Black Friday takes on a completely new meaning this year. Don’t skip the turkey to line up at your favorite store because you’ll be met with blacked out windows. For the first time in decades, major stores like Target, Walmart, and Macy’s will be closed on Thanksgiving in response to COVID-19. Instead, they are encouraging customers to shop online by advertising sweet deals throughout November and December.
What does this mean for your business? People are rushing to the searches for their holiday shopping. Ecommerce stores need to capitalize on this surge in online shopping and dip their toes in this pool of potential customers. With the right marketing strategy, you won’t have to sacrifice profit margins to compete against major retailers. Here are some tips to optimize your ecommerce brand for a two-month long Black Friday.
Save the Dessert for Last
It’s tempting to offer 50% off your product line to drive conversions, but it’s not sustainable. 37% was the average discount for Black Friday deals in 2019. A new alternative we’re seeing is spacing out your sales and creating a build up. This also helps operations and fulfillment to not overload orders in a single day. Start at 15% and work your way up to a target number your business can be lenient with. Alternatively, discount different product lines.
For example, a major baby retail store this year is advertising their “Black Friday” or “Holiday Sale” sale over a week long. Each day there are different products or product lines discounted, all leading up to a storewide discount on Friday (this discount is less than the individual product discounts to encourage shoppers to shop early).
The key is to create FOMO early on so customers feel like they’ll miss out on a great sale. Maybe for the first sale, they purchased a gift for someone else. They’ve had a chance to explore your product line and a few items caught their eye. When you introduce your second sale, they have strong brand awareness and will purchase items for themselves.
Being Social Pays Off
Paid social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram will be even more competitive. Branded ads have less than one second to make a positive impression on users. The creative asset needs to correlate with your product and purpose. If there’s too many words, users will automatically swipe past it. Include a concise caption to inform and lead potential customers to your landing page. Have a call to action and include a link to reduce the chances of users getting lost on their journey to your ecommerce site.
Here's a great example of reinforcing brand image, product placement, and a clear CTA:
Organic engagement with your normal posts boost your profile and increase exposure. A great way to increase organic engagement is with a contest. This fosters a positive brand image of a company caring about their loyal followers. It’s common for these social media contests to have 3 conditions for entry:
- Follow us on ______
- Like this post
- Comment/Tag a friend
Tip: You can encourage followers to share your posts on their stories by marking it as an additional entry. Posting on stories benefits both your business and follower. The story disappears in 24 hours without disrupting the user’s personal feed and will reach a wider audience. Even after the contest ends, users will keep following your business profile when they see sales posts.
Optimize Your Ecommerce Website
Anticipate a flux of new users on your website after publishing ad campaigns and social posts. Page speed is another deciding factor for visitors. If they feel like it’s taking too long to load, they’ll move on to your competitor’s site. Make sure to triple check your servers, CTA buttons, checkout process, and more before going live with the sales. A well-designed page feels intuitive and should be easy to navigate on every type of display screen. Check out our blog posts about top elements to include in your ecommerce web design and tips on website optimization for mobile devices.
Tip: Use an “abandoned cart” feature to track customers who haven’t completed the conversion. This will send an automated email reminding them about their items left at checkout. It’s not uncommon people are shopping while waiting for their coffee, in line for food, in between their children’s naps, etc. Oftentimes, they’ll revisit their cart and make the purchase at a more convenient time.
Abandoned Shopping Cart Notifications That Impress Us:
Create Opportunities to Stay Connected
You’ve worked hard to gain new customers so why would you ever want to lose them? Keep customers in your conversion loop by turning them into valued members of your brand. Email marketing is another avenue to keep customers updated with newsletters and product updates. Build up anticipation by giving them a sneak peak of your new product or upcoming promotion. This creates a sense of exclusivity that retains customers and even encourages them to get other friends to join in.
Tip: Always A/B test emails to determine the best performing email with high CTRs. A subject line makes a huge difference in open rates. It will also help in case specific words get flagged by email servers as spam.
Competitive Marketing Strategies Beyond Black Friday
We’re looking forward to seeing new marketing tactics this month and analyzing the performance metrics of big retailers. 2020 will definitely change the nature of online shopping and customer lifespan. As a trusted digital marketing company in San Diego, L7 Creative is on the forefront of marketing trends to help our clients stay ahead of the competition. Contact us today to optimize your ecommerce business from all aspects - branding, web design, and marketing strategy.