With Black Friday weekend only 3 weeks away, there’s no doubt you’ve been busy over the last few months optimising your eCommerce strategy to ensure your online retail business is ready to boss this Black Friday.  

However, if you started out in September with the best of intentions but found the day-to-day has interfered with your master plans for performance improvements: fear not! Whilst it may be a little late for any major site or infrastructure changes, there’s still a lot that you can do as a retailer to make the most of the busy Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) shopping season.  

5 Last-Minute Black Friday Quick Wins for Retailers

An estimated £4.8 billion will be spent online this year during the BFCM period. It is essential that you finalise conversions and help your customers over the finish line. Here’s a list of 5 things you can do within the next 3 weeks to make sure you don’t lose Black Friday customers at the final hurdle:

1. Plan How to Attract Repeat Visits

Combined with the build-up to Black Friday itself and the weekend before Cyber Monday, the BFCM sales period actually lasts for about a week.

You can encourage visitors to your web stores to keep coming back by planning different offers and products to put on sale throughout that week, or countdown offers as the week progresses.

By mixing it up and teasing visitors with offers worth returning for, browsers will have plenty of reasons to make multiple visits to your online store.  

2. Start Gaining Email Marketing Permission

The more qualified users you can land on your website in the build-up to Black Friday, the bigger the audience you can serve your tailored BFCM creative content to during peak.

Extra traffic to your site as people shop around for the best deals also means there is bound to be a lot of abandoned carts along the way. Obtaining permission to market to shoppers in advance using incentivised sign-up or data entry forms on your website, web store and social pages will enable you to recover abandoned sales via targeted emails encouraging any stragglers back to your site.

All you need to do is give them a reason to provide you with their email address to make them contactable over the Black Friday period. You can use sign-up incentives in the form of free but valuable giveaways (such as short ‘How-To’ guides, a free sample or trial subscription, access to a helpful video, Canva template – anything that you can part with for free) that serve as a lead magnet that you exchange for their email address and permission to be marketed to by email.

Check out this article on Search Engine Journal for some examples of effective lead magnets that you can implement today!  

3. Structure Your Social Strategy

Social media should not be overlooked as it plays a huge part in driving visitors to online stores for Black Friday. It is vital to ensure that your channels are prepped and ready to promote your special offers and respond to customer service requests in advance.  

In addition to planning and scheduling your organic and promoted content, factor in how you will respond as quickly as possible to messages, comments and posts with product, payment or delivery-based questions. When will you factor in time to respond to complaints and questions on promotional posts? By providing a great service and nurturing interaction with your followers you will gain the attention and trust of potential buyers.  

Your brand’s personal performance on each channel must be factored into your strategy. Update your profile pictures, cover photos and shopping links to highlight your Black Friday sales.  

Start posting about Black Friday today and sharing some details of your upcoming offers to generate some excitement about your promotions. Moderation is the key to success though, so just don’t be tempted to bombard your followers with a constant stream of sales pitches. Ask your followers which of your products they would like to see reduced for Black Friday using interactive polls in your stories. By testing a few calls to action now you can see what is likely to work best for you at peak.  

4. Set up Countdown Timers

Using countdown timers in emails, in on-site messages and in social posts and stories is a great way to stress the urgency for a customer to take action.  

You can do this to inform shoppers of how long they have left to take advantage of your store’s sale or individual offers and can even inform shoppers of dwindling stock numbers – particularly in the case of abandoned carts. Customisable template videos of countdown timers for use across social media and more are readily available on tools like Canva.  

Remember: during Black Friday week customers are looking for a deal. Ensure to make use of promotional messaging and shout louder than the competition! Urgency tactics are a great way to increase clicks and conversions – particularly as the BFCM weekend draws to a close.  

5. Win Conversions with PPC

Pushing advertising bids and budgets on your existing campaigns over the BFCM period is no longer enough. Dedicated campaigns are a must as PPC can be a valuable tactic to help push your customers through the end of the funnel and over the finish line. Don’t just invest in text and shopping ads though – the run-up to Black Friday is the perfect time to invest in other campaign types (such as video, app and display ads) and test, test, test!  

Create Black Friday specific campaigns that are fit for purpose to cater for excess volume over the peak shopping period, coupled with an attractive, conversion-ready Black Friday landing page (or multiple, depending on your goals and where you want your traffic to ultimately end up). You should aim to set your new ads up at least a few days before Black Friday, but we’d advise starting now – whilst CPC intensity and competition is lower – if you can!  

Test and play around with targeting Black Friday terms but DON’T fall into the trap of bidding for ‘Black Friday Deals’ as a keyword, as this will just prove costly and ineffective. DO set up campaign alerts for bid and budget control to enable you to act fast and keep on top of the competition. Be ready for campaign spend to go crazy during Black Friday. You will need to be prepared to be agile with your PPC optimisations.  

Reading all this and thinking you’re still too strapped for time? Implement a platform like Expandly to streamline the process-management side of your eCommerce business and gift yourself the time to focus on marketing and optimising your online store for conversions.

You can get started immediately using our Set-up Wizard: simply list your products to your sales channels, sync your inventory, hook up your shipping carrier and link to your accounting software then you’re good to go! We also offer a Rapid Onboarding Service, whereby our team will do the set-up for you – so you can focus on the important stuff like running your business!

To help you boss this Black Friday we’re giving you 20% off the list price for the first 3 months when you sign up for a Regular package! Read more about this fantastic offer here.  

About Expandly

Expandly is an eCommerce SaaS platform that makes selling online easier.

Connect your sales channels, shipping carriers, warehouse, and accounting software into one initiative and simple-to-manage dashboard.

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