It’s official - Black Friday 2020 is exclusively online.
With many brick and mortar stores forced to close or operating at reduced hours, stock or capacity, Black Friday 2020 is set to be pivotal for online retailers.
Most eCommerce businesses over the last 6 months will have experienced interruptions in day-to-day operations.
This could have been anything from supply chain issues, unpredictable product demand, or a shift in audience behaviour to, unfortunately, a temporary or permanent store closure.
As a result, businesses may have gone into panic mode by cutting paid budgets, continuing business as usual in the fear of changing operations or even facing the situation at hand by launching campaigns/products to support the current climate.
Because of this, the whole communication balance is still up in the air. So any well-versed Black Friday campaigns and wider Q4 strategies need to be reviewed and reactive based on the uncertain landscape.
Below we’ve taken some quick wins we've found to have an impact for our clients over the last few years and adapted them to the current climate.
1. Use empathy in your communications
As festive shoppers move online, retailers need to cultivate and reflect the sense of humanity from the in-store experience into the eCommerce space.
This is where empathy can be one of your most powerful conversion tools.
Empathy will look different for different customers and at different points in their journey.
No two people are the same, so why should you expect generic messaging to work for all shoppers?
At each stage of the customer journey, you want to take the time to get to know your customers, to build customer empathy for them, and to understand what moves them.
This insight will help you create more meaningful personalisations for them, which will lead to more conversions.
2. Use data and AI
Adaptive strategies and the analysis and application of data, AI and market trends will be crucial for success over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period.
Data and machine learning have proven invaluable this year in helping eCommerce retailers make sense of evolving customer behaviour.
As retailers will not be able to rely on patterns of past years, they must instead identify and react to real-time trends extracted from data.
Using AI to turn these data-driven insights into personalised content and recommendations, retailers can navigate the final quarter of the year.
3. How are customers going to be engaging with your site?
What does your current user journey look like?
Does a customer enter your conversion funnel via a specific Black Friday pay-per-click ad or via an affiliate link? Perhaps think about putting together a dedicated landing page.
It’s a limited sales period - is your site search bringing back results quick enough? It might be time to start looking at a more advanced system specifically focused on providing quicker, smarter results.
4. Make sure your promotions are front and centre
So you’ve set up your promotional codes, your PPC ads are primed and your stock’s ready to go - now don’t forget to highlight your Black Friday promotions on your site.
It may seem obvious in hindsight, but effectively promoting your Black Friday offers across your site can easily be overlooked when undertaking can be such a mammoth task.
Clear and concise banner ads with your promotions front and centre are key but won’t cut it when displayed on your homepage alone.
This messaging needs to carry through your entire user journey and remain as relevant to that particular user as your current setup allows.
There’s a lot of noise during this period - think about pulse messaging, banners, pop-ups, product level imagery and anything else you can use to leverage your promotion and keep it on a visitor’s radar.
5. Don’t neglect your USPs
Your USPs are the essence of your business, your brand and, in-hand with your product offering, what makes your business special.
Once your promotions are up and running, it’s easy to let a headline promotion overshadow your individuality.
In a period when the competition is fierce and your margins are at their tightest, anything that’s going to differentiate your offering from the next is going to play a crucial role in your success - Black Friday and beyond.
Sometimes your usual USPs might not be compatible with time-limited discounts - but that doesn’t have to be a concession and can feed directly into a personalised, relevant email follow up sequence, especially after a timely spike in traffic.
6. Make the most of traffic spikes with on-point email follow up sequences
Of course, at this point, our main focus and reason for all efforts to this point are direct conversions.
It’s a big investment of both time and money, and immediacy of a sale is of the utmost concern.
That said, a conversion rate of 100% isn’t a realistic goal either.
Traffic which doesn’t hit as you want it to isn’t exactly a miss either - if you’re re-targeting it correctly.
By utilising follow-up email sequences properly, the surge in traffic you’re pulling through from a one-off event can re-inject visitors back into your conversion funnel.
Collecting email addresses at this point enables you to build your mailing lists and effectively use segments to ensure your follow-ups are relevant, full of up-to-date information and ultimately, of value to new and returning customers.
Prep your customer support channels
Only clear and structured is going to cut it.
Try and have somebody looking after chat and email channels during the period. If it’s not possible, ensure you have FAQs and other information onsite.
If you have anything specific that might affect service during the period - such as opening hours, delivery dates etc. - consider updating your on-site information to reflect this or at the very least, update your social channels with the relevant information. Make self serve the ultimate answer to every question.
Offer support across as many channels as possible - live chat is a great way to ensure you’re clearing up those pesky issues and miscommunications that lead to lost sales in an instant.
If you've found any of this helpful and would like a free run-through of other quick wins to grow your conversion rate and other customer engagement techniques, contact us on 01642 433 044 or email [email protected] for more information.