Is Your Brand Black Friday Ready?

Is Your Brand Black Friday-Ready as We Emerge from Covid?

Last year, Black Friday fell just a few weeks after the start of the second UK national lockdown, announced on November 5. Clearly, this had numerous far-reaching impacts and the main one for retail was that shops were forced to remain closed on and in the run-up to Black Friday, moving things entirely online.

Originating in the US, Black Friday is the annual shopping spree and discount bonanza which happens the day after Thanksgiving, i.e. the fourth Friday in November. This year, it takes place on November 26. It precedes Cyber Monday, which traditionally has focused on deals on tech goods.

With Covid restrictions eased, things could look rather different in 2021 and, barring any unexpected last-minute winter lockdowns, customers will, of course, be able to shop in person. However, with many shoppers remaining cautious and reluctant to join town-centre crowds, this year is unlikely to be quite the same as previous ones. Retail footfall in the UK dropped by 16.8% in September from a couple of years previously, according to fresh data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). So virtual browsing is not going anywhere.

Indeed, figures from industry website The Drum shows:

  • Only one in three (33% of) adults plans to spend on the Black Friday sales
  • Two-thirds (66%) said they planned to do all their shopping online

Bearing in mind that one if four of all UK retail sales is now made over the web, that second figure should not seem astonishing. Here are some ways in which you can rise to the challenges of running a web-based Black Friday campaign, which can seem tricky given that you need to recreate the demand and fully immersive excitement of an in-store Black Friday campaign over the internet.

You also need to strike a delicate balance between pushing sales too lightly or too hard, while converting Black Friday visitors to your site into returning customers. Equally, you need to ensure that any spikes in sales are lasting and not short-lived, especially since so many are still recovering from the pandemic’s economic impacts.

All of which means it’s never been more important to have the right strategies and tools in place to meet the various challenges – and enjoy the results long after Black Friday itself has been and gone.

Here are our top tips:

  • Getting personal

Blanket discounts for a Black Friday event are unlikely to have universal appeal. Segment your customers according to all that you know about them – personal information, average order value, how often they typically buy from you, geographical location – and target accordingly.

  • Go for a longer campaign

Rather than creating a PPC campaign just focusing on the day itself and facing all the resulting competition, extend the drive for a week or even a fortnight. Plan which specific products you wish to focus on and create ads reflecting this. It would also be wise to create a bespoke Black Friday landing page for these ads to direct to.

In addition to this, don’t forget to incentivise repeat purchases to make it more likely that people will shop with you again and keep coming back, even after your promotion is over – perhaps for Christmas shopping. Adding a Black Friday ad extension to your campaign is another great way to raise awareness.

  • Online bundles

In a real store, shoppers are likelier to make an impulsive purchase as something catches their eye while they wait to pay. Don’t miss out on this extra revenue just because you are selling online.

One technique is to offer exclusive online bundles for Black Friday. Which of your products can you add together, at a discount, so that people don’t just buy one specific item? Promote them everywhere, from your home page to the checkout.

  • Be prepared: with delivery and supply chain

Slow delivery is clearly going to damage your brand, so be prepared. Have enough stock to meet demand and ensure all the right delivery systems are in place. Click-and-collect can be very efficient and gets customers in to your store, for example, but it needs to work smoothly. Your website also needs to be able to handle a potentially far higher number of visitors. Run tests in plenty of time to be sure.

  • Drive referrals

Think about how you can do this for long-lasting results. A friend’s recommendation will predispose a customer to liking your brand. Referred shoppers tend to spend more, come back and refer their own friends.

  • Get the right engagement message

Encourage particular actions in return for a reward. These could include giving feedback for a future 10% off, or a free gift for signing up to a newsletter, or a tenner off for someone making a repeat purchase within a fortnight.

We can help

Front Page Advantage has helped create and improve Black Friday digital marketing campaigns for years. Talk to us about your brand so that you make the most of this potentially lucrative annual event.