Like pretty much everything else that has happened so far in 2020, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to look a bit different this year. When we think of Black Friday, we imagine bustling crowds swarming into shops and busy customers, battling to bag a bargain. This year, however, 70 per cent of consumers say that they’re not planning on returning to physical shops for the foreseeable future. This means retailers need to take an online-first approach to Black Friday. 

Pre-Christmas sale season has long been a crucial time for all types of businesses. But this year, there’s more riding on getting your strategy right than ever before. Thankfully, consumers are likely to be engaging with Black Friday more than ever this year. With the financial turmoil and uncertainty we’ve all been through in 2020, making the most of available discounts is a must. 

So, whether you’re selling tech equipment, furniture, dresses, or pretty much any range of products this Black Friday, it’s time to perfect your e-commerce strategy. Capitalise on the annual event as much as possible!

Here are our expert tips:

1. Put all your efforts online

It simply cannot be stressed enough. Even before the pandemic struck and pretty much everything moved online, e-commerce was taking over from the in-person shopping experience. Since the beginning of the pandemic, online shopping spend has increased by 59 per cent compared to this time last year. If this trend is anything to go by, this year’s Black Friday could break e-commerce records. 

Forget prioritising your in-store promotions—this year, it’s all happening online

2. Perfect your email marketing 

On the run-up to the Black Friday weekend, your email marketing is a crucial tool. Through email marketing, you can make sure that your customers are always in the loop with your offers. As many shoppers start bookmarking Black Friday deals as early on as October, it’s never too early to start pushing out your offers via email. 

3. Try an automation tool to stand out 

Ensure that your ads are seen by as many people within your target audience as possible (at the prime time) by using a data feed automation tool such as Channel or Funnel. Data automation tools will give you an edge and ensure that your ads don’t go unnoticed by a crucial customer. 

4. Put a referral program in place

The majority of consumers put a lot of faith in recommendations—they are undoubtedly one of the most trusted forms of advertising at your disposal. By setting up a referral program, you’ll be driving brand loyalty before you know it. 

6. Try out a flash sale 

Nothing creates pre-Black Friday excitement and anticipation quite like a flash sale. By flash sale, we mean a short-term promotion period that takes place before the big Black Friday weekend—whether it be a few hours or a few days before the event. 

Studies have shown that flash sales can increase conversion rates by up to 50 per cent, so it’s definitely worth giving this method a go!

7. Social media promotion

If you’re not already boosting your Black Friday promotions on social media, then start now! Your social media strategy is key during sales season, and with so many other Black Friday promotions out there, you need to create some social media posts that really stand out against the noise. 

9. Add a countdown timer

On Black Friday, customer indecision can all too often be your downfall. So it doesn’t hurt to give them a nudge in the right direction! Studies have found that 94 per cent of online consumers take the time to find the cheapest version of the product they’re looking for. This practice can add an additional 30 minutes of comparison shopping onto the transaction before the customer comes to a final decision. If you add countdown timers to your products, you’re encouraging your customer to speed up the process and close the sale then and there. 

With a sophisticated strategy in place, there are no limits to your Black Friday success. Customers deserve to enjoy some great discounts more than ever this year, so it’s up to you to deliver that much-needed online retail therapy!