Black Friday 2020 is just 2 weeks away and businesses across the globe are preparing for it. Competition is going to be intense but businesses can still use this time to increase their Black Friday sales and create loyalty.
The year has seen major shifts in e-commerce buying and selling, especially with many countries going on lockdowns earlier in the year and this month.
But what does this mean for the largest shopping event in the world?
Black Friday 2019 was reportedly the biggest ever with nearly 93.2 million buyers making a purchase online on Black Friday, according to an Adobe report for that year.
In this article, we're going to give you 8 strategies to help you, as a business owner, increase your Black Friday sales.
Before we get into that, let's first delve into some statistics and forecasts for Black Friday 2020.
Before going directly into the statistics for Black Friday, businesses should be aware of the evolving scene and data for e-commerce in general.
Despite the ever-changing and ever-developing face of technology, customers and consumers have been known to "stick stubbornly to their habits."
This means that even though there are many shops in each industry, you're likely to see customers sticking to one brand, or more importantly to one payment method over the other.
Enter COVID-19, a pandemic that forced people to change their buying habits within months.
A report by McKinsey and Company showed that around 75% of US consumers "tried a new store, brand, or different way of shopping during the pandemic."
And though these changes were because of the pandemic, the report found that many customers and consumers had overcome their fixed beliefs – and to an extent their fears – because of that pandemic.
Beliefs about online grocery shopping and at-home exercises "being unreliable and inconvenient" changed, the report says, adding that consumers instead were "surprised and delighted by the benefits of delivery."
Looking at this in numbers, customers in the online fitness market in the United States grew 50% between February and July 2020, while the digital home-exercise market saw a 20% increase in the same period.
And we still have almost 2 months to go in the year, including the mega shopping event and long weekend that is Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM).
Here's another stat: Finder.com expects $148.5 billion in spending in the Black Friday Cyber Monday 2020 weekend in the US.
"While in-store doorbuster sales may not be happening in 2020, that’s not going to stop Americans from spending on the biggest shopping holiday of the year," Finder.com says.
According to the survey, furniture tops 2020 shopping lists for Americans, at an average of $253 per person, followed closely by major appliances and electronics at $234 and $223 on average per person, respectively.
Now that we have discussed the stats pertaining to Black Friday, let's see how we can resolve some of the issues businesses face when it comes to Black Friday.
The points on this list can be used simultaneously or separately. We recommend simultaneously if you offer a wide range of products.
Nothing keeps customers engaged more than countdowns.
Why? Because they give a sense of a race. Something special to happen.
In this case it's Black Friday discounts and savings.
You can place the countdown on the top of your online store front and on social media.
A great way to increase your sales this Black Friday is by running hourly discounts.
These are sales that span an hour or two on your store or website.
This is, especially, useful for items you want to move out of your inventory.
For example, if you sell home appliances, you may be looking to get 2020 appliances sold before the end of the year so you can stock on 2021 appliances.
If you are a fashion retailer, you may want to get outfits that have been sitting on racks – virtual or actual racks – sold so you can focus on the winter collections.
The hour-long Black Friday sales help you reduce your inventory easily. They also increase traffic on your website at certain hours of the day.
It's no secret that people use their mobile phones more than most other devices to go online or buy.
That's not only on Black Friday but all year round.
Making your store mobile-friendly serves you both on Black Friday and throughout any holidays and sales events.
Basically, it helps you throughout all 365 days of the year
Don't use all the tricks up your sleeve in one go.
Save a thing or two for those who tend to put lots of items in their cart but are reluctant to complete the purchase.
You can add some information about product availability with a "left in stock" next to products they have in their carts.
This way, you create a fear that products will run out if they don't buy now!
You can also incentivize them with discounts on delivery or free shipping if they buy before the end of the long shopping weekend or if they buy on a certain day.
Businesses don't rely on one-time buyers, simply because you never know when these buyers will come back to your store – or if they ever will.
Having a loyal customer base, not only allows you to create a long-term relationship with customers, but also it's easier and less expensive to sell to loyal customers than to new ones.
The best way to get customers to be loyal to you is by creating a loyalty program. And we've got fun gamified loyalty programs on Gameball.
We even have challenges that you can use to engage customers and increase your revenues.
