Black Friday deals were not invented by marketers. In the second half of the last century, they simply noticed that a month before Christmas, people began to get ready for the holiday, causing large-scale traffic jams around market areas on Friday nights. So entrepreneurs started to leverage this shopping tradition to drive sales.
In this post, we share ideas on how to sell more and build long-lasting relationships with Black Friday shoppers. Get new tips on how to do so well after the sales season is over in challenging 2020. Time-tested marketing strategies and the latest trends are included.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020: Key Facts
Black Friday — November 27th
Small Biz Saturday — November 28th
Cyber Monday — November 30th
Giving Tuesday — December 1st
Black Friday is a phenomenon born in the USA in the late 60s. This name was used for the Friday that comes after Thanksgiving and marks the start of the last holiday sales season of the year. The ‘black’ characteristic was first used in Philadelphia to describe the terrible Friday traffic jams around shopping malls after Thanksgiving.
At the end of the 20th century, the term ‘Black Friday’ received a poetic interpretation: on this day, entrepreneurs may move ‘into the black’ (become profitable) instead of being ‘in the red’ (have a negative balance).
In 2019, Americans spent over $330 per person between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, and every third person preferred brick-and-mortar stores only. The rest chose to shop both offline and online.
And what is Cyber Monday? It is a relatively young phenomenon (the term was coined in 2005) and is a reflection of Black Friday in the eCommerce world. Cyber Monday comes on the third day after Black Friday and marks the start of the online holiday sales. Why is it Monday? According to the marketing legend, this day was created for office employees who could continue making purchases at work.
In 2019, Internet users from the US spent over $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday and there was a 31.4% year-on-year growth compared to the previous year. This year, the growth index is expected to become even bigger.
An important detail to keep in mind: neither Black Friday nor Cyber Monday is the peak of Christmas sales. This is just the first day of a three-week shopping period!
Moreover, in 2020, the world’s biggest retailers decided to change the ‘one-day-sale’ concept to avoid COVID-19 spreading in shopping malls. That’s why the Black Friday period will last in Walmart for 3 weeks and the company encourages shoppers to use the Walmart app to decide on items they want to buy.
However, most of the goods and services in the US and Europe are bought from December 5th to 15th. That’s why Black Friday marketing is not about driving sales, but about hooking new clients to build a strong relationship with them in the future.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Tips for 2020
#1 Make sure you are ready to meet MORE clients
The advantage of the post-Thanksgiving period is that it is a global shopping tradition.
You may not invest in advertising and your Black Friday ideas development, and there will still be more visitors than usual to your store or website on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. People are used to buying something on these days and will look for interesting items in your catalog. Your task is to welcome customers and provide them with an enjoyable shopping experience. Here’s a small checklist:
— Check your website bandwidth and consider it while promoting your platform.
— Make sure the catalog section works correctly.
— Add relevant info about your business to your site and social media pages.
— Update product cards and add more images.
— Update the review section.
— Test major site features (‘Buy’, ‘Search’, and ‘Contact us’).
— Make sure you offer realistic delivery times.
Use a similar checklist for your offline store: update and test your site and then look at your store from a client’s perspective. Answer the question of whether everything in your store is clear to a new visitor and if products and price tags are clearly visible to them.
More tips for marketers find here — 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Survival Guide.
#2 Decide on your Black Friday deals
As a rule, a stable and successful business is not built on a ‘low price’ competitive advantage only. And while Black Friday is the day when people will hunt for low prices (or so they think), marketers rarely aim to sell more only on this day. Your side goal influences what you need to offer your clients on Black Friday. Here are several options:
— Get rid of products in your storage
What to offer: secret product bundles at an exclusive price, thematic packs, express sales, and a gift for every purchase.
— Introduce your brand to a wide audience
What to offer: your most successful, exclusive, and popular product at an incredibly competitive price, a bonus card for a friend, and a referral program.
