Get your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy right for 2020

07 Oct 2020 12 min read

As you’re no doubt aware Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are just around the corner, and by all accounts, it’s shaping up to be a good one.

This year’s unprecedented growth in online sales fuelled by COVID-19 restrictions, has seen more shoppers than ever buying online, many for the first time. Looking at the traffic on our platform since the beginning of the year, we can see this effect in action.

With the data from Australia Post's Ecommerce Industry report showing that last year's BFCM grew 31.6%, coupled with this year's move to online shopping, retailers are gearing up for two of the biggest shopping days we've ever seen.

What can I do to get ready?

With Black Friday (27 November) and Cyber Monday (30 November) both just under two months away, it’s important to prepare your store over the next few weeks to make sure your customers aren't disappointed on the big days ahead.

Below we've shared some of our own tips, as well as great advice from our expert partners, to help you make the most of this opportunity.

Nail the mobile experience

While most online purchases made in Australia still happen on laptops and desktops (approx 65%), rather than mobile and tablet, this doesn’t tell the whole story.

When we take a look at browsing habits we see that traffic is driven heavily by mobile, with around a 60% share. So while customers may ultimately make the final transaction on desktop, they’re already making decisions about your brand based on the mobile experience on your site. If this isn’t up to scratch, it's likely to be costing you sales.

Ensuring that your customers are able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily should be a key area of focus. On average, shoppers will only spend a few minutes browsing your site so it’s crucial that any potential points of friction are minimised. Audit your existing site for mobile usability and consider adding the following features if you don’t already have them:

  • The main navigation bar should contain obvious and conventional symbols/icons for your menu, search tool and shopping cart.
  • A “sticky” navigation bar will ensure that these tools are always easy to reach even if your customers scroll down the page.
  • Your category menu should be easy to scan and navigate. A collapsible accordion menu can be an effective way to do this and remember to keep the number of top level categories to a ruthlessly efficient minimum.

Discount and coupon setup

Let’s face it, everyone is on the lookout for a great deal during cyber week and that means that all of your competitors will be queueing up to offer discounts to entice your customers. To stand out from the crowd, make sure you have offers that are either unique or personalised.

With Neto’s powerful discounts and coupons feature you can flex those creative muscles and do a whole lot more than the usual percentage discount offer that everyone else does. In Neto, discounts and coupons consist of several parts that work together depending on what you want to discount, and how you want the discount to be calculated. Check out our examples below for some ideas.

  • Offering an incentive to spend more is a great way to increase average order value (AOV) over the sale period. This could be offering free shipping if the cart total is over $100 or maybe an additional 5% discount for orders over $500.
  • Reward your big spenders with some real VIP treatment with exclusive discounts on big ticket or high margin items. By using customer groups you can specify different discounts for different customer types.
  • Create a Black Friday/Cyber category and have a discount apply only to items that are in that category. This is a great way of managing what products you want to apply your best offers to, allowing you to change products on a daily or even hourly basis.
Take the hassle out of creating your discounts and promo codes by letting one of our expert partners handle the set up. Simply submit a job in the