This simply isn’t the case anymore. Large retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, and Amazon are now offering discounts a few weeks earlier in order to give the customers a good jumpstart on holiday shopping.
Small stores also advertise and offer discounts way before Thanksgiving Day.
This year, more than a quarter of shoppers - 26% to be exact - aew planning to do some Black Friday shopping. That number represents a visible increase compared to last year (21%) and the year before (19%). Shoppers are planning to do Christmas shopping during that time too.
If you’re an ecommerce store owner, you know that there’s no bigger weekend than one during Thanksgiving week.
To make sure your store stands out against all the ecommerce stores in the space, we’re going to give you some tips on:
- What you need to do to prepare your store for the BFCM weekend
- Why you need to invest in BFCM advertising to distinguish your store
- How to plan out your BFCM advertisement strategy for 2020
Let’s dive in.
How to Prepare for the BFCM Weekend
As we said, Black Friday Cyber Monday is only getting bigger.
According to reports in 2019 Black Friday online sales eclipsed all of the previous records. During the four-day holiday last year, ecommerce merchants managed to make an unbelievable $7.4 billion. This is a huge, $1.2 billion increase compared to the year before.
Overall, merchants across the globe - both online and offline - managed to make over $90 billion during Black Friday alone.
Since most people aren’t planning to spend any time in overly-crowded stores, you need to make sure your website is equipped to handle the busy weekend this year. The best way to prepare yourself is to start spreading awareness about your Black Friday deals ahead of time.
Target your customers with specific ads at specific times to gather their attention. Whether you want to target them through Google, Social Media, or a third party, mainly depends on the type of store you’re running and how much money you have.
By attracting more visitors, you’ll also be able to collect more customer data. Later, you’ll use that data to tweak your ad campaigns to perfection.
What’s BFCM Ad Planning and Why Do You Need It?
To inform a certain group of customers about their Black Friday sales, store owners are going to spend more money on marketing and advertising than usual. In the past, something like this could be considered a major investment.
But when online merchants look at the money being made by JCPenney, Macy’s, and Walmart, Black Friday investments don’t seem all that risky.
However, since so many people will be investing their money into advertisements, you can expect CPC costs to be higher than usual. If you weren’t planning on increasing your advertisement budget drastically, you need to invest your money in a smart way.
First, you should decide what products need to go first. Naturally, these products will have the largest discount. Once you know what products you want to put out there, you can design the rest of your ad campaign.
Next, you’ll want to do some keyword research.
Finding which keywords you want to target will allow your copywriters to make your ads more enticing and powerful. In the very least, Google will award you with a better SERP position. The keywords that should be included in every ad are:
- Black Friday store
- Black Friday ad scan
- Cyber Monday sales
- True value
- Gift cards
- Free shipping
If you’re competing for some of the same products, you should also look at what brands like Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo, and Dell are doing, how are merchants like Best Buy, Sears, and Guitar Center using their years of experience to their benefit.
Learn from the best, take notes, and examine the mistakes they made in order to avoid them.
5 Ways to Plan Your BFCM Advertisements
While everything that has happened so far can’t be considered positive, things aren’t all bad for ecommerce merchants in 2020. The fact that more people are going to opt for shopping online this Black Friday gives you a great opportunity to have a great year financial-wise at least.
Around 70% of customers don’t know what they’ll buy this BFCM. That gives you a chance to navigate them your way through tactically placed and well-timed ads. Here are a couple of things you can do to make sure your BFCM ad campaign is successful.
1. Start Preparing Your Ads Months in Advance
When it comes to advertising, it’s never too early to start planning and doing it. While it may seem logical to start running paid ads a few days before Thanksgiving, you should start much earlier than that.
For one, your competitors are already doing it.
What’s more, most consumers are already doing research, learning what options they will have this Thanksgiving weekend.
More than 50% of people start doing Black Friday research in early October. During this time, it’s your job to attract their attention using discount codes, coupons, and special deals. Promotion options are basically endless.
Whatever route you decide to take with your advertisement campaign, it’s important to remember that you can’t start advertising a few days before the holiday.
