Black Friday is nearly upon us and you have a lot on your plate. Many brands are in the midst of the busiest trading period of the year – between changing acquisition costs, managing stock and supply chains and keeping your teams’ heads above water, it can be hard to keep your focus on what really matters.
From our work with over 100 direct-to-consumer brands, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a good Black Friday strategy (and what’s not worth spending time on). Time is of the essence so here are three speedy tips to help make this Black Friday as successful as you can.
1.Adaptability is key
Last year’s Black Friday coincided with lockdown, prompting a huge consumer rush that was focussed, by necessity, on online channels. While we expect to see good performance across the industry during this Black Friday, the market is predicting a downward trend of between 0% to -5% compared to 2020. In all honesty, year-on-year comparisons aren’t really fair when comparing lockdown periods with non-lockdown so don’t waste time worrying about last year. Focus on this year’s demand and this year’s customers – they’re what matter most right now.
Most brands will have launched their Black Friday campaigns by now (if they’re running them, that is) as early launches will help to offset any supply and delivery problems. Where issues are unavoidable, be prepared to manage customer expectations, particularly on delivery timings. Customers understand the challenges brands are facing and will be prepared to forgive less-than-perfect delivery execution – provided you communicate properly. If you have stores, include messaging that drives customers instore as this will ease concerns about delivery. Ensure your teams know what messages to use and keep lines of communication open internally; your ecommerce and marketing teams need to know exactly what’s going on in the warehouse and the supply chain so they can manage their campaigns and messaging accordingly.
2. Performance marketing is the name of the game
Monitor your performance marketing spend and react quickly. Some interesting trends are emerging this year: brands have tended to launch their Black Friday campaigns earlier but some have switch them off or removed the discounts from their homepage, according to new research by IMRG. The reasons for this are unclear: brands may be taking strategic breaks or simply responding to stock issues. Regardless, search and social bidding is hugely competitive this year as brands increase bidding to meet sales expectations. In order to win at the auctions, make sure your teams have clear targets on how much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer and your ROAS so they can react quickly to changes in channel performance.
Finally, try alternative solutions to make up for any performance dips. You could think about using the opportunity to test web lookalike audiences and insulate your brand against performance shortfalls caused by Apple’s new privacy requirements.
3. Email is your friend
Traffic to your website will be through the roof over the next few days so make sure you’re ready to collect as much data as you can. Increase email capture by improving pop-up visibility and effectiveness and use this time build your marketable database. The more, the merrier – GDPR allowing!
When it comes to email content and recommended products, listen to what your customers are telling you and give them more of what they want. In simple terms, this means keeping your best-sellers and seasonal winners at the top of your featured products.
And on that note, don’t be afraid of increasing email frequency. Email gives you a direct line to your customer’s inbox – use it! More brands are jostling for your customers’ attention than ever before so you have to fight for the right to be seen. This is particularly important when it comes to high-value customers: make them feel special with relevant exclusive offers or early access to make the most of increase transaction rates. After all, if a customer buys from you now and has a good experience, they’re more likely to purchase again during the festive period so it’s worth spending a little time engaging your most valuable cohorts.
These are the key areas I’m advising brands to focus on this year as we work through Black Friday trading together. Realistically, you've done most of the hard work: you know your customer, you know your product and you know what you need to do to drive performance. Focus on executing your strategy well (and bear the tips above in mind) and you can be confident that you'll find and convert the right customers. And don't forget to look after your teams - they deserve it!
If you’d like to hear more about how we advices our clients (or would like to see how more2 can help your brand to grow) get in touch below, we’d love to hear from you.