How Should Retailers Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Mary's picture
| 27th September 2019
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One of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, is right around the corner. Since Amazon first introduced the British public to Back Friday way back in 2010, November online sales have more than doubled, with many shoppers trying to get ahead of Christmas by buying their presents early or treating themselves to a present - or two, or three, or…


Are You Taking Part in Black Friday?

Electronics/technology and clothing retailers are the big winners when it comes to Black Friday with consumers spending most of their hard-earned cash in these areas.

Millennials and Gen Xers show the largest interest in participating in Black Friday sales. If you are a clothing retailer and your customer demographic is under 45 then your customers are going be hunting for a bargain on Black Friday. If your customer demographic if over 65 then your promotions might not even be necessary.

There are winners and losers when it comes to Black Friday.  Debenhams issued a profit warning in January 2018 stating that margins had decreased as shops compete to offer the best deals to attract customers. Some of the biggest UK retailers are deciding not to take part, saying they offer good value all year round. Despite this, Black Friday is still going strong and if you aren’t taking part you are potentially losing out.

To make sure your campaign is a success, planning is key. You need to avoid a race to the bottom and plan for a profitable one. Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Can you reduce your margins if you can increase volume? Can you work with a supplier to introduce a new product just for Black Friday - one you are going to make money on? Many retailers do this with electricals. Or maybe it would be more cost-effective for you and better value for the customer if you add a freebie instead of a percentage discount - who doesn’t like a freebie?

Once you have planned which products are going to be on sale and how much you are discounting, the next question is how you are going to make the most of your marketing.


Returning Customers

The best customers are often returning customers. It is much easier to sell to someone who already knows your brand, likes you and has had a good shopping experience with you. Returning customers typically have a higher conversion rate and are often cheaper to market to. With reduced product margins, spending effectively on advertising becomes even more important.

With existing customers there is often a good opportunity to advertise to them through your social media pages and newsletters, and both of these options can be very cost-effective (providing you have put the work in all year round to get them to follow and sign up).


Social Media Campaigns

Firstly, make sure all your social media profiles are coordinated, and that your profile pictures and banners are in the same style and ready to be upload.

Write and schedule your posts to build up a sense of urgency and anticipation. It is a “BIG” sale and you want people to feel like they are getting a “BIG” discount. You also want people to feel like the sale is real and limited and will stop after Cyber Monday. If people don’t feel like it is real and that you always have the same percentage of RRP year round then they won’t buy on Black Friday.

Remember to create a sense of urgency through the language you use by adding a call to action or a countdown such as “2 Days to Go.”

Don’t forget to write the words Black Friday Sale or Black Friday Deals in your social post and make sure you use the correct hashtag.

If you’re not taking part in Black Friday and you have a good reason, let people know. Customers value communication. Some of the most interesting Black Friday campaigns I have seen on social media are from companies who decide not to discount but instead give a percentage of their Black Friday profits to a charity they believe in.


Newsletters Campaigns

Let newsletter subscribers know that you are partaking in Black Friday and what your best deals are. You could also create gift guides. With Christmas only a month away after Black Friday, it's a great time to help your customers with some gift ideas for their loved ones.

Another idea is to offer newsletter subscribers an extra little bit of discount through a promo code. Chances are many of them are loyal customers and this is an opportunity to make them feel special.


PPC Campaigns

PPC should be a key part of your Black Friday strategy, with the growth of online sales and an increase in retail search over this period. Read our PPC guide from last year - it is all still relevant advice for getting your account into shape for the big day.

We also have a few more pointers for this year:


Black Friday Promotion Extensions

Promotion extensions allow you to show sales and offers with your ads, making it easy for customers to spot a great deal. Promotion extensions can be added at account level, campaign level or ad group level.


Countdown Timers and Ad Copy

Updating ad text to include Black Friday terms as well as your key offers - for example, “50% Off Black Friday Sale” - is an important part of getting your ads ready. However, you can go the extra mile by using a countdown ad customiser. Countdown times can create urgency and let people know that the offers are limited. For example: “50% Off Black Friday – Deals End In 2 Days”.


If you would like some help with getting your digital marketing strategy underway ready for Christmas or Black Friday, contact SilverDisc on 01536 316100 or contact us online.

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