15 Experts Share Their Tips for Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020
Like many things in 2020, Black Friday/Cyber Monday will certainly look much different than years prior. With more shoppers planning to do their holiday shopping online, e-commerce will have an essential role in retail’s most important weekend of the year.
Taking the shopping experience online has led to many retailers to rethink their go-to strategies for reaching customers and driving sales during these days.
To help, we’ve reached out to top marketing experts and e-commerce leaders to get their tips for what you need to have a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday in 2020. Here’s what they had to say.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, people will be looking for the best deals available. Although this can be an exciting and fun process, it can quickly become frustrating. Sifting through pages of product content on your eCommerce site to find something useful and relevant will make shoppers leave before they buy something.
To save your audience’s time and win their appreciation, you can create deal roundup posts. These deal roundup posts can feature the best deals and products on your eCommerce site. Showcasing these deals in an easy-to-read format along with links to buy is the perfect way to boost your sales.
It’s also a great way to boost affiliate revenue. We do this every year with our blog, WPBeginner. You’ll make it easy for your audience to find awesome deals and you earn a commission every time they buy. It can add up so that a single, well-planned, and well-written post becomes a very profitable source of income for you during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
Syed Balkhi, Co-Founder
When it comes to big shopping holidays, you can never plan too far ahead. Establish point persons and team members who need to be present in the moment. Ensure that everyone is at heightened connectivity, whether through VoIP or cellular phones. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a team effort through and through.
Then there’s your website: you’ve got to make sure your platform can handle the traffic and that your UX is designed to lead that traffic exactly where you need to be. This is a good time to review previous data and draw out the common denominator in your sales, which should be the key that leads your customers to making a purchase. That key should be the star of your UX design.
As for platform stability, it never hurts to conduct a few more loading tests than usual. Websites going down and code malfunctions are known to greatly turn off buyers, even if you’ve already put a good deal on the table.”
Sam O’Brien, Director of Digital & Growth EMEA
Customer shopping habits have dramatically shifted online during the pandemic, and we’ll see a huge jump from offline to online sales during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Our customer data showed that online shopping was 45.4% higher in April 2020 compared to November 2019. That’s huge!
Marketers know more people will be online and the fight for their attention will be fierce. In a time of unprecedented digital clutter, use the personalization of your email marketing to cut through. Treat your loyal subscribers like friends instead of ‘consumers’. Find opportunities before and after Black Friday to reward them with exclusive offers and incentives.
Start earlier (like now!) and extend the offers into December using email. Our Black Friday/Cyber Monday email marketing checklist will help you make the most of the 2020 holiday blitz!
Jonas Fischer, Content Team Lead
The holiday season is a great time to optimize your referral and affiliate marketing program.
Customer referrals give an additional channel to add to your existing marketing stack — and without the high costs of CPC bidding or display banners. Instead, you’ll only need to pay for advertising that actually converts.
Plus, rewarding customers for their referrals is a great way to build brand loyalty and keep them coming back long after BFCM.
Some tips to get your affiliate program ready:
- Offer bonus commissions during sales periods
- Prepare guides for affiliates with sale dates, products, discounts, etc.
- Update marketing materials for your holiday promotions
If you haven’t gotten around to setting up a referral or affiliate program yet, you can find everything you need to get started here. And the good news is that you can get started right away.
Thomas van der Kleij, Founder and CEO
Choose your products wisely
As a small business it simply isn’t feasible to offer huge discounts on your entire inventory. Larger businesses can do this because they have the ability to place large bulk orders and have generous profit margins, meaning they can soak up the cost more easily. Some retailers even choose to take a loss on Black Friday in order to acquire new customers. However, this may not be the best strategy for you. Instead, you should choose to discount a product category or a handful of selected items that will draw your customers in. Of course, if you do have the ability to offer a small site-wide discount this can be a beneficial way to encourage your customers to add extra items to their cart, even if they only came in search of one item.
