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Black Friday 2021 Strategy: Quick Checklist for Ecommerce

With Black Friday 2021 around the corner, businesses strive to stay on top of the mind of their customers earlier.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Based on the current world situation, shopping online will become the norm for this Black Friday 2021. That’s why it is vital to plan ahead to increase sales and avoid any mishap.

We have prepared a quick checklist. You can take it into account before, during, and after Black Friday’s dates. Therefore, this checklist is divided into three sections according to your business goals.

It will help you to make the most of the season and to stand up above your competitors.

What to Expect of Black Friday 2021?

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemics have forced businesses to change their ways to the digital realm. Social distancing and opening times restrictions have become the norm, and that includes shopping habits.

Mobile Marketing

Studies predict losses for traditional brick-and-mortar stores for 2021 and an increase in online mobile shopping, which holds for now 72% of the market share.

A boost is expected for sales in key categories, such as electronics, home goods, beauty, and wellness.

Top-Notch Retail logistics with be imperative

Much like the past 2020, the rise of e-commerce business and online shopping due to the worldwide lockdown, when Britain’s shoppers ordered 2.9 times more products, will slow down the supply chain of many retailers.

If your business is in this industry, start preparing cargo for slow moving items and take into account the delivery fees (or the lack of them) will become a turning point for customers at the time of deciding to purchase your goods.

Death of the 3rd Party Cookie

In January 2020, Google announced that Chrome would kill third-party cookies support in the browser. This initiative didn’t come without resistance from industries such as AdTech. Which resulted in reconsidering a two-year delay for the cookie phaseout to the end of 2023.

But some initiatives have already been put in place, like the Google Consent Mode, allowing the end-user to decide over consent to statistics and marketing cookies.

iOS 15 Protection From Third-Party Trackers

Apple introduced the “Hide My Email” feature. End-user can have a random email address to fill out forms or subscribe to mailing lists. This affects how marketers measure success in their email campaigns.

The iOS 15 update also includes a new email privacy protection that prevents invisible pixels, hides user IP addresses, and limits third-party trackers.

Hence, it becomes vital for the business to adapt to these changes as soon as possible. The old ways of sales and analytics will soon become obsolete.

How to Prepare for Black Friday 2021?

Have you noticed that once supermarket stores take away the Halloween decorations, it’s time to replace them with Christmas ones? This happens because timing is crucial when it comes to gathering customer attention. You may have customers interested in Christmas as soon as November rolls out.

This is why you should start planning your Black Friday promotions before the actual dates. Waiting for the last minute will only make your promotions get lost in the usual craze of the shopping haul.

Plan Ahead With Acquisition as the Goal

1. Gather as much information about your customer about their behaviors and needs

  • Identify your ambassadors, those who buy the most frequently and have their own robust group of followers.
  • Check which are your best products, which are more often bought together.
  • Research what other topics your audience resonates with.

2. Hire a growth specialist

Competition is fierce during the deals dates, it is a good idea to have a specialist to manage your ad expending.

3. Optimize your website for mobile

Expect 70% of your sales from mobile, so you better give a pleasant user experience to your visitors. Which means adapting your website with features such as:

  • easy to close popups
  • large buttons to tap with a finger
  • images easy to see through a small screen
  • fast loading speed

4. Build up the hype

  • Five or four days before the big day, announce a discount or price drop only applicable on the Black Friday day.
  • Keep your audience informed of what to expect from each of your channels during Black Friday.
  • Offer early bird sales.

5. Create audience segments

Start catering landing pages for the most relevant segments and create product bundles for them.

6. Revise your GDPR or applicable data protection law

Are your site and promotions compliant? If not, start making changes so you can request consent correctly. If you have doubts about how to execute it, we have prepared a quick guide of DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to GDPR compliance.

7. Set up multi-channel communications

Communication with customers has become the norm. When a customer has a question and doesn’t find a way to get in touch with you, they become frustrated and go elsewhere to get what they are looking for.

More so, customers appreciate brands that nurture a sense of connexion with them. It brings them familiarity and trust.

  • include tap to text message in your call to action;
  • automatic email replies;
  • chatbot welcome, offering an incentive when the user consents to receive SMS;
  • call action buttons;
  • replies using shortcodes.

