There's no denying, Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year. For many retailers, this one day is the pinnacle of the year - and with good reason. In 2018, Black Friday was responsible for $6.22 billion in online purchases.
With that billion dollar pot growing by the year, Black Friday presents a tremendous opportunity for online retailers.
Yes, it's September. With this behemoth of a shopping event only two months away, there's loads to do to prepare your online store for the onslaught of holiday shoppers. In fact, according to Facebook's holiday shopping survey, 20% of US consumers will make their first holiday purchases in October.
Luckily, we've got the top three ways to prepare for your Black Friday extravaganza.
The 2019 Black Friday Marketing Checklist: 9 Ways to Prepare
Determine Your Promotions in Advance
It's time to think about your hot sellers and best promotions for Black Friday. Of course, there will need to be a bit of wiggle room if you need to jump on a new trend (that fits your store) at the last minute, but you should have the majority of your bestsellers figured out.
Head to Google Trends and look up what the best products for the holiday season are. Think about what products you have that need to go so you can reduce inventory.
✔ Which products in your inventory need to go?
Think about what kind of discounts you can create so you keep the most profits. Slower sellers can be heavily discounted along slightly discounted best sellers. If you have accessories that can be sold alongside other products, think about offering Black Friday Bundles.
✔ Determine Your Discounts Now
Think about creating several tiers of discounts. For example:
- First week of November: 10% off certain items
- Second week of November: 25% off certain items
- Third week of November up to Black Friday: 40% off certain items
- Black Friday Weekend and 4th week of November: 60% off
This way you can offer something sweet for the early birds while saving your best deals for Black Friday weekend, when customers will be the most likely to purchase.
Decide What Campaigns and Channels You’ll Use
Once you've figured out what promotions and products you'll showcase for Black Friday, you can think about what campaigns to use for the holidays.
Plan things out in advance, here's what you can do from the beginning:
✔ Plan your search and social ads in advance
Start testing your audiences and keywords in advance and determine how you'll target your ads for the holidays.
✔ Write ad copy now, and use Google Trends for relevant keywords
Using Google Trends early on will allow you to figure out exactly what your customers will be looking for. You can adjust your copy to fit into their searches, including using long-tail keywords that are less expensive.
✔ Create visual support now
Think about the different formats you'd need: email headers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Shopping ads, site banners, etc.
✔ Create content around your promotions
Think about creating gift guides, articles, etc. The quicker you get them finished and ready to go, the easier your promotions will go during BFCM.
Think about setting up retargeting ads now, so you can keep popping up with relevant products as your customers shop through October and November. The more often your products appear in front of your customers, the more likely they are to think of you when it’s time to shop.
Prepare Your Email List
Email is going to be your best friend during the holidays, but know that there are a lot of other online retailers that will be pulling out their best campaigns for Black Friday.
There are a lot of things to do to take advantage of this profitable marketing channel:
✔ Clean up your email list
First thing's first: it’s time to clean up your email list. Either remove or segment out any addresses that have not been active or engaged for one year. This will improve your campaign engagement, after all, why send campaigns to those who clearly aren't interested?
Not only that, but it will improve deliverability, which will be critical for your Black Friday campaigns.
✔ Begin A/B Testing Campaigns Now
No holiday campaign is complete without a great teaser. Use the teasers you plan to send out to your customers as opportunities to A/B test your best Black Friday subject lines, copy, and visuals for your holiday campaigns.
This way, when it comes time to send them for real, you’ll already have the best formulas for your customers.
✔ Set up Abandoned Cart Workflows Now
In the shopping frenzy of Black Friday, your customers are definitely going to abandon carts. Getting your Black Friday abandoned cart workflows set up in advance is only going to save you time and money in the long run.
Speaking of workflows, consider setting up and creating special welcome emails for those who join your newsletter during the holiday season is a great way to introduce them to your best sales.
You should consider these customers a bit differently as they might just be around for the season. However, a great welcome series might turn seasonal shoppers into life-long customers.
Black Friday is a huge event for online retailers and ecommerce marketers. With enough preparation, you can maximize the potential of this great holiday season.
By starting early, doing your homework, and making sure you have everything set up in advance, Black Friday will be a breeze for you.