Feature a different product or service every day
Following on from the last tip, if you choose to only discount a few chosen items, you may consider offering a different special discount each day over Black Friday week. Make sure each day is distinctly different and ensure that you promote that each sale is only available for a limited time. This will create a sense of “buy now” urgency and will keep your customers coming back each day to see what your next deal is. You’ll want to ensure you are using a variety of marketing tactics to advertise your daily deals. A great strategy to consider is to have your first and last products be the biggest or most exciting deals to create the most impact.
For more tips on how to have your best Black Friday yet, download EKM’s free Black Friday Guide for Small Businesses.
Jessie Caldwell, Marketing and Events Specialist
When getting your ecommerce ready for the holiday season, there are a few things you should take into consideration to launch a successful marketing strategy, especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
- Create a content calendar. Holiday season is not only about displaying your products, it’s also important to keep your brand relevant. This means to plan quality content to deliver a robust message.
- Plan your ads. Take some time ahead to plan your ads and the budget you’ll be considering for that. Consider your marketing channels and social media platforms –Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube– that bring customers to your website. If you’re looking for design templates that are ready to use, check Placeit’s Cyber Monday sale and explore thousands of great social media designs.
- Test your site’s responsiveness. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and your images and videos are optimized for any device, so your customers can complete their purchases regardless where they’re logging in from.
Alina Midori, Marketing Specialist
Placeit by Envato
Personalization is the best way for a small business to get an advantage over big businesses during the holidays.
Email marketing is helpful. Most ecommerce stores send big sales messages to their subscribers this time of year. But mass email is proving less effective. Timely, personalized, and relevant emails can make a huge difference.
Many platforms, including Selz, offer a custom fields feature that lets you collect unique information with each purchase. Our sellers use this information to create automated emails. This lets you send super personalized emails without spending a lot of time. You can send holiday offers to loyal customers, customize product deliveries or offer one-of-a-kind gifts.
Jana Rumberger, Content Manager
BFCM is right around the corner, and you’ve likely already prepared a comprehensive plan.
But find a way to stand out.
Here’s an example: a couple of years back, Brooklinen staged a “mistake” Black Friday email with a time-bound discount. Customers jumped on it since they thought it would likely be corrected and updated, and Brooklinen had their best revenue day of the year.
Winning startups experiment not only with copy and creative, but also with their framing.
Sure, carry out your comprehensive strategy, but consider testing something novel. You might just stand out in a crowded shopping landscape.
Nick Costelloe, Head of Content
Prepping the service team should be among the first priorities as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are notorious for bringing in mountainous support requests. There are a few ways to strategize with your contact center to work this to your advantage:
- Use your support team to promote any special offers in the days leading up to the sales. A simple line with a discount code at the end of every support ticket reply can bring in a lot of customers, especially when the service was excellent.
- Optimize the live chat on your website. We all know a lot can go on in the customer journey that could make them exit the checkout page, and removing the communication barrier can convert hesitant buyers.
- Buff your support team up if you need to. You’ll know if this is necessary by reviewing your current team’s productivity against your forecasted sales.
Remember: positive customer experience during Black Friday and Cyber Monday always pays off in the future, so don’t take it for granted.”
John L. Allen, Director Global SEO
Companies are vying for consumer attention and the window of opportunity isn’t open for long. If running ads are part of your campaign, make sure you have a tried and (split) tested audience at the ready.
Creating an email marketing campaign that stands out is no mean feat at the best of times. But it’s even more difficult in November! We have found that anything unexpected or funny in the subject line is more likely to generate a positive response.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are savvy and the best deals are those that pack the most value. Give people what they need at a massively reduced price and they will buy.
Our annual offering is a video bundle because we know it’s what our target market genuinely wants.
Briona Gallagher, Product Manager
During the holidays, consumers change their shopping habits––they shop quickly, frequently, and are on the hunt for the best deals they can find.
