Stalk them, if you will. They may have come up with a cracking idea that you’ve overlooked!
Many publications will be putting together a round-up of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, so send a press release to key contacts and keep an eye out for incoming requests for journalists covering this topic.
Create a content plan to ensure that all communications are aligned across marketing channels ahead of the event.
Finally, schedule ads to update automatically when the promotion starts and ends so you’re not frantically trying to change ad copy at the last minute.
Want to make the most of Black Friday/Cyber Monday but not sure where to start? Get in touch to find out how Browser Media can help.