7 Tips for Businesses to Make the Most of Black Friday

The countdown to every shopper’s favourite day of the year has begun. Next week is the annual day of savings, spending and (for anyone on the retail side of things) stressing. Originating from America, Black Friday falls on the day after their celebration of Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the Christmas season. The holiday was brought across the pond in 2010 by online retailer Amazon, and it’s safe to say that it’s been gaining traction ever since. Last year, shoppers spent £1.4 billion in online sales on Black Friday, up 11.7% since 2016. With such high volumes of people looking to spend their money, it’s absolutely vital that marketers are prepared for the influx of customers and have their websites optimised to accommodate such traffic. To help you prepare, we’ve created our 7 tips for making the most of Black Friday.

Make sure that your site is in order
An obvious but important place to start. Any and all potential customers will have to come through your website in order to make a purchase, so ensure that your site’s servers are ready to handle a large volume of traffic. Optimise your site layout to make the customer’s online journey easy and clear, create landing pages to help direct visitors from your social and email channels and resolve any 404 error pages before the big day. Slow and crashing websites and dead-end pages are definitely not conducive to sales.

Review last year's performance
Learn from your mistakes (or successes), and analyse what worked or didn’t from 2017. Use these findings and apply them to your strategy this year. If paid ads helped to create a lot of conversions, make sure that you have plenty of budget behind your paid ads this year ahead of next Friday.

Find the Email sweet-spot
Email marketing is a powerful tool to drive sales, so you will be missing out if you don’t take advantage of sending out newsletters in the lead up to Black Friday. Start off with a reminder email a week or so before to build awareness, and definitely get a follow up email scheduled for on the day. Some retailers (ASOS, we’re looking at you) have a tendency to get a bit spammy with the Black Friday emails, but they have the discounts to back them up. Which leads onto another email marketing tip - make sure you’ve got your discount codes ready to go and split test everything. Show them off in your emails as a reminder of what people can stand to save.

Know your market
In order to cater to your customers, you must think like them. Find out how your market responds best in terms of how offers are delivered. What would they be most responsive to? What copy generates the best engagement? How can you deliver a campaign to create the most conversions? For example, the way you phrase certain offers can have a psychological effect on the way customers read them. If you use “was/now” pricing or a percentage off deal, customers may be more inclined to buy into your offer. Be transparent and show shoppers exactly how much they are saving. Another way to entice shoppers is by giving them sneak peeks at what might be coming up on Black Friday. Whet their appetite prior to the big day to raise awareness and get them hooked. Also, why not consider adding a countdown in your ads?

Keywords are key
Make the most of keyword research tools to find out what people are searching for. Using websites like answerthepublic.com or the Keyword Magic Tool on SEMrush, will give you real time results of what type of keywords you should be ranking for in order to drive the most traffic to your site. Try and find longer tail keywords as this will generally generate higher conversions. For example, a search for “women’s jeans” will generate a lot of search volume as people browse for ideas, but there will probably be fewer conversions from that search. On the other hand, a search for “black women’s skinny jeans size 10” may be more specific and will see a lot less volume, but the conversion rate will be a lot higher than the more broad “women’s jeans” keyword. Remember, it’s quality not quantity.

Black Friday has gone mobile
Desktops are dead and they’re not coming back. While it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what time is best to target shoppers on Black Friday, one thing can be certain - shoppers will most likely be using their mobile devices to spend their hard earned cash. Make sure that your site is mobile friendly, that your product and category pages are optimised, that you’ve got mobile targeted ads set up and that you’ve made any mobile bid adjustments. If you have a mobile app, even better! Mobile apps make for a more personal and responsive experience, and studies have shown that mobile app users are more loyal than mobile web users, so be sure to drive downloads and get users shopping on your app. Make the most of push notifications to remind mobile users exactly what deals you have and when they are available.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again
Lastly, don’t neglect the power of remarketing. Whilst driving new customers is important, remember those who are already familiar, or loyal, to your brand. Shoppers tend to scope out what they want in the run up to Black Friday, so why not reward them for their patience. Increase your bids for these users and they will give you their business in exchange.

Black Friday proves to be a huge opportunity every year for driving sales and bringing in revenue, so follow our tips to check that you’re maximising your potential next Friday or learn from our Black Friday Agony Aunt.

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