Love it or loath it, Black Friday has now established itself in the UK. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, so a little like the UK’s Boxing Day Sales.

Apparently the term Black Friday was first mentioned in 1951. It was used to describe people calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving. Then on their ‘sick day’  they would hit the shops to get a head start on the Christmas shopping.

It’s an online and offline event but with the biggies like Amazon making such a big deal, it has become known as an online sales event, that combines across the weekend and includes Cyber Monday.

In 2018 the UK spend on online retail sites on Black Friday reached £1.49bn – a positive 7.3% increase from 2017. That is set to rise again in 2019. So, let’s get prepared!

1. Make sure your website is ready

First things first, how quickly do your web pages load? If they are too slow then you will lose the customer before they even get as far as adding to cart. You can check your load speed via Google  Page Speed Tool

Secondly, do you know if you website can deal with additional traffic? If your offer is good then you will hopefully get more traffic than usual. Again, no-one wants to see error message like, ‘we cannot process your order at this time, please try later’. They won’t try later – they will just move onto your competitors. Speak to your web developers about testing the load on your website.

Thirdly, go through the buying process as if you were a customer. Check out your product pages – is everything up to date? Is the information good and not too busy? Is it easy to add to cart. If you are running promotions with discount codes, are they working correctly and applying the right discount? Is the checkout process nice and easy? Asking for too much information and making people run through hoops just to purchase is also going to lose sales.

2. Make your customers feel extra special

Most businesses think about attracting new customer when Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around, but don’t forget your loyal customers. Is there a special deal that you can reward them with and keep them loyal and coming back for more? Maybe you can offer your deals to current customers first?

A blanket 30% off everything might seem like an easy solution, but it’s not if the customer isn’t interested in that product. Try and segment your target audiences in advance and target them with appropriate products and deals – Facebook Ads is brilliant for this sort of ninja targeting.

Once you’ve segmented your audiences you can start to warm them up prior to the big day with some ‘seed planting’ via social media or email. Everyone prefers what seems like a more personal approach (even if it is automated behind the scenes).

3. Spice up your social media and website

Make your social media and website tie in with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Ensure that you make a splash about your offers across your online space. If you have a theme, use it. Try to stand out from your competitors – be unique.

Social media is great to also doing the warm up of the special offers that you have coming up. Start to create a build up. Make it feel special and exclusive. Create some FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Get some engagement going – maybe with some polls. Use video and and gifs to jazz it up a bit.

Your Facebook Ads can follow your theme but make sure they stand out in your customer feed.  You don’t want to blend in with the competition! Also don’t forget that ad spend goes up at busy times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday so prepare your budget wisely.

4. When this level of consumerism doesn’t fit your brand ethos

It’s OK to feel uneasy about Black Friday if t doesn’t fit your brand ethos. You can still take part in Black Friday but linking to a good cause.

It could be something as simple as carbon offsetting the delivery of your products, or donating an amount to charity for each sale, or planting a tree for every sale.  It needs to be something that is relevant and meaningful to your brand and your customers.

Last year Pret gave their customers free drink tokens that could be given to someone in need. They gave away 300, 000 tokens. The lovely tea brand Pukka donated all website sales to a reforestation organisation.

As a customer you can also use Amazon Smile, which donates 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to the charitable organisation of your choice.

Want to find out more?

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We will never over-sell and we will be completely straight with you about which options are best for you, your business and your customers.