The Ecommerce Guide to Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2021
If you’re an eCommerce business, chances are you’ve got both Black Friday and Cyber Monday circled on your work calendar. That’s with good reason; between 2013 and 2019, $5 billion in online sales were generated through Black Friday deals alone.
But capitalizing on these online shopping dates isn’t as simple as sticking discounts on your products and calling it a day. There are several notable business marketing tips that can help you make the most of your Black Friday sales. This article will go through the best strategies to use to get great results.
- When is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
- Optimize, optimize, optmize
- Discount, but not everything
- Use affiliates and influencers
- Be present on social media
- Focus on customer service
- Don’t forget about shipping
- Extend Cyber Monday sales
But first, when is Black Friday 2021?
The Black Friday countdown is on. It takes place on Friday the 26th of November - the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is a 1-day event, though retailers increasingly start the buzz about their Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts in advance with a marketing campaign.
When is Cyber Monday 2021?
Cyber Monday is on the 29th November 2021, the Monday following Thanksgiving.
Now you know when they are, let’s talk about what you can do to increase your sales.
Optimize Your Products and Your Branding
The first thing you need to do when completing your Black Friday preparation is to focus on your current products and branding.
The hard work of Black Friday doesn’t begin when the date rolls around. Instead, you need to be building trust in your products long beforehand.
The best way to achieve this is by making sure your company is as customer-centric as possible.
First, you need to take a look at the products you’re selling. Figure out ways in which you can accentuate the positives on your product pages when compared with your competition.
On Black Friday, a lot of customers will be searching for specific products. But just as many will be scrolling through the web trying to find a deal on something they didn’t even know they wanted.
To grab attention, you need to make sure your products stand out from the crowd.
Another notable way to improve your standing on Cyber Monday and Black Friday is to focus on your brand. Customers don’t just invest in a product these days, they invest in the brand behind it.
By building up a loyal group of customers who believe in the products you sell, you can attract more customers when Black Friday rolls around. Customers who trust your brand will be more likely to travel to your website on that day and buy your products as a result.
Image Source: Princess Polly
The trick to good branding is creating a concept that your customers can relate to and believe in. But remember that launching a new brand identity several months before Black Friday stands you in better stead than doing so a week before. That’s why it’s important to have a Black Friday marketing strategy that can put you in good stead for bumper sales.
Black Friday Sales Techniques: Don’t Just Discount Everything
The next major aspect of Black Friday marketing lies in the discounts you put on products themselves.
One of the biggest black Friday marketing ideas is just discounting everything. Often, eCommerce store owners think that if they slap 50% off everything, they’re making the most of the day. That simply isn’t the truth.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about targeted discounts that make sense to consumers and to your business. If everything is 50% off, none of your products will be standing out from each other.
This also means that you could be tearing into your profit margins on more expensive products.
You need to assess each product line individually, based on its own merits. Take into account the cost of production, the regular sale price, and just how much emphasis you want to put on a certain product.
Having a diverse array of discounts is a proven way of driving customers to certain areas on your website.
Let’s say you’re an eCommerce website that sells both men’s shirts and men’s suits. You sell more shirts, but the big money is in the number of suits you sell.
In this instance, you’d want to discount your shirts to the point where the discounts on your suits look more appealing. Your customers will be getting a better deal, and you’ll be funneling customers to superior products.
You should make sure that you bear in mind each customer’s digital experience of using your website. The more your customers enjoy being on your website, the easier it’ll be to lead them to discounts that make better sense for your company.
Take Advantage of Affiliates and Influencers to Build More Traffic
This is another Black Friday and Cyber Monday tip that you can start right now. By creating an affiliate or influencer program before this date, you’ll reap the rewards once November rolls around.
You probably already know what an influencer is. They are the people who have a good following on social media.
In case you’re unaware, affiliates are people you work with to generate sales for your website. They bring you new customers, and you reward them a percentage commission based on how many sales they refer to your site.
These days, social media influencers are popular affiliate marketers, but you can also work with bloggers, websites, and other content creators.
By using affiliates and influencers, you’re able to create additional customer streams for your business. This means you’re not just relying on your own marketing when Black Friday happens.
And you don’t need to spend a ton of money on ad spend if you are working with micro influencers. You can be strategic and set up a specific Black Friday affiliate marketing campaign and work with them to create a buzz around your brand.
You’re able to benefit from several different advertising platforms at once. By diversifying your message, you’ll reach a larger number of people. This means more people will be converted into visiting your website and purchasing your products.
If you’re looking to get serious about using affiliates, you need to do so the right way. Your relationship with your affiliates is a serious task that usually demands a lot of attention.
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Automating Your Operations and Sales Methods
Another proven way of improving your Cyber Monday and Black Friday performance is through automation.
Automation provides a number of significant benefits for eCommerce store owners in 2021. For starters, it means you don’t need to spend as much time on processes like fulfilling orders and issuing receipts.
Through automation, you’re able to focus more of your time on your marketing and other sales methods. This in turn ensures that when Black Friday appears, you’re better prepared. Communication on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is essential to keeping customers happy.
