14 Points To Ensure Your Brand Is Black Friday Ready

The countdown to Black Friday weekend has begun, but there’s still time to optimize your eCommerce strategy for this year. We have 14 tips to keep you ahead of the craziness of the BFCM weekend.

Black Friday falls on November 25th in 2022 and is just around the corner, with this year projected to be an even bigger eCommerce event. What was once a day of ‘door-busting’ sales in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, has become a massive online shopping experience. There’s no denying the wealth of opportunity Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) present for brands. But capturing it requires careful, considered, and informed strategizing. 

It’s not too late to refine your plans for Black Friday success. Here are the top 14 tips for success this Black Friday:

 

1. Remember BFCM is big beyond the US

Traditionally, BFCM marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States, but it has increasingly become a very prominent event across the world and especially in Europe. Over the years, based on our data, we have seen a significant increase in the number of leads and conversions taking place in regions like EMEA and LATAM. As a result, brands should reflect on their existing data to identify the key markets beyond the U.S.

 

2. Mobile is still the King of eCommerce

In today’s society, there is an undeniable attachment between the consumer and their mobile. Without question, this is where brands need to target their efforts as the majority of consumers shop via mobile.  

Shopify shared statistics on this outlining that in 2021, 71% of BFCM purchases were made from mobile devices, compared to 29% on desktops. Whereas in 2020, 67% of sales were made on mobile and 33% were made on desktop. Brands must ensure their website can function on a mobile, your brand has a mobile-first mentality and is user-friendly as failing to achieve this would be a huge setback for the BFCM weekend.

 

3. Shoppers Love Optimisation

BFCM is a fast-moving experience for both the business and the customer, thus it is of utmost importance to get it right. This is done by testing your website and ensuring it can support more users than normal and has an optimised eCommerce path to purchase

Given how common it is for shoppers to abandon shopping carts, the last thing you want to do is to make your checkout process any more of a hassle than it has to be. It is important to have a fast page response time on your website and also a clear and fast path to purchase to minimise cart abandonment. The implementation of a shoppable media solution can accelerate the customers’ path to purchase and maintain a great eCommerce customer experience.

 

4. Leverage your data before BFCM

With an unsettled economic climate, it’s important to identify the key retailers for your vertical, and the markets that you want to target. This can be achieved by analysing your data from the past years and leveraging it to prepare for this year’s eCommerce events. How? Look back on your data, and consider the key retailers that drove the highest conversions. Once you identify these, you will know which retailers are vital for your brand’s success in the respective market.

You should also track what the purchased basket consisted of; branded vs non-branded items, as well as where your consumers are dropping off on the path to purchase. These insights can help you to form an informed strategy. By leveraging your existing data, you can optimize your strategy, allocate resources, and double down on tactics that were successful for your brands. This functionality is provided through our where to buy and shoppable media software.

 

5. Understand your customers’ path to purchase

Consider which channels drove the highest conversions – was it your brand site, promoted ads, social media, or other? Understand your consumers’ path to purchase, and identify retailers that are converting traffic at a high rate for your brand. By better understanding of how your customers act, you can better shape your targeting efforts to appeal to what they desire.

More holiday shoppers are hunting for bargains online and in-store. There are those researching online and buying offline, a trend known as ROBO. So, ensure you have an omnichannel presence for this BFCM. One way of doing this is with ChannelSight’s ‘Where to Buy’ software, which seamlessly blends digital and physical, showing consumers where they can buy products online and offline or use BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-up In Store). Brands ahead of the curve facilitate DTC marketing rather than fight against it or ignore it, and as a result, can minimize exposure to competitor products on marketplaces and retailer sites.

 

6. Combining additional BFCM benefits

Without question, Black Friday weekend is inextricably linked to large discounts and huge consumer hype. Therefore, it is vital to come up with a plethora of appealing, engaging, and intriguing Black Friday sales for your customers.

Retailers must understand that consumers shop on Black Friday weekend not only for the event experience but for the core deals associated with the event. A retailer needs to apply deals such as price discounts or additional benefits such as ‘Free Shipping’ to appeal to the customer.

In the macro business strategy, this will produce a return as customers are enticed by deals. 47% of consumers cited free shipping as something that would influence where they shop for a holiday gift.