— Strengthen relationships with clients
What to offer: special personalized offers for your customers as well as discount coupons.
— Collect reviews
What to offer: discount on top-end products, free shipping, or extended guarantee agreements.
— Raise the average sales check
What to offer: companion products at a special price.
— Collect contacts
What to offer: a personalized discount or free shipping in exchange for customer contacts.
— Promote big ideas
What to offer: a new way of interaction with your brand (check out IKEA ads on Flack Friday 2020: IKEA is Buying Back Old Furniture on Black Friday).
You can add your ideas to this list. Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve, you can move on to creating your Black Friday campaign.
You can also create several offers. If you want to reach multiple segments of your target audience, work in multiple directions. Read A Procrastinator’s Guide to Black Friday and Cyber Monday if you don’t have much time to polish up your offers. Simply pick the one from the list given there!
#3 Choose channels to communicate your Black Friday ideas
You now have your Black Friday offer concept. Let’s say you’ve decided that you need to broaden your audience, so you’ve chosen the best-selling product in your store and decided to offer an 80% discount on it. The special price is valid for 24 hours. What to do next?
Make a list of all communication channels that connect you with your audience (including informal and indirect ones) and think about what you need to do to communicate your offer to them. Here is a list of the most popular communication channels in 2020:
You need: banners, product page, publication in the ‘News’ section.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and etc.
You need: content plans, visuals, and texts describing your offer for each platform.
Go to this article to learn more about social media and your audience behavior there — Facebook Insights for the Holiday Season and a Quick Marketing Checklist.
You need: text of letters, letter template.
Influencers, bloggers, and magazines
You need: contact your partners, create a set of branded visuals (banners, logos, images of products).
Online and offline advertising
You need: create promotional materials and pay for their rotation.
Word of mouth
You need: an idea of how to motivate your customers and other people to spread the word about your offer among friends and colleagues (how to make your offer go viral).
At this stage, you need to think of your capabilities. Each of these channels’ maintenance requires money. And if you attract too many clients, your server might fail. Estimate how many customers you can get by investing in promoting your offer in different ways and invest where it is more profitable.
An intuitive template-based graphic editor Crello (by Depositphotos) will save your time and budget on the production of visuals and promo materials.
Omnichannel is the solution for those who plan to make the most of their advertising budget for Black Friday. Make your posts and promo materials for various platforms complement each other. Explore 7 Early Black Friday Marketing Strategies for 2019 to get inspired with some more campaign ideas.
#4 Design a better customer flow
Black Friday promotions are commonly created with the goal of increasing traffic to your marketing platform (or increasing the number of visitors to your brick-and-mortar store). For your campaign to be effective, your next step should be to improve your client flow. In other words, you need to make sure that the conversion of visitors to buyers becomes higher. Here are some tricks:
— Add visuals that direct users to product pages.
— Create a Black Friday gift guide (mini catalog with products at a special price and convenient navigation if you work online).
— Fewer transitions between website pages (ideal: a user clicks on a banner and immediately gets an opportunity to buy a product).
— Remove unnecessary information from your pages, and leave only what really interests your visitor in the process of making a purchase decision.
— Emphasis on the ‘Buy’ button.
— Integrate convenient payment services.
— Add more reviews.
— Create Black Friday upsell options.
The main idea behind polishing up the user flow is that you make your site as user-friendly as possible, and also reduce the time for making a purchase decision. The faster your users buy and then leave the site, the lower the risk of site crashes due to Black Friday traffic surges.
#5 Create your own timeframes
It is generally accepted that offers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday last one day. However, this is not quite true. Historically, Black Friday is the first day of holiday sales that lasts until Christmas and the peak demand for goods and services occurs only in mid-December.
Why does everyone go crazy about Black Friday marketing? Because on this day, customers have the opportunity to buy at an exclusive price the best products that are in limited supply in the store. The rarer the product and the more attractive the price, the shorter the sale lasts.
