eCommerce | November 18, 2019
Retail Experts Share Alternative Black Friday Tips.
It’s typically around this time of year that we share our Black Friday Guide full of hints and tips to prepare, smash and review the biggest shopping event in the UK calendar.
But this year, rather than solely offer up best practice digital tactics we sought out alternative advice to provide a full account of business considerations before the big day – or rather, week – to give you a helping hand in all of your omnichannel touchpoints.
Black Friday statistics
- Brits plan to spend an estimated £7 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases this year alone (finder.com)
- 62% of Brits plan on taking part (finder.com)
- 37% of Brits have deferred dropping pounds on clothing, electronics, major appliances and furniture until the release of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals (finder.com)
- 67% of all discounts offered in 2018 were introduced between the Monday and Thursday leading up to Black Friday – a 17% increase from 2017. (retail-assist.co.uk)
- 50.4 % of females being Black Friday shoppers and 45.1% being males. (muchneeded.com)
Are you prepared?
“Black Friday is one of the most competitive events of the year, and brands can’t afford to serve irrelevant ads if they want to maximise conversions. In 2018, while footfall in shops dropped by 5.4% on November 28 compared to 2017, online sales skyrocketed by 46%. This isn’t so great for the high street, but it offers a huge opportunity for retailers and their digital advertising efforts” says COO Maxime Chevallon, COO of Adcash.
“To take full advantage, brands need to alter their approach in the lead up to Black Friday and consider different ways they can reach consumers far beyond just their personal information. For example, clustering users by location, time zone and ever their interests, rather than targeting individual fingerprints and cookies can help brands to cut through the noise and reach the right consumers with the most relevant deals to get the upper hand over competition.”
Get the most out of your advertising by following our advanced audiences guide, covering all the options available to advertisers within Google Ads.
With this in mind, make sure you spend time preparing your Shopping feed. If you already know your sales prices, input them now under ‘sale price’ with Black Friday’s date. They will automatically update in Google in-time-for and after the event. Remember, Black Friday runs through to Cyber Monday; though CommerceHub research has found that 75% of 2018 holiday shoppers started their shopping on or before Black Friday… Can you meet the demands of delivery and fulfillment?
The trend of stretching sales event periods is also reflected in Amazon’s move to make this year’s Prime Day a full 48 hours. This shift demonstrates the need for retailers to spread the availability of stock and capability to deliver over a longer period of high demand leading up to Black Friday and into the Christmas period.
Philip Hall, Managing Director Europe for CommerceHub shares “It’s certainly a time of year when internal warehousing and carrier networks are pushed to their limits, with 60% of customers saying they had experienced a delay in receiving products. Retailers need to create greater agility in their networks and better harness the capacity of their trading partners through direct-to-consumer options like drop shipping. By utilising drop shipping, retailers can ease the pressure on their internal supply chain, creating a better shopping experience for the customer, reducing failures and building brand loyalty.
Additionally, retailers need to consider the different buying habits of different consumer demographics when using targeted campaigns. For example, Generation Z and Millennials have more confidence that their deliveries will arrive on-time and are prepared to wait until the event is upon them, which is not the case for most older consumers. Retailers must account for stark differences like this to stay competitive, and great partners can help.”
If you foresee delivery schedules becoming an issue for you, consider putting a customer service aid in place. Claire Smith, Head of Business Development, at Moneypenny shares her thoughts on the importance of resourcing your call answering.
“First and foremost, it’s essential that your business has the capacity to deal with the demands of Black Friday. Most sales will occur online or in-store but don’t ignore the fact that you will undoubtedly receive more calls on Black Friday.
A wonderful website with great offers but no way to follow up on enquiries is giving away business to your competitors. It’s like having a lovely and very inviting shop but no salespeople in there. We have found that 69% of callers won’t leave a voicemail so you need to ensure you are staffed to deal with the surge in enquiries. Moneypenny has found that 65% of web visitors prefer to contact a business over the phone over an online contact form, while 75% of consumers say the phone is the best way to get a response.”
However, 40% of consumers do not care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they are getting the help they need (invespcro.com), therefore installing a chatbot for customer support could be an alternative option.
Making sure your discounted pricing works for you
Everyone’s inbox is bombarded with offers, so ensuring it’s your offer that is spotted is critical.
Erica Wolfe-Murray, leading business expert and founder of Lola Media has some advice, “Be different – yes of course it’s obvious, but think about your own inbox last year… which communication really knocked your socks off? And why? Your customers are no different.Gamify your offer – participation adds dwell time, makes sites sticky, the longer they play – the greater the offer, opportunity, discount they can win. And it stops them visiting other sites whilst they are playing yours too.”
She adds, “Discounting doesn’t always pay – discounting can put you in a race to the bottom which you won’t win. Think about value-add offers. However, use your data- What behavioural models can you extract from your data that show add-on purchases for sale items? Add these to your offer. This could raise basket values. And consider a collaboration with another brand – by collaborating with an aligned brand, you can develop a richer Black Friday offer and gain the benefit of adding an audience. Simple and smart.”
And whilst nailing your discount amount in advance is important, equally essential is setting aside a budget for the increased spending period.
We suggest figuring out your return-on-advertising-spend goals. ROAS is usually based on profit margins and is normally the most important metric to keep an eye on as it will be the foundation of your bidding strategy and pricing model. Examine search impression share from last year to help you decide on budget distribution for this year’s Black Friday.
Looking at your search impression share within your search and shopping campaigns will give you a good idea as to how many searches there have been for your products. It will also give you an idea of how often your ads are shown in comparison to the number of auctions it could have participated in, and how often your ads show over your competitors’. Based on this information, you can increase your bids or total advertising budget.
For more hints and tips specific to digital marketing, check out our Black Friday Guide from 2018. Whilst it’s a year old, the hints and tips are still highly relevant.
Left things to last minute?
Virginia Rizzi, Performance Marketing Manager at Glass Digital has some advice.
“While it’s a good idea to plan your Black Friday affiliate marketing strategy well in advance, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a piece of the action last-minute.
On cashback sites, while you will need to pay a huge fee to secure a prominent position, you can beat the competition and generate a good level of conversions by offering a competitive commission rate. Customers are increasingly savvy and willing to go hunting for the best deals.
If you have old stock that’s being discontinued, this provides the perfect opportunity to offer a great discount without compromising too much on potential profits.
One huge benefit of setting up a marketing campaign last-minute is that can you can make sure it’s bang up to date. Take advantage of the opportunity by tailoring your audience targeting, messaging and product selection in line with the latest news and weather.”