23Dec
By: Justas Markus December 23, 2016

What is Black Friday Sale?

Black Friday Sale (the day following the Thanksgiving Day holiday on the last Thursday in November) is the biggest retail sales day in the United States, often regarded as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, is a 24-hour online shopping event that was created to persuade people to do their shopping online and is now seen as an extension of the Black Friday sales.

Why is Black Friday important to eCommerce retailers?

Traditionally, retailers would roll out a variety of in-store deals on everything from electronics to toys to kick off the Christmas shopping season, opening the stores as early as 5 am. In recent years, however, the shopping frenzy has moved online, with 2016 being a record-breaking year for eCommerce retailers, finally surpassing shoppers’ in-store purchasing. With more and more people choosing to carry out their pre-holiday bargain hunting online eCommerce retailers enjoy an unprecedented opportunity to attract new buyers and increase their sales volume.

Key Black Friday eCommerce insights:

  • Black Friday shoppers are more likely to shop online than in-store, with more and more people using mobile devices to complete purchases online. Americans are 6 times more likely to buy online on Black Friday compared to sales on any other Friday.
  • eCommerce retailers report up to 240% and 380% increase in revenue on Black Friday and Cyber Monday respectively.
  • Compared to a normal sales day, online traffic increases up to 220% on Black Friday and 155% on Cyber Monday.
  • All-day or longer period sales events are more effective than flash sales.
  • More than 70% of Black Friday desktop shoppers spend their money with retailers who offer free shipping.
  • The five-day shopping bonanza is an ideal time for e-retailers to clear their stock.

Capturing a share of the growing Black Friday market represents a huge opportunity for eCommerce retailers on the lookout for new sales angles.

Tips for eCommerce retailers on how to prepare for Black Friday

Online Black Friday sales can start as early as Monday of that week, so make sure you’re ready to engage the bargain-hungry shoppers well in advance. Recent years have seen a plethora of Black Friday marketing ideas and the list continues to grow, yet some of the most successful strategies include:

  1. Capitalising on the art of online merchandising. Online merchandising is all about the clever science of displaying the best offers and products on a site in such a way that increases sales. Make sure your best deals are positioned to capture visitors’ attention the second they land on your site. Hero images, banners and pop-ups are commonly used to feature the most prominent offers.  
  2. Offering incentives to accelerate social sharing. To generate more sales you need to drive more traffic to your website quickly, that’s why paid social media and Google ads are marketers’ go-to tactic for driving online footfall. However, you can also try to incentivize shoppers to share your promotions and increase social traffic by offering discount coupons. The best spots to place these offers are the homepage, the product page, checkout page, and the order confirmation page. You can also experiment with sticking the coupon in your purchase confirmation email.
  3. Creating gift guides. Sales can be overwhelming, so helping your potential customers find the most interesting and relevant offers is one of the best ways to make them open their wallets. Ensure you create several gift guides aimed at different audience segments (gifts for him, gifts for her, gifts for couples, gifts for grandparents, etc) and feature them on your homepage as well as in your email marketing campaigns.
  4. Taking advantage of emotional triggers. Black Friday shoppers are no different to your regular customers, only that they come to your store already itching to spend money. All you have to do to help them make a purchase is push the right buttons by peppering your website with different emotional triggers. Be sure to feature visually compelling offers (limited discounts, free shipping, referral coupons, free gifts) in premium spots on your website as well as add a live support window (at least for the busiest shopping period), as eager shoppers are always brimming with questions. Exit-intent popups and gift cards have also proved to be particularly effective at grabbing the interest of undecided buyers.
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