Consumer interest in Black Friday declined last year by over one-third compared to 2019, according to Google Trends data.
With the number of payroll employees returning to pre-pandemic levels, and consumer confidence on the rise, Black Friday holds additional pressure for retailers this year as they attempt to capitalise on the surge in traffic to their sites in comparison to last year.
In fact, many retailers are scheduling their Black Friday 2021 sales from the beginning of November, causing the event to be renamed “Black November” as competition rises amongst brands.
To help firms set up for Black November this year, Luigi Pannozzo, Managing Director at Gazeboshop, has listed five tips below on how businesses can successfully set up their website to convert customers to a sale for the all-important Black Friday on Friday 26th November.
1. Focus on your USP and capitalise on this
Black Friday 2021 is an opportunity for smaller firms to demonstrate what sets them apart from retail giants such as Amazon. Small businesses have unique selling points which larger firms cannot replicate and this is a chance to remind customers how small brands can stay better in tune with their needs and wants.
As a result of the pandemic, many consumers are more interested in supporting local businesses who are able to meet their local requirements. This is an opportunity for small businesses to tap into, and makes it vital for brands to ensure their business is on the radar of their local community. To capture the attention of the local area, brands should consider providing discounts or vouchers to those in their community to aid in installing loyalty and converting this audience to make a sale.
2. Utilise the data available to you to make decisions for Black Friday
To gather insight as to which product and category pages on the website perform particularly well with customers on Black Friday, businesses should take the time to analyse google analytics data from previous years before ordering their stock for the sale.
This google analytics data will not only be useful for feeding into stock forecasting but also allow businesses to better inform their Black Friday marketing campaigns. By understanding the products which sought the most attention from customers during previous years, businesses will have the knowledge to focus resources into these areas and maximise sales for these categories.
3. Personalise your marketing to suit your target audience
Although Black Friday itself is one day, the entire month of November is usually taken by brands offering discounts and marketing to consumers. For businesses looking to capitalise on the event, it is therefore crucial to prepare in advance for Black Friday, beginning marketing activity and preparation months before. During November, consumer inboxes will become crowded with offers and discounts from various brands, therefore businesses need to work to stand out from the influx of emails which consumers are receiving.
Offering sneak peeks, limited-time offers and VIP discounts through email marketing is a great way to build interest with customers before Black Friday, providing consumers with an incentive to visit the website against the sea of competition. These emails should be personalised to the customer base being targeted rather than businesses sending a generic email to every customer. An effective way to achieve this is to utilise browsing and purchasing history information since this gives businesses better insight into what these customers are particularly interested in from the brand.
4. Focus on simplifying the customer journey online
The user journey should be at the core of any website design. If customers are struggling to navigate on a site on Black Friday, they will most likely move to another to avoid missing out on securing a deal on the day. Therefore, it is key for businesses to prioritise the user journey when considering both the content and design of their website.
To place the site in the best possible position to convert users to a sale on Black Friday, it must provide an easy-to-navigate experience for consumers. Utilising strong call to actions on the site can be an effective way to aid users in checking out effectively, as well as including clear contact details for customers to get in touch if they have any immediate questions before they place their order.
5. Facilitate a trustworthy and simple checkout method
On Black Friday, many consumers may be visiting a business for the first time. It is imperative for customers to feel secure with their online security and payment when shopping, therefore businesses should ensure they have secure financial technology to reassure customers that their money will be safe once they have paid. Coupling this with e-receipts for customers once their transaction has been confirmed will help to ensure a smooth post-sale journey.
Businesses should also consider displaying the payment options available to customers on their website. Having the payment options in the header or footer can act as a trust signal, helping customers to feel more comfortable placing their order and converting to a sale.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.