Once this has been set up, you can rely on the automation process every time you make a sale.
When Cyber Monday or Black Friday actually happens, you’ll likely be inundated with orders. Processing these normally can take a great deal of time, and it means you can’t modify any deals.
This can be disastrous, as reacting to the market is crucial to making the most of these two dates. You don’t want to be working through a Black Friday backlog when Cyber Monday happens.
Automation can help you avoid this pitfall.
2 limited-edition hardware bundles are arriving just in time for #BlackFriday! Get a #NintendoSwitch with #MarioKart 8 Deluxe for $299.99, or pick up a Nintendo #2DS with #SuperMarioMaker for $79.99! And hopefully you’ve got a friend like @MissGandaKris to help with the wrapping! pic.twitter.com/WAxMHtvLWQ— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 13, 2018
Invest in Your Social Media Presence
These days, more sales than ever before are closed through social media channels.
As mentioned above, influencers can become affiliates that generate significant traffic towards your eCommerce store. Influencers make up one core part of the wider social media marketing climate in 2021.
If you are working with influencers, make sure you optimize their marketing efforts as much as possible. Depending on who you’re working with, they may want you to have significant, or very little, input on their posts.
If they are happy to work together with you, then take advantage of some key strategies.
The main strategy to bear in mind happens well before you’re even working with an influencer. You need to refine your influencer brief, to make sure you find the right influencer for your particular brand.
Following this, make sure to check in regularly with your affiliate. It’s important to nurture a relationship with influencers and provide them with suitable perks for the hard work they do to generate your traffic.
But don’t just rely on other influencers to sell your products on social media.
Though influencers can be an essential component of a strong Black Friday, you should also build your own social media following. These days, TikTok and Instagram represent huge opportunities for market growth for e-commerce stores.
Invest your time and energy into building a following, and you’ll have more potential customers on sale day.
Simplify Your Checkout Process and Shopping Experience
Having a high-quality eCommerce store layout is something some companies forget to think about. Epic Games, for example, received a fair amount of criticism when their store didn’t include basic tools like a shopping cart on launch.
The harder it is for a customer to buy something on your website, the more likely it is that they’ll look elsewhere.
A good way of checking how your website works at the moment is to do a trial run yourself. Access your website as if you were a customer who’s experiencing it for the first time.
You can also hire someone who works in marketing to do this for you. Think about the different links and categories you’ve created to delineate certain products.
Make sure all of these on the front end are clearly communicated to your customers at all times. The actual purchasing process should be the simplest part of your website.
You should make sure customers can add several products to a cart before paying. This way, you can make sure customers buy several products from you, rather than reconsidering after buying just one.
You should also ensure that you add as many payment options as possible for customers. It may even be worth considering adding a way to pay through cryptocurrency to attract more customers.
Anything you can do to make the purchasing process easier will benefit you during both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Ensure Your eCommerce Store Has a Quality Customer Service Department
You also need to think about the level of customer service that your website and company offer to your customers.
Customers aren’t just buying products from your website, they’re investing in your company and the services you provide. If someone has an issue with a product, and this goes public when you don’t help, this can dissuade thousands of people from buying from you.
This is another area that you can target before these sales days actually occur. You can hire a customer services department if you’re not comfortable dealing with any inquiries yourself.
Or, there are currently a number of automated solutions that can make the process easier. A live chat system, for instance, can help your customers inform you of a specific problem.
This can then ensure that they get directed to the right person for their query. If you sell tech products for instance, and there’s a fault, they’ll be directed to your repairs team rather than a general customer services department.
By making sure your customer service is as reliable as possible, you’ll be able to build a greater level of trust from customers. This can then encourage more customers to visit your website on days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Don’t Forget About Shipping
Think about how you ship your products to customers.
A large shipping fee can put some buyers off on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Remember that these days have been designed to make sure consumers get the best deal possible.
It might be worth paying for the shipping on your products on these days. This can be used as an additional discount incentive and can be a cost covered by your profits if you sell enough products. Also take into account whether or not you offer worldwide shipping - if you do, you could do discounted shipping rather than completely free - check your margins to see what is possible.
This can be a drastic measure, though, and there are ways of ensuring shipping costs are mitigated. You should review your current distribution and supply chain, to see if any areas can be optimized.
This can also mean that the discounts on your products look more appealing to customers on sale days.
Cyber Monday Strategy: Think about doing a Cyber Monday extension
Some e-commerce businesses extend their Cyber Monday deals for a day or two to maximize profits and increase their conversion rates. Additionally, it can be a great strategy to capture those who missed out on your Cyber Monday deals.
Plus, you don’t have to do it site-wide if you don’t want to. You could offer a time-limited, date-specific coupon code to those customers who didn’t purchase on the day for a big discount. It’s a great way of capturing email addresses for your email list too!
Learn More About Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales Methods
You should now know how to improve your eCommerce store’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance so that you can maximize your sales and profits. We hope these Black Friday ideas for ecommerce and Cyber Monday promotional strategies have helped.