Not to make you panic, but Black Friday is mere weeks away! But don’t fret; it’s not too late for your business to capitalise on one of the calendar’s busiest shopping weekends.
We’ve put together a quick and easy guide to getting your business ready for Cyber Weekend, so you can get started on your digital marketing campaign without delay.
How to prepare your website for Black Friday from a UX perspective
Making sure your website has a smooth, clear path to purchase is essential for your Black Friday campaign. If a user has a negative experience on your site, they will leave without purchasing and move on to your competitors.
Ensure a clear and fast path to purchase
Customer attitudes are more frantic during Black Friday than they are on ordinary shopping days. They want to get in and get out again as quickly as possible, so it’s important to make sure there are no obstacles paving the way to your online checkout.
Black Friday is not the time to try and collect all the information you can about potential customers; users will not take kindly to having to register their details in order to make their purchase. It’s a good idea to remove the need to register during Cyber Weekend; this will create a quicker checkout process and give your users a speedier on-site experience.
It’s well worth considering a UX and CRO (conversion rate optimisation) test in the run up to Black Friday. This will help you identify any parts of your checkout process that could be temporarily removed as a means of speeding up the process for your customers and, more importantly, boosting your sales.
Use your homepage to draw attention to the sale
There’s little point in having a Black Friday sale if you don’t let people know about it on your website.
Shouting about your sale on your homepage will not only draw attention to it, but it will also provide a way for you to easily navigate users towards your sale products.
Eye-catching banners and compelling calls to action are an absolute must for your homepage during Cyber Weekend, as these are both effective ways to promote your sale.
If your promotion isn’t site-wide, you could even implement a temporary category in the top navigation bar, allowing users to easily find your sale stock.
Many businesses build up excitement and anticipation by including a countdown clock or timer to their site during sale periods. A timer also provokes a sense of urgency, compelling users to buy their chosen items before the sale ends.
(Example of Producer Loops 2017 Black Friday campaign)
The organic approach to Black Friday
Whilst organic SEO isn’t the main digital area when it comes to Black Friday campaigns, it does still play a part.
Set up a landing page ahead of Black Friday
Many eCommerce sites set up a Black Friday landing page several months in advance of the event, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set one up now if you haven’t already.
But why do I need one? I hear you ask.
One of the biggest benefits of getting a Black Friday page live ASAP is that it’ll give your customers the advantage of knowing that you’re having a sale beforehand; they may even have a sneak peek at your products before the promotion starts! But there’s a hidden organic agenda, too:
If your title tags and H1 tags are up and running well before Black Friday, it gives Google plenty of time to start indexing them. This means your page is more likely to rank in SERPs, meaning more visibility for your sale.
Dealing with out-of-stock products
Out of stock product pages are a common issue on eCommerce sites, and can be quite frustrating for users. Luckily, there are different ways to handle the problem.
Generally, if you know that your products will be coming back in stock, you need to be looking into your traffic and backlinks to help you determine what to do. If the pages have got backlinks pointing to them and are receiving a decent amount of traffic, you should be keeping them live on the site.
However, if your sale products aren’t due to come back in stock, you can either delete the pages (if they don’t have any backlinks or traffic coming their way) or, if the page performs well organically, you can add links to other products the customer might like based on the sold-out item. This is a preferable method if you want to keep users on your site (I mean, of course you do!), but a word of caution. The related item links need to be above the fold, otherwise your customer is likely to see the words ‘Out of Stock’ and leave straight away. Placing links where the user can see them will increase the likelihood of them staying on the site and potentially buying another product.
Preparing your advertising strategy across paid search and social media
Amend your PPC ad copy
As Black Friday approaches, you’ll need to think about adjusting your paid search campaigns. During Cyber Weekend, competition is going to be fierce, so you should be prepared to bid more aggressively to promote your sale items.
Of course, your ad copy should mention Black Friday deals to target those actively searching for deals, and include strong calls to action to draw them in.
Use your social channels to boost your brand
It goes without saying that you’ll need to employ remarketing tactics to grab those users who have already visited your site and have looked at certain products, but not converted. Using a remarketing tool will allow you to tell these users that the products they like are on sale for a limited time only, giving them a push to purchase.
As well as remarketing, you should also be using your social media channels to promote awareness of your Black Friday deals at the earliest opportunity. This can be done by adding a header to your Facebook or Twitter profiles that broadcasts your sale, and creating a Black Friday event that you can invite your page audience to.
Excellent examples of Black Friday marketing
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to Black Friday is standing out from the crowd. Pretty much every brand has got a sale on, so what can you do to make yours different? Here are some of our favourite Black Friday campaigns to give you a couple of ideas:
Pieminister: Black Pieday
UK pie chain Pieminister chose to up their Black Friday game in 2016 by opening up pop-up shops across the country, and giving away surplus stock in return for donations to homeless charity Shelter.
This was a great way to monetise stock that would otherwise have gone to waste, and the brand raised £3,600 for the charity.
Very.co.uk: Digital Shopfronts
Very.co.uk operates solely online, so they needed to come up with a campaign that would tap into the £600m in sales that would take place on the high street in 2017.
Their Black Friday campaign involved creating a presence on shopping streets in the UK, despite not having any physical stores. This was done through outdoor ads acting as ‘digital shop fronts’.
These ads, displayed on roadside digital 6-sheets, were powered via real-time data based on sales, search, audience and location. This meant that they were updated throughout the day based on stock levels and competitor pricing. This was an effective way of getting high street shoppers to shop online and take advantage of Very’s deals.
Does Black Friday planning still have you feeling overwhelmed? Then you need to download our FREE guide to last-minute Black Friday preparation! Get it here and make sure you don’t miss out on huge revenue opportunities this Cyber Weekend.