Today almost everyone does some shopping on the Internet. And where’s shopping, be it online or offline, the one thing always holds true. There’s always an interest for coupons, discounts and promotions.
The opportunity to buy something for less is irresistible and almost everyone is defenseless against the magic words ‘sale’ and ‘50% off’. And when in November that number goes as high as 70%, it means a veritable festival of shopping, fun and excitement for customers and fat profits for e-store owners.
However, when the stores announce the sale where you can grab some low quality stuff that you don’t actually need cheaply, it can be hardly called a chance of a lifetime. But when a huge discount is made on the good things that you would have bought for full price it’s another story altogether. That’s why we all know, love and avidly await the magical day called Black Friday.
The term Black Friday itself is connected with the peculiarities of accounting – in the past the profits were always written down in black ink, and the losses were recorded in red.
On the less humorous side the day after Thanksgiving was also named Black because the number of people who hunger for the chance to grab something at a discount exceeds all limits, crowds in offline stores grow fiercer every and the resulting stampede of shopaholics present serious danger. But while e-store owners don’t have to worry about hiring Marvel-worthy superheroes to maintain the peace and order they’re still have to get ready.
So, what is the best way to get in on the action and kick off sales and promotions?
1. Mum, do I need it?
First of all, you need to understand whether you want to participate in the Black Friday. Like any other complex business campaign, Black Friday is a resource-intensive event. And only an appropriate assessment of the available resources (human, technical and financial) will allow you to get the right answer.
If you have a PR team at your disposal, there’re sufficient finances and your site and the delivery department are all set and ready to handle a large volume of downloads and shipments, then give thanks to one-in-a-year opportunity and roll up your sleeves.
2. Making yourself noticed
You have to remember that although Black Friday might mean reduced earnings not everything in the world can be measured in money. Even if you reduce your margin to a minimum, even to a few percent, it will still bring you priceless benefits. Such as
- drawing attention to the company;
- attracting new clients;
- increasing customer loyalty.
However, you have to make all these potential and existing clients aware of your wonderful offers. And it means that advertising is the key. Along with the traditional routes such as television, context ads, media advertising, social networks, affiliate programs, email newsletters, your company might consider participating in the multibrand campaign.
Video advertising is also a great idea. Shoppers who view videos are almost twice as likely to purchase than those who don’t. Any popular social network such as Facebook is a perfect venue for promoting your offers.
Also keep in mind that people tend to trust word of mouth and think about starting a refer-a-friend campaign or work with e-population influencers (such as Instagram stars) to create a stir.
3. Word your offer with care
Just like a good general knows the importance of the right inspirational appeal to his soldiers you should not overlook the significance of wording in your advertising. Especially that concerns the newsletters. Try to make your offer as simple, clear and unique as possible:
- avoid spam filters and limit the use of such words as ‘totally free’, ‘limited time’, ‘second to none’, etc;
- avoid being impersonal: use any info about your readers (especially if you’ve tailored the list of recipients) to make the subject sound like something they want and not something faceless and generic;
- keep it plain – if you try for too much creativity, people may not bother opening;
- keep it short: advisable length is 50 characters or less;
- be responsible: do not promise things on which you do not plan to deliver.
4. Price must be attractive. For everyone
Customers adore the feeling of getting a good bargain and that’s exactly what you should aim for. Attracting new clients is very important but should you sacrifice looking after your loyal customers in lieu of engaging new ones?
Best friends are the old ones, as the saying goes and you can use any preferred methods to single out the best customers and offer a VIP-discount for them. Also you can try several tricks like offering not a huge discount on one product but more moderate one on several or even all goods. You can also give your existing clients to get a sneak peek on the offers that’ll be most attractive on Black Friday before going with these ads on the web.
What discount to provide is up to you. But to get less than 20% on days of such fabulous sales like Black Friday buyers consider offensive. Remember that it’s the only time you can lower your prices without feeling like you’re losing your integrity and money.
Recipe for success
Swell is a great Shopify tool that enables companies to create a personalized loyalty program.
5. Free and mysterious
Offer a free gift or a service. The word ‘free’ can have a spellbinding effect on almost all people. Offer your cheapest product for free if they buy over say $75 worth of other goods, and they just might start adding one product after another just to get this irresistible free gift.
It doesn’t have to be the actual product. Consider including in the ‘free gift’ offer a training session or extra support services since people love to choose especially when it comes to free stuff. Also you can spice things up a bit and offer a random discount. Say, in the range from 20% to 75% (ensure that lesser number will come up with bigger frequency).
People love a mystery and always hope to win, so they will come to your store hoping to get the best discount possible but once they get there in all probability they’ll still purchase something. Even if the price is only 25% off.
Recipe for success
Gift Reggie is a custom gift registry solution which allows store owners to create personalized gift registry page, customize it and notify the chosen recipients about offered gifts via email or social networks.
6. Yes, we offer shipping. Yes, it’s free
Make sure you offer reliable and affordable shipping. According to the statistics, 90% of customers said that free shipping was the number one incentive for them when choosing a store. The ability to deliver goods on the day of purchase makes the possibility of order 50% higher.
However not all customers tend to choose this offer. About 50% of users prefer the next day delivery, and 85% prefer two days later. Try to plan and prepare for all client preferences regarding the delivery.
Recipe for success
7. Timing is vital
Knowing when people actually do e-shopping is crucial. Not only for your marketing team, which should know when to maximize its activity but also for the support team who will be responsible for handling the increased volume. The pattern is quite similar in any country: sales starting at 9 in the morning, reaching its peak in the afternoon and going stable till the late evening. Plan your working day accordingly.
8. Get smooth and flashy
The perfect purchase should be sleek, polished and harmonious. And making a decision (especially if it concerns spending money) means tension for the client. You don’t want that. Try to make purchasing effortless by adding a feeling of urgency and high priority.
Use in your advertisements, animations and logos such words as ‘hurry up‘, ‘now or never‘, ‘save today‘ and make them noticeable. Also you might consider adding eye-catching design with a countdown (showing the sale time or product stock left) or animations putting together prices ‘before‘ and ‘now‘. You might even use fake numbers for ‘before price’ to make the difference more attractive.
Recipe for success
In Shopify users love Live Theme Editor which lets you adjust and manage any element of any theme including adding effects and animations in a very user-friendly way.
9. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing
You don’t want your site to be overwhelmed with traffic and possible security breaches generated by too many customers, which means you have to prepare your e-store for the abundance of visitors. If your company is not prepared for the hurricane of guests, you can expect not only serious financial losses but your client base instead of growth could experience a degrade.
Remember that consumers associate low page loading speed with the general poor quality work of the company and might be ready to abandon their purchases in favor of more agile competitors. Black Friday almost inevitably means a serious increase in traffic. Therefore, preparation for the lots of visitors is in order:
- try to make things automatic. Shopify Flow can be a great helper in this regard. This app lets you automate many repetitive tasks freeing you to focus on the actual preparation for the big day. You can also use it to store and execute any triggers, conditions and actions without a word of coding;
- create a ‘light’ landing page on which promotional items will be presented. Avoid using too much of decorative items (eg, flash);
- use the text menu to navigate;
- use static, not dynamic pages, since it takes longer to load the latter.
Recipe for success
Use such tools as GTmetrix to analyze your e-store’s page loading speed and improve it.
Last but not the least
E-shopping is gaining popularity every year and considering the growth of shopping done from mobile devices it calls for careful planning and testing. Start strategizing and preparing now and turn Black Friday into a roaring success!
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