The best advice I can give for the 2020 holiday season is to:
- Update Holiday Workflows: Nail down your incentives, shorten your workflow delays, increase the number of messages, and target your messages and best discounts by cart total. You want your revenue-driving workflows in place, such as welcome, cart, and browse abandonment.
- Send Early & Often: As with every year, customers start their holiday shopping earlier and earlier. Treat Black Friday and Cyber Monday as peak days, but keep your promotions attractive throughout November to capture as many customers as possible.
- Leverage SMS: Email will be your best friend during the holidays, but we can’t pretend that inboxes won’t be flooded this year. Combine SMS with your email campaigns to cut through the noise and stand out from your competitors. This means you should start collecting phone numbers and opt-ins now, if you haven’t already started.
Your customers are already shopping for the holidays––are you ready to respond? Start now, discount hard during November, and focus on creating a great shopping experience during the holiday season.
Rytis Lauris, CEO & Co-Founder
On Black Friday/Cyber Monday éveryone will try to achieve the same goal with the same means. The question is, how to stand out?
To draw attention to your website, nothing works better than a quiz. We all know that interactive content is good for SEO, and gamifying your content gives you the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Quizzes give you the chance to reveal something interesting or surprising about your website visitors that will make them want to share their results with their peers. This means that the results you create in your quiz are an ideal medium to communicate your message to your readers.
Create a short quiz and promise insightful feedback: it’s very easy to embed, and you’ll have a competitive advantage that actually makes a difference. On top of that, you’ll be able to collect valuable data about qualified leads, so a quiz serves as a lead generation tool, as well ;)
Iris De Geest, Content Marketer
Everyone relies on online ads to decide what to buy themselves and their loved ones. That’s where marketing teams should be putting their weight for shopping holidays. According to a study by Integral Ad Science, 85% of consumers in the United States will be doing their holiday shopping online. That means it’s time to optimize, optimize, and optimize your ads and train your team through a workforce optimization system.
To fully maximize the ROI of your ads, consider the following: (1) make sure your ads show up on the right pages by blocking out null opportunities, (2) further improve your targeting after reviewing your strongest customer base, and (3) do something that your competitors haven’t yet.
Richard Conn, Senior Director SEM
Many eCommerce stores are still regarding Black Friday as an occasion to announce discounts, provide promo codes, and run ads to let people know about it.
Announcing a discount doesn’t require any creativity and will be forgotten after the season comes to end. If businesses want to stand out, they should get prepared for the holidays on multiple fronts, not just one (that is discounts). A complex approach needs to be adopted rather than saying discounts and promo codes all the time.
One front may be Black Friday-related content - maybe a gift guide that will be published on their blog. Another front could be video blogging - unboxing or showing your products in use. Another front may be launching a hashtag campaign on social media and asking customers to share your products with your Black Friday hashtag. And so on.
This kind of content (engaging blog post, video, social media posts) gets viewed, shared, read and leads to more and more people knowing about your discounts and products ultimately and helps get remembered even when holidays aren’t there already.
Aida Grigoryan, Content Strategist
This year’s BF/CM will be a bit different. A lot of spendings shifted to e-commerce due to the pandemic. We saw it in March and it happens until today. Not to mention that many businesses had to transform and become online. The competition in advertising platforms will most probably be higher, businesses will have to spend more to buy impressions and clicks. That being said, it’s time to try something new because even if your offer is the best, it doesn’t mean people will know about it.
Early offers or secret offers leveraging your current email lists cost almost nothing compared to PPC campaigns. What’s more, you can retarget existing customers or website visitors a lot sooner, so the competition won’t be that crazy.
In other words, try to surprise people with a no-brainer offer sooner than all your competitors. Besides getting new customers, it’s a great way to acquire new website visitors that are not ready to spend yet (leads). And when the BF/CM period comes, go ahead and retarget them. It’s a lot cheaper compared to the acquisition, specifically during BF/CM.
Maros Kortis, Head of marketing
Ready, Set, Sales
There you have it, the top tips to help you drive traffic and boost sales this holiday sale season.