Your last-minute guide to getting your eCommerce brand ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Black Friday weekend is one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, with Statista reporting that consumers in the UK spent a record £9.42 billion in 2022. Consumers have come to expect strong discounts and offers throughout this period, with many looking to take advantage of sales to kickstart Christmas shopping.
Yet with so many ecommerce brands competing to capture the attention of consumers, how can businesses prepare to capitalise on the opportunity that Black Friday presents?
With Black Friday just around the corner and the festive period right on its heels, our expert team has shared their last-minute top tips to ensure each of your digital channels are prepared for the busiest ecommerce weekend of the year.
Daisy Wolfenden, Managing Director
1. Keep in contact
In the final run up to Black Friday you need to be in fairly constant communications with your audience. Your customers need to be aware of what’s coming to them, whether you already have sales live and are teasing more or you’re still building up to your Black Friday deals.
2. Don’t jump straight into sales
Ahead of time you should have been doing some awareness campaigns, building out your emails and leads; don’t push “BUY NOW” messaging too early or you run the risk of annoying your audience who might be shopping around for the best deal.
3. Give your best user experience
This is your chance to not only get new customers, but also create brand advocates and repeat customers. Ensure your customer service and social media teams are ready for the influx.
If you take all the steps to make sure that your website and team are prepped to give people the best user experience you can, it’s an easy step that can make all the difference in creating those loyal customers.
Jason Sanderson, Head of Data & Analytics
4. Factor in delays
Remember the GA4 data processing delays and anticipate that you likely won’t be able to do a full analysis against your data for a few days after your sale goes live or changes in value.
5. Coupon tracking
Check that your coupon codes, if you’re using any, are tracking correctly – this is often something that either isn’t tracked at all or isn’t tracked properly and can be key to understanding your full Black Friday and seasonal performance.
6. Check over reporting
Make sure to check your tracking and reporting set up before the sale goes live. With the migration to GA4, the GA3 reports used in previous year’s sales will need to be rebuilt for the new platform. Remembering that GA3 and GA4 metrics aren’t always cross-comparable so be aware of those differences before starting your analysis.
Tom Corless, Head of SEO
7. Keep your Black Friday landing page
It’s very common to see sites with Black Friday landing pages that look like /black-Friday-2022 and /black-Friday-2021, but if you plan on having a specific page like this then I’d always against creating a new page each year like this – it’s much easier to keep one page live all year and simply remove it from the navigation when it’s out of season. You will need to update the Meta Data, Page Content and Deals every year to ensure the information is up-to-date and relevant.
This in turn will be beneficial for maintaining authority, backlinks and growing visibility around core terms instead of starting from scratch every year.
8. Produce supportive content
Identify any specific trends around your product type and create supportive content around this – whether that’s blog posts, graphics or informational videos. You should also keep your eye out for any specific Black Friday trends related to product set alongside the more general seasonal trends.
9. Update your internal linking
It’s important that you remember to update all your internal links to point towards your Black Friday page specifically.
It can be a good idea to add a homepage banner & link and one in your navigation to ensure a smooth user journey. You don’t want people to be confused about which products are in the Black Friday sale vs the ones that aren’t.
Ellie Mack, Digital PR Director
10. Prepare for who you’re reaching out to
Spray and pray is an absolute no-go for all Digital PR campaigns, but for Black Friday deals in particular its key to be as succinct and clear with your approach as possible.
I’d always recommend doing a historic search for previous years Black Friday content on your target publications. Make note of what kind of deals they talk about, and in what format.
Dependent on the above, tailor which of your deals are most appropriate for which journalists and ensure that you’re only sharing your deals with journalists who will genuinely find them useful.
11. Tailor your press pitches
Almost every brand will likely be sending Black Friday promotions emails to journalists – so how can you make sure yours stands out from the crowd?
In theory, it’s the same approach as any other time, you need to make the journalists lives as easy as possible by providing easily digestible, clear insights around your offers.
My top tip is to study what kind of offers around similar product types were heavily featured the previous year, often journalists will only cover deals if they’re 20% off or higher, along with essential products.
When outreaching to press, in addition to the monetary value of the price reduction, always include a % off statistic too (easy enough to work out!) as these will likely be the stats that journalists will want to run with.
12. Celebrate affiliated coverage & report on its benefits
Almost all Black Friday coverage will highlight specific product and brand offers, and this style of coverage is likely to be monetised by the publication covering it, especially that of the larger and more established titles.
Acquiring affiliate links, whilst having less direct impact on SEO, can have significant positive impacts on a brand’s performance, with traffic and sales often generated off the back of such coverage. Always track affiliate coverage as it goes live, monitoring performance through referral traffic in GA and report on any traffic and conversions generated directly off the back of the coverage.
Matt Robson, Head of Paid Media
13. Have a retargeting strategy in place
Since the Black Friday spike can be so profitable retailers will often overlook the goldmine that a good retargeting strategy can be.
14. Don’t panic
When it comes to launch day, I always advise to not spend the whole day staring at analytics. Don’t panic if you’re not seeing the results you want within the first few hours after your offer has launched, patience is key.
15. Consider your budget
With Black Friday being the biggest shopping period of the year, traffic and competition will increase. So, if you have the budget to spare, it can be a good idea to increase your budget in the week running up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, catching consumers who are ahead of the game.
Eve Lowdon, Social Media Account Manager
16. Make it trendy
If you spot a new trend that is resonating with your audience, then lean into it!
Trending sounds and content styles can give life to your content, with fun and topical content helping you to stand out from the crowd while also ensure your Black Friday content aligns with your usual strategy.
If you’re not sure what’s trending right now, then jump on your FYP (For You page) and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
17. Community management is key
During Black Friday community management will play a heavy role in the success of your organic social campaign. Whether it’s good or bad sentiments, the first-place people will go to voice their opinions will be their social media channels.
Nail down your tone of voice, prepare your responses for expected questions and queries (a common one on Black Friday will always be “code X isn’t working”) but most importantly, have fun with it.
18. Stay true to your brand
Whilst it may be tempting to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon with giveaways, social-exclusive codes and deals, etc it’s important to think first – does this strategy resonate with us as a brand?
Patagonia is a great example of this. Initially kicking off Black Friday in 2020 with their ‘Buy less, demand more’ campaign, they’ve continued this sentiment year-on-year with their focus on responsible consumption and eco-friendly clothing. So, if they suddenly started filling their feed with “USE CODE BLACKFRIDAY FOR X% OFF”, it would be inauthentic.
It’s important not to dilute all the hard work you’ve put in all year. If your core values and content are about sustainability, then promoting a huge sale isn’t going to land well with your community.
Remember, authenticity is the cornerstone of organic social, so figure out what’s right for you.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can have a huge impact on your eCommerce site, so making sure you’re fully prepared with your strategy is crucial. These last-minute tips could make all the difference to your Black Friday campaign this year.
If you need support or advice on aligning your marketing channels to your overarching business goals, then make sure to get in contact.
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