Similarly, and according to BondBrandLoyalty, your top loyalty program performers are 77% more likely to choose your brand over your competitors.
They also offer an exciting edge to your customer retention strategy.
Let's move on to how you can increase your Black Friday sales with loyalty.
As a business, you probably have a number of loyal customers who visit your store regularly.
If not, you can start a loyalty program and use it to create a loyal customer base during Black Friday and beyond.
Gameball has several loyalty programs based on the number of customers you've got.
Black Friday is the perfect time to reward those customers for their loyalty.
Here are some tips you can do to increase both your customers' loyalty and your Black Friday sales:
Send an email to your regular customers ahead of Black Friday with the categories and/or items you're planning to put on sale.
Let them know that you're giving them the heads-up because they are loyal customers.
They can even add the items to their cart ahead of Black Friday so they can purchase those products when the sale begins
Take a look at your customer list and offer a special coupon that regular customers can use to get an extra discount on their Black Friday purchases.
For starters, this will tell you how many people used your coupon and therefore show you who your attentive and engaged customers are.
You can also use different coupons based on the number of times customers have purchased from you.
For example, you can use "BlackFriday20" for customers who made 5 to 10 purchases from you in the past and "BlackFriday25" for customers who made 11 or more purchases from you and so on.
Create a special pre-Black Friday sale for your loyal customers. Show them how avoiding the Black Friday rush can benefit them.
We recommend you this via email so you can measure the extent of your campaign and if you pre-Black Friday sale is effective.
If you have a program that tells you who your loyal buyers are and what they have previously purchased from you, you can use this data to make suggestions ahead of Black Friday.
Offer these recommendations ahead of time or on Black Friday to ease the process for your customers. Help them find what they are looking for or upsell products they may not have been considering or aware of before.
This is a great tactic to increase your Black Friday sales because customers will be looking for discounts, and with the recommendations, you can increase the chances of your customers adding more products to their shopping cart.
Now that we have gone over the tactics that you can use to give your Black Friday sales a boost, let's talk about one more thing: Measuring your efforts.
It's one thing to create a plan and implement it but the last important step in this process is to measure your efforts.
Did the steps you take translate to good business? Did they succeed? Did they fail?
What is the meaning of 'good business' anyway?
To track the effectiveness of your Black Friday, or any marketing, campaign, you need to define what success and failure mean.
Are you tracking by number of sales? Total revenue? Something else entirely?
"If you simply offer your customers a blanket discount on your entire store, it will be hard to drive continued interest after you announce it on the first day, especially as more brands start to compete for attention," says Mary-Rose Sutton from Mary-Rose Sutton Consulting in a Shopify article.
Customers looking for Black Friday deals may be looking to get more than the usual 15% off during the 4-day-long weekend.
However, increasing your store's discounts to 50% can negatively impact your business and profit margins.
It's important to remember that businesses pay a lot in advertising costs during the BFCM time frame.
What to do instead?
Instead of trying to stand out by holding mega discounts, focus on high average order value.
This "can offset advertising costs and create a larger profit margin on every sale, which makes it an attractive alternative to offering a big site-wide discount for BFCM," the article explains.
By focusing on high average order value, you'll be giving your customer a better discount if they spend more and at the same time generate more sales based on a large purchase quantity.
It's a "buy more, save more" tactic.
Here's a quick comparison of what a site-wide discount looks like for a business owner compared to a high average order value. (via Shopify)
2. On the other hand, here's what the situation looks like when you offer your customers 35% off when they spend $200 in your store or via your website
As you can see, the "buy more, save more" option increases your customer's cart size and translates to a higher profit margin for you.
Businesses across the globe look to Black Friday to clear out many of their products and make sizable sales.
While the long holiday normally offers promising opportunities, many businesses encounter problems or challenges that they struggle with, before, during, and after Black Friday.
That's why selling is only part of the Black Friday sales equation. The other part is measuring how much you'll be generating in revenue and profit.
For the sake of your profit margin, you'll need to focus on high average order value and at the same time build loyalty with customers so they don't buy from you on Black Friday and disappear afterwards.
Offer incentives for customers by creating a loyalty program. Get them to buy from you on Black Friday, Christmas, New Year, and every other holiday, and in between.
Now that you have everything you need, start your loyalty program with Gameball and entice those customers back into your store, regardless of holiday and season.