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How to play to your strengths on Black Friday and win

Black Friday will be different this year due to the affects of the Coronavirus pandemic. We've seen retailers review whether Black Friday sales would go ahead and many looking at ways to safely mitigate the frenzy that happens in-store.

The opportunity for brands to still win big when Black Friday comes around is substantial. Since the pandemic began there has been a near 75% increase in online shopping and this is where many businesses are now focusing for their strategies.

Black Friday was once simply referring to the first day of the holiday shopping season in the US, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday as we now know it is well ingrained into the customer psyche and consumers are ready to spend money on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the US, Black Friday spending hit $717.5 billion last year, with the average consumer parting with $1000 dollars. UK spending across both Black Friday and Cyber Monday was over £7 million.

For retailers trying to compete with the biggest players when it comes to offering the best sales, deals and offers it can’t be about a race to the bottom. Taking on bigger retailers and attempting to beat them on price can see smaller retailers going too low on discounts. That strategy simply makes it too hard to compete.

For smaller retailers you need to get creative and really play to your strengths on Black Friday.

1. Start planning well in advance and get your communication up to scratch

Nearly half of shoppers will start looking for deals around a month before Black Friday, meaning you need to start planning well in advance. Who knows, with the boredom that has befallen many this year they may have had their eyes on something for a while and are just waiting for the best presented deal.

Email is an essential tactic at this early stage, meaning it’s important to promote your newsletter to get as many people signed up early. Start off by sending your emails to let your customers know how you are operating Black Friday this year, is there are in-store activity and is it limited or is it all online? Tell them what sales will be live over Black Friday and then begin to send deal alerts as the day approaches.

Importantly, to stand out from the crowd, your messaging needs to catch the attention, as well as your deals. This is where you can play on the strengths of your brand personality. Tailored and personalised emails are also crucial here along with being relevant to the times.

2. Use previous performance to define the customers that are of the most value to your business

What does your sales data tell you about last year’s Black Friday performance? Which customers were purchasing from you and what did they buy? How did your campaigns perform and who was visiting your site?

To be able to effectively target the right customers you need to have a detailed understanding of who they are and their potential worth to your bottom line. Use all possible data points to define the customers that represent the most value to your business at this time of year, from your website analytics, campaign reporting and sales data.

Access whether the defined customers still ring true for this year. Dependant on your goals and objectives the focus may have changed in the short-term.

3. Get your Retargeting right (and stand out)

Retargeting is essential to re-engage with already interested users at this critical time for your business. It’s vital to segment your audience and retarget them with tailored messages in line with their intent. Product Retargeting is absolutely fundamental here.

As is the look and feel of your ad. When you can’t always compete with the big retailers by slashing your prices, you need to do something else to stand out. The design of your ad has to illustrate your products in the best possible way whilst ensuring that your brand is instantly recognisable. It will also need to be done at scale across your entire inventory of products.

4. Go after abandoned carts with stand-out messaging

With so many retailers pushing multiple deals amid the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, it’s a given that users will leave products abandoned in their baskets.

Again Retargeting is vital to re-engage with these users, as is the option of an abandoned cart email series. To get it right however, you need to ensure the process is optimised and promises personalisation and a tailored message.

The tone of your copy and message has to jump out. You don’t have to have the biggest budget to come up with winning creative ideas and hooks. This is your opportunity to really compete with the bigger retailers.

5. Be tactical with your bricks and mortar locations

Cyber Monday is all about online shopping, Black Friday still has its roots in bricks and mortar retail. Will that ring true in 2020? We don’t think so, we suspect many will switch to an online shopping experience to avoid the risks from further restrictions and the additional pressures of operation. 

Businesses that have an in-store offering need their digital advertising, website and physical stores all working together, as click and collect always enjoys an uptake over this weekend.

There is the opportunity to engage with users on their mobile devices as they’re out and about shopping on Black Friday and over the Thanksgiving weekend. The opportunity presents itself, as they will still be checking online when in stores and from location to location. Geofencing creates your ideal opportunity to do this and play to your strengths on Black Friday. With the right messaging and offers you can even gain an advantage over the competition with a strategically placed geofence.

6. Make creative use of limited time windows

Customers aren’t afraid to act fast when it comes to parting with their cash over Black Friday. When a deal is right and they only have a limited time to make the most of it, they will move quickly rather than lose out.

Using the likes of temporary sales and temporary shopping codes will help create a sense of urgency and assist with increasing your conversions. This can be enhanced through your creative to further illustrate the limited time that is running out.

As Black Friday shifts to online check out our tips for Cyber Monday and how they can be used to boost your Black Friday sales.

To learn more about the solutions for ecommerce retailers available from Fluid Ads, contact us to see how we can help you play to your strengths on Black Friday with a strategy up to scratch. 


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