Plan Ahead With Engagement as the Goal

1. Do as much A/B testing as you can

Create different deals and discounts and test which one has the best ROI (Return of Investment) versus less CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).

2. Prevent last-minute issues

  • revise inventory for the products having a discount;
  • consider website issues may come out, like server problems or bugs;
  • make your pay system as seamless as possible;
  • have a customer service contingency plan for any logistics problem.

3. Run your Black Friday promos early to test them

A good start is to base from similar promos from a season earlier, when it was less competitive, to understand what went well and what didn’t.

  • Evaluate how easy it has been to grab attention and the overall response from your customers.
  • Find out a cadence for sending email and SMS marketing notifications for before and during black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

4. Define your KPIs

With the new norms related to data privacy, it becomes crucial to change the way you track the success of your campaigns. Have in mind that third-party cookies and opening rates will no longer display accurate data. That is not a reason to stop implementing UTM parameters specifically for Black Friday 2021.

However, you must focus as well on behavioral cues such as:

  • customer behaviour on page activity
  • CTR (click through rate)
  • opening rates in sent forms
  • loyalty program subscriptions or website sign-ins

Plan Ahead your Black Friday With Retention as the Goal

1. Create a loyalty program for your current customers

  • Invite your customers to a loyalty program. Show that you value them by letting them get access to early offers and discounts.
  • Recognize customers already signed up to your SMS communications with text exclusive offers and VIP experiences.

Marketing Strategy During Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021

Black Friday With Acquisition as the Goal

1. Define a brand voice per platform and channel

  • Keep in mind that, factors such as the social media channel, and type of customer, you will need to accommodate different interests and needs.
  • Your customers must know what to expect from every contact touch-point with you.
  • If your customers are looking for a special offer or incentive, don’t make them search all across your channels for it.

2. Don’t focus on lead acquisition

During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers are more interested in discounts and incentives to make their purchases, you don’t need to create freebies or ask them to join your newsletter.

  • Instead, keep an eye on visitor frequency through the different channels and leverage your campaigns accordingly.
  • Stick to your usual subscription form if you must, but don’t try anything new.

3. Avoid any last-minute changes to your website

But monitor your website’s health constantly in case any error comes out.

Black Friday With Engagement as the Goal

1. Avoid overwhelming your customers

Your customers will be flooded with deals and promotions those days.

  • Send no more than two SMS per week before the Black Friday.
  • Use the time-sensitive analysis for the delivery of your Ads.
  • Avoid email, as your message will most likely get lost in your customer’s inbox.

2. Use cross-channel strategies

  • Offer an incentive through chatbot for visitors who opt-in to receive SMS notifications.
  • Use behavioral tracking and prepare bigger incentives for visitors who abandon higher order values in their shopping cart.
  • Repeat your last year’s most profitable promotion, and cater it with a slight extra for your most loyal customers.

Black Friday With Retention as the Goal

1. Your Black Friday visitors are potential long-term customers to retain

Don’t focus only on sales and immediate gain, instead look at Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a means to increase AOI (Area Of Interest) and AOV (Average Order Value).

  • Instead of offering a general discount all over your store, highlight collections or particular products that may attract selected customers.
  • Provide your customers with real value for your incentives and encourage them to return for the longer term.

Marketing Strategy After Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Post Black Friday Action Plan With Acquisition as the Goal

1. Create a report

  • Take into account what went well during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • You can gain notoriety in your industry if you share your findings on social media.

2. Sort the reviews your customers left in your store during Black Friday

  • Highlight the most complete ones on your product pages.
  • Hide single word reviews that do not offer enough value.
  • Reply to customers leaving unfavourable reviews.

Post Black Friday Action Plan With Engagement as the Goal

1. Thank customers for their purchases

  • Create a marketing automation workflow to send an SMS a day or two after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
  • You can get in touch with them later to offer them recurring purchases depending on the products they bought.

Post Black Friday Action Plan With Retention as the Goal

1. Stay fresh in the mind of your customers

  • Prepare a post-purchase experience survey for your customers.
  • Get in touch with your customer lists to remind them to redeem the points, bonuses, and discounts they had accumulated in their accounts through Black Friday 2021.

Every business is different. Your needs may vary from the ones of any other e-commerce around the globe. Just take into account all the elements of this checklist are general recommendations to plan ahead and get the most of this 2021 Black Friday.

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