Marketers have also come to the opposite conclusion: the less time you give a customer to make a purchase decision, the greater the hype. And here are some ideas for timelines for your promotional offers:
— Early sales that last till Christmas (see Walmart’s Black Friday strategy of 2020).
— Sale starts on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) and ends when the last item is sold.
— Special price for items from Black Friday to next Friday.
— The promotion is valid 24 hours.
— You follow the topic of the day: Friday for extremely low prices, Saturday for local and small brands, Monday for online sales, and Giving Tuesday for charity.
— Flash sales (Deals of an Hour): the sale lasts 24 hours, but every hour (or another number of hours) promotional positions are updated.
We do not recommend that you mix up the timing concepts for your promotions, as this approach may confuse users.
#6 Think of others who are in need
Giving Tuesday is the day when valuable presets are sent to charitable organizations or directly to those in need. Such charity can be of any nature and will only be a plus to your reputation. However, you can integrate the charity aspect into your main campaigns for Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
— Charity donation as a part of the price
Become a partner with a charity organization that works in an area close to your business. Let your customers know that by shopping in your store they also make the world better (for example, thanks to them, 10,000 more trees appear on our plan every year).
— An option to buy something for others
Perhaps someone in this world needs your product, but can’t afford it. This concept works for charity if you’re making essential goods, but you can get creative as well. The essence of this approach is that you offer customers to purchase goods for another person in need.
— Double donations made by clients
The two previous options go well with this. To stimulate interest in your charitable offer and strengthen your reputation, you can promise clients that you will double their charitable contribution and pass it on.
#7 Tone of voice, style, and Black Friday hashtags 2020
Above, we considered the conceptual side of things for your Black Friday offer. Here we would like to highlight a more practical question: how to best communicate your offer in 2020, Here are some ideas:
— Use hashtags
Black Friday: #blackfriday #blackfriday2020 #blackfridaysale #blackfridaydeals
Cyber Monday: #cybermonday #cybermonday2020 #blackfridaydeals #shopping
Also, add some regional and product hashtags to your Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter hashtags list. Use hashtag monitoring tools to increase your posts reach. For Facebook and your website, it’s best to use keywords (not hashtags) related to Black Friday and your business.
— Emphasis on small business, humane production, and ecology
These topics were the hottest this year and they have a chance to increase audience loyalty to your offers. But be careful: if you say that some of your products are environmentally-friendly, you must confirm this with certification.
— Not COVID-19 manipulation, but real benefits
The benefits of your product may not be directly related to the global pandemic and lockdown, which began to tighten this fall. Think about the use cases of your product in 2020 and communicate these life hacks, warming up the audience’s interest on the eve of Black Friday.
— Opt for interactive forms and alternative tools
In 2020, ask your customers online for their opinion more often. Moreover, before Black Friday, you can ask what products they want to get a discount on. Publish testimonials across all your communication platforms and invest in video reviews. And if you manage an offline business, go online for this occasion: help people spend less time in your store by letting them choose goods in advance using your Instagram.
Black Friday is the first day of the pre-Christmas sales marathon. For shoppers, this is an opportunity to buy the best products at the lowest price of the year, and for retailers, it is a chance to make their warehouses empty and establish relationships with a significant number of new customers.
In its turn, Cyber Monday is the day of the lowest prices on the internet. And this year, it is likely to generate more profit for the business in 2020 than Black Friday.
For you to successfully kick off your holiday sales season, we recommend that you pay attention to aspects such as the strategic goal of your Back Friday campaign, marketing budget, and your audience insights. Read our article on ‘How to Get Started on Holiday Marketing Campaigns’ if you are working on your first Black Friday deals.
Keep in mind that there is Small Biz Saturday which is coming after Black Friday as well as Giving Tuesday that comes after Cyber Monday. Use them while developing your Black Friday marketing strategy to boost your sales and increase customer loyalty even more.
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