 

7. Identify key retailers and build relationships

Building relationships with key retailers form an integral part of the Black Friday weekend strategy for brands, however, building those relationships with the right retailers is even more important. In particular, EMEA has a more fragmented online retailer market landscape. Thus, it’s increasingly important for brands to be present across several retailers including local ones to capture relevant markets. Using ChannelSight’s where to buy and shoppable media software, brands can enable consumers to buy from an industry leading wide retail network. Also, managing multiple channels can be time-consuming and admin-heavy.

To ease these headaches, eCommerce providers should look to implement technology that integrates channel management and fulfilment on a single platform. This will help to synthesize your eCommerce strategy. A blend of building key relationships, identifying the key retailers, and adapting your eCommerce strategy is vital to achieving your goals, especially in a competitive period such as BFCM and the holiday season.

 

8. Start Earlier

During this selling season, your brand will face a larger order volume and an endless stream of potential customers. Therefore, with a conscientious plan, everything can remain controlled and manageable.

This stream of potential consumers has been noted by Amazon and many other marketplaces to be starting earlier year-on-year. Amazon has termed the weekend preceding BFCM as ‘Early Black Friday’. This is supported by Remazing who outline via the below graph that an increase in website traffic and conversions is also common. This is something that brands must adapt to and plan for to maximise sales. Moreover, it’s a practical way to space out orders and make fulfilment and delivery more manageable amid disruptions brought on by the pandemic. 

Source: Remazing.com
 

9. Perfect your fulfilment

As mentioned above, a method to maintain a fluid fulfilment process during BFCM weekend is to identifying products that are likely to sell more over the holiday season. This is a simple, yet effective, way of allowing your business to maximise sales and avoid stockouts. Being efficient within your fulfilment process during BFCM and the holiday season is an easy way to ease what can be a stressful and manic period.

 

10. Stay Social

The most essential tip for maximizing conversions on BFCM weekend and throughout the Holiday Season is to meet the consumers where they are, and in 2022 this is on social media. For last year’s BFCM, the number of sales directly generated from social media almost tripled compared to 2020.

With this trend looking to remain, there is huge potential for the retailer to target the customer via shoppable media and paid advertising. It is essential to understand that Black Friday shoppers are no different from your regular customers, only that they come to your store already itching to spend money. All you have to do to help them make a purchase is push the right buttons by peppering your website with different emotional triggers.

 

11. Create a sense of urgency

The entire event of Black Friday has become ritualistic in today’s society and with that has created an inherent need to participate.

For customers, the fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a powerful psychological trigger, and with the continuous growth of the BFCM event, consumers are only more likely to be easily persuaded by marketing efforts and general ‘hype’.

The fear of missing out on a great deal or product can have a powerful impact on consumer behaviour, affecting what they buy and when they buy it.

Urgency is deep-rooted in our human psyche and it is the trigger that brands need to market to. Using deal countdowns and having limited offers creates a buzz around the product and it is the type of persuasion that works during BFCM weekend.

 

12. Target Generation Z

Generation Z are big spenders during BFCM, so ensure you have campaigns that resonate with this demographic. Stemming from the above point on creating urgency, the use of hyperbolic and eye-catching terminology can persuade consumers to buy. 

Retailers should use terms such as ‘While Supplies Last’ and ‘Limited Time Only’ in order to entice millennials to buy. HubSpot report that brands need to capture the attention of Gen Z consumers to convince them to buy. This includes the likes of online reviews and social media, video content, and influencer marketing.

 

13. Customers care about sustainability

BFCM season is often synonymous with wasteful consumerism. However, the good news is shoppers are beginning to pay attention to how to reduce the impact on the environment. Consumers are demanding socially conscious and environmentally sustainable practices such as: 

  • Offset shipping carbon emissions. 
  • Use recyclable, compostable, or reusable packaging. 
  • Use AI to make smarter packaging decisions.  
  • Distribute inventory closer to customers. 

This is a simple way to both have a genuine impact on society but also maintain a positive relationship with your customers, establishing loyalty and brand awareness.

 

14. Shoppers prefer video

Consumer engagement is a core element of converting your potential consumers into customers. VideoWise of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product. Moreover, they preach with the use of video on your socials and website, it will in turn uplift conversions and ultimately sell more. 

Ultimately, shoppable videos remove the friction between marketing and purchasing. They create a seamless path to purchase that doesn’t interrupt or detract from the consumer’s content experience and enjoyment. 

Final thoughts

All these key points will help you better meet your customers’ needs, optimize the consumer journey, and help drive higher conversions. 

While this year may be different from the previous years, the data you already have can steer your strategy in the right direction. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest sale days of the year for retailers and by focusing on these tips, you can be sure this year will be a success for your brand!