Economic uncertainty can’t even slow down Black Friday. Last year saw the shopping holiday grow in online sales to $65.3B, an increase of 3.5%. This is thanks to the more than 87 million U.S. consumers participating in the online deals that Black Friday brings.
For online retailers, Black Friday is their Super Bowl — a time that accounts for 13% of all retail sales.
Black Friday brings with it the opportunity for ecommerce businesses to acquire new customers, boost brand awareness, increase sales, and build on the loyalty of their existing consumers.
By the end of October 2022, U.S. shoppers had already spent 23% of their holiday budget. This means that brands need to start promoting Black Friday deals earlier in order to capture customers before they buy elsewhere.
While Black Friday brings with it more visitors who are looking to purchase, it also drives stronger competition as brands fight to deliver the best promotions. Because of this, it’s essential that online retailers have a well-planned marketing strategy that’s ready to execute months before the big date.
Let’s dive into the key strategies your brand can leverage to boost revenue this Black Friday.
Understand Black Friday customer behavior
Before creating a Black Friday strategy it’s critical that brands understand how customers behave on the day. The date rose to prominence by offering the best sales on desirable products. This promise of discounts is on the mind of every shopper, meaning that they are bargain hunting and are likely to purchase from the brand with the lowest price.
Now that 42% of Black Friday customers do their shopping online, the best deals are a search away. Once consumers find the price they like, they purchase — with global cart abandonment dropping by 5% during the weekend.
However, brands shouldn’t race to the bottom to see who can offer the lowest price. Instead, online retailers should be racing to get in front of their target audience.
Identify target audience and set goals
Once you understand why shoppers are on your site on Black Friday, it’s time to determine who they are. These customers are your target audience. Discovering who belongs in this segment includes analyzing demographics, interests, and purchasing habits. With an ideal customer profile identified, the right messaging, channel selection, and promotional offers can be developed.
In addition to building a target audience, brands need to define their Black Friday goals before taking their offers to market. Are you looking to increase sales? Is brand awareness top of mind? A foundation built on key performance indicators (KPIs) is necessary for a focused Black Friday strategy.
Create a compelling Black Friday promo
Black Friday is most commonly associated with promotions. But not all offers are created equal. Compelling promos are the most effective, so it’s essential that yours is engaging.
Unfortunately, getting eyes on your Black Friday campaign isn’t as simple as offering the lowest price. Compelling Black Friday promos do more than slash prices. They create a sense of urgency or exclusivity by running deals for a limited time or offering them to VIP shoppers only.
Brands can also bundle products together to offer better discounts in exchange for selling more products, increasing the average order value (AOV) and product velocity.
These strategies can be made even more compelling with persuasive messaging and eye-grabbing visuals.
Leverage social media
In 2022, social media referred nearly 12% of holiday season traffic on mobile devices — a 23% year-over-year increase. Social platforms are incredibly powerful at driving engagement for Black Friday campaigns as they can either target existing followers or lookalike prospects with countdown reminders, early-access codes, and more. Combined with flashy designs, relevant hashtags, and action-inducing copy, social media can generate major buzz for your Black Friday promotion.
Use email marketing
Email drove 15% of sales during the 2022 holiday season. Being able to deploy offers at scale while retaining an aura of exclusivity makes email marketing a unique tool for ecommerce. Brands can build Black Friday anticipation with invite-only access, tailored offers, and sneak peeks. Make sure to segment lists by customer preferences and past purchase behavior to ensure that the email is relevant to the recipient.
Partner with influencers
It’s estimated that 31% of social media users discover products through influencers. There are 4.8 billion social media users globally, so over 1 billion people can be impacted by influencer marketing.
But before partnering with an influencer, you need to identify those who will resonate with your customer base. Once a partnership has been established, influencers can draw attention to your Black Friday promotion with sponsored posts, product reviews, social media takeovers, and exclusive deals for followers.
Influencer marketing is particularly effective because they have more credibility with the consumer than any brand can.
Optimize Black Friday navigation
What good is running a Black Friday promotion if shoppers can’t find the deals? The best ecommerce brands optimize their sites to deliver an intuitive shopping experience. This includes a prominent display of Black Friday sales and clear calls-to-action to incentivize purchases. Additionally, sites can create urgency with a Black Friday countdown as well as placing limited stock notifications on the top products.
Online retailers also need to ensure that their site is ready to handle the influx of traffic and conversions. This readiness requires an audit to identify any issues, like slow loading times or broken links.
By providing a seamless, user-friendly shopping experience, you can maximize your website’s potential for Black Friday conversions.
Deploy buy now, pay later
Of the billions spent by U.S. consumers last Black Friday, 10.2% ($900 million+) of those sales came from buy now, pay later (BNPL) transactions. Because of its growing use, ecommerce brands need to consider BNPL as part of their payment offerings.
BNPL plans allow shoppers to stretch out their cart into equal payments over time — many providers even offer multiple BNPL options for further flexibility. Breaking items down into multiple pieces makes bigger purchases (e.g., furniture and electronics) more obtainable to more consumers.
Further, integrating your ecommerce site with a BNPL provider can attract new customers, enhance the customer experience, and boost the average order value.
Offer free shipping
Discounts aren’t the only incentive at your disposal on Black Friday. 53% of consumers say they shop online because of free shipping, outperforming coupons and discounts by 12%. Another study found that the main reason for cart abandonment is extra costs (e.g., shipping, taxes, and unexpected fees).
These percentages show that the majority of consumers make purchase decisions based on whether shipping is free and aren’t as concerned about the lowest price.
More than being a way to incentivize shoppers to convert without promotions, free shipping can also increase the average order value (AOV) by setting a price-point threshold that the visitor needs to meet before shipping fees are waived.
Get in-session marketing
Once you get someone to your site, it’s time to turn the visitor into a customer. In-session marketing identifies the purchase intent of every visitor and uses AI to determine conversion-driving actions.
Brands use in-session marketing to:
- Deploy a chat feature for shoppers who seem to be dealing with friction
- Upsell and cross-sell customers with tailored recommendations throughout their journey.
- Highlight social proof messaging (e.g., product scarcity, lowest price, products added to cart) to create urgency
In-session marketing makes it possible to market to shoppers in-the-moment — enabling brands to enhance the experience and capture more sales on Black Friday.
Avoid these Black Friday mistakes
So far we’ve detailed what to do this Black Friday. But, there are things to avoid that are equally important to the success of your holiday sales.
Here are some of the more common mistakes you need to avoid this Black Friday.
Unclear terms and conditions: Highlight all that’s included in the Black Friday sale to help your customers avoid any negative surprises at checkout
Neglecting customer service: Black Friday is likely your biggest traffic day of the year. Make sure you’re providing excellent service to not only convert visitors, but turn them into loyal customers.
No post-Black Friday engagement: Continuing to engage with shoppers after checkout can establish a relationship with them, helping to grow revenue and loyalty as they become repeat customers.
Black Friday presents an incredible window of opportunity for online retailers to boost their revenue. By leveraging the above strategies, your ecommerce store will be able to effectively generate sales and grow your customer base.
Are you ready for Black Friday? See how you can convert more customers this holiday season with Session AI.