2. Consider Offering Progressive Promotions
To maximize your chances of success, you should be prepared to start aggressively advertising since the first week of November. In the weeks leading up to it, you can simply run a few email campaigns and social media advertisements.
Your main goal here is to create a perfect sales funnel, which will nurture your leads, and deliver them to your store when BFCM starts.
And you can do this with the help of the so-called progressive promotions. What are progressive promotions? Here’s the basic gist: you start off by offering relatively low discounts, and gradually, you increase them until you offer the best deal for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
One way to go about it is to create a four-week plan for your promotion:
- During the first week, offer a 10% discount
- Give small gift cards during the second week
- On the third week, offer 20% off certain products
- On BFCM offer 30% to 40% discount
You should also launch a social media campaign during this time, to raise more awareness.
3. Advertise “Deal of the Hour” on Social Media
Speaking of social media, once Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to really start working your accounts. To engage your customers through social channels, you can start offering hourly discounts, gifts, and deals.
What are some of the prizes you can offer? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a fancy gift like a new Samsung phone, Apple Watch, or an expensive Lego set. It can be something simple. You can perhaps offer a giftcard or an additional discount.
For example: if your Black Friday deal includes a 30% discount for all items, your hourly deal can be an additional 30% discount.
Now, we have to be honest. If you’re running a one-man operation, you’ll need as much help as you can get. Running hourly deals isn’t a job for a single person. In addition to coming up with deals, you need to manage social accounts, get graphics, done, and answer questions.
You should connect your customer support, email, and social media management into a single dashboard.
4. Use the Power Of Upselling and Cross-selling
Even if you’re in the first year of business, chances are, you probably have a good amount of regular customers. Then you know that people, no matter how often they visit your store, have a tendency to leave their shopping carts full, without actually buying anything.
While cart abandonment rates are high all year round, they tend to grow during Black Friday. In fact, according to some estimations, during the holiday, cart abandonment rates jump 5% across all niches and industries.
How can you prevent this from happening to you? Simply by being extraordinarily prepared.
Ok, extraordinarily may be a strong word. Preparing cart abandonment emails and using the power of remarketing will help get customers back to your store to finish what they started. Considering the discounts, your customers won’t need too much convincing.
By the time Black Friday comes around, you’ll have enough information about the shopping habits of your customers, thanks to progressive promotions you’ll be running. Use the data you collect wisely and create perfect remarketing emails.
5. Boost Your Ads Campaign With Apps
If you’re not treating your shoppers correctly, no amount of advertising will save your Black Friday sale from failure. You need to show them that you care and that you’re ready to take the extra step to keep them satisfied.
For example, you need to offer free shipping during BFCM. For more than 90% of consumers, free shipping is the number one incentive for online shopping. Even though discounts play the main role on Black Friday, free delivery may be the extra touch your customers are looking for.
But even that may not be enough for some people. And that means that you should bring out the big guns, to make sure everything goes perfectly. Here are some of the essential apps during the BFCM weekend:
- Live chat is simply a must. Live chat allows your customers to ask questions on every product page on your website. This will undoubtedly increase your conversions and overall satisfaction rates.
- With so many stores offering discounts, customers are often left confused. Too much choice can leave you paralyzed, unable to make a choice. For that reason, use Power Reviews to showcase how much previous customers are satisfied with your store.
- By adding Gorgias to your Shopify store, you’ll be able to know everything you want about your shoppers. This will allow your customer service agents to have an answer to any possible question your shoppers might have at the moment.
Start Working on Your BFCM As Soon As Possible
All of your competitors have already started work on their Black Friday ad campaigns. What’s holding you back? You can’t allow the competition to win over the customers and take all of your potential earnings. Start working out your campaign now.
When planning your Black Friday ads, keep this in mind:
- Your ads need to be worked out a few months in advance
- Create a 4-week-long progressive promotion campaign
- Over the course of BFCM weekend, run “deal of the hour” ads
- Use upselling and cross-selling to attract as many customers as possible
- Leverage multiple applications to maximize your advertisement campaign
If you want to have a successful store, you need to create a customer-centric operation. Your customers need to be attended to during and after store hours.
There’s no easier way to do this than implementing a help desk. That’s why you should sign up for Gorgias right now and get a 15-day trial.