7 Last-Minute Tips to Amp Up Your Black Friday Strategy
November 15, 2019
In the world of eCommerce, holiday shopping preparation begins in summertime. As online shopping sales from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday continue to grow 14–16% year over year, Direct-to-Consumer brands cannot miss this opportunity to generate revenue.
We know that you are Black Friday/Cyber Monday ready. We’re sure you have big plans in store and your tactics are already being implemented. But you can never be too prepared, and there’s still two weeks left to make some adjustments. Before the season truly begins, we wanted to share some our proven, last-minute tips based on our expertise and past campaigns to plus up your Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BCFM) strategy and get the most out of your budget.
1. For the Greatest Return On Ad Spend, divide your budget into two distinct sections
The competition for ad space during BFCM is…intense. Across networks, it’s no surprise that CPMs are at their highest of the year as brands around the world vie for available space.
But ads are actually more affordable in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, as many companies are holding onto their budgets to make a big splash on Thursday–Monday.
You should maximize your spending to take advantage of this reality. Starting now, in the 10-12 days leading up to Thanksgiving, your spending goals should be prospecting cold traffic, adding new users into your funnel, and building a pixeled audience.
But during the actual BFCM weekend, our data shows the best ROI comes from retargeting campaigns. So, as costs begin to rise on Wednesday and Thursday, switch your spending to retarget warm leads and those who have already expressed interest in your brand in the preceding weeks. This way, you’re capitalizing on all the work leading up to the big weekend, improving ROAS and generating more sales.
2. Everyone will be offering markdowns. Compete with the noise by thinking about what else you can do to improve the customer experience
You have a great offer for BFCM weekend. But to be fair, so does everyone else. To be even more effective, consider additional ways of creating a better shopping experience for your customers. Here are some of our best-performing tactics:
- Invest in additional customer service and support to answer questions ASAP and cut down on cart abandonment.
- Make the return process as painless as you can. Offer extended return periods that stretch into January, so customers experience as little risk as possible.
- Offer faster shipping or priority handling. This is the time to put as much effort into your fulfillment process as you can. You are competing with online shopping sites that offer free, two-day shipping. Do whatever you can to make your store match customer expectations.
- Add free shipping to your most compelling bundle offer. This makes extra spending even more valuable to the customer, and you can incorporate any additional costs into your total offer.
3. You should send an email offer every day, Thursday–Tuesday
When we say BFCM, we’re really referring to a six-day span of activity: Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Special Offer Sunday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.
You should be sending an email offer every day during this time—perhaps not to your full list, but definitely to your warm leads. Mix up the copy and the offer each time. Create VIP lists, or send an additional offer on Tuesday to those who purchased on Black Friday. While “Special Offer Sunday” is not an official “thing,” it’s one of XenoPsi’s proven ways to capitalize on the momentum. Your best bet is a flash sale here, starting Sunday morning and ending at midnight.
4. Show the goods! Keep your creative clear
When it comes to making the most of your ad spend, it’s best to put your products front and center. Your ads will only have a fraction of a second to stop customers in their scrolling tracks, so this is not the week to help folks understand your full brand story. This is the time to drive the customer to purchase. In the new year, you can reconnect with them through retargeting to flesh out your narrative, share that beautiful piece of lifestyle-focused photography, and turn them into brand advocates.
5. Build a unique bundle offer to increase your Average Order Value
Remember, it’s not the discount that will cut into your profits. The biggest cost to your strategy is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): getting customers to come to your page in the first place. You’ll lose more money showing ads to people who fail to convert than you will by giving those who do an extra 5-10% off.
Make your offer count. Anything less than 20% won’t be effective, but we recommend going even deeper. Your best, “official Black Friday offer” (see below) should give the biggest discount on bundles of multiple products. Customers will feel as if they’re getting a lot more product for only a little more money, and they’ll be more likely to add items to their carts. You will have achieved greater ROAS by raising your AOV, but with the same CAC.
6. Stagger your offers throughout the week
Consider developing two distinct offers for each part of the big week. From Monday to Thursday, offer a deep discount on bundles/multipacks of items. Customers will be ready to buy because the offer is especially good, and they’ll be getting a lot of product.
Then, release a full sitewide offer on Black Friday…or better yet, Thursday at 8pm. Our research shows that’s when mobile searches really start to take off. This is an across-the-board percentage discount on every item in your store, clearly marked as in #7 below.
7. The money comes from mobile. Your tactics must begin there
Fact: the majority of your sales will come from mobile. In 2018, more than 65% of BFCM occurred on mobile platforms, and that is likely to increase this year.
Your entire strategy should center around mobile users. Design your landing pages and creative assets to work best on smartphones. Here are three no-brainer techniques:
- Avoid coupon codes at checkout…they’re a barrier to purchase. Just discount the price directly using this proven tactic:
- Show the original price and cross or gray it out.
- Show the markdown price with a color pop. Done.
- Write your ad copy and design your creative to comply with Facebook/Instagram’s updated mobile standards. Ads appear differently on desktop and mobile, so make sure your templates are optimized for smartphones and tablets.
- Find a way to sticky your offer so it is visible at all times on your mobile site. This is harder to do with limited screen real estate, but essential for conversions. Make it a priority.
BFCM weekend might be your single biggest selling opportunity of the year; but remember, the work doesn’t stop on Tuesday. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest individual days for online sales, December is predicted to outpace November in total sales by as much as $6 billion. There will be plenty of opportunity through the end of the year. Let us know if we can help you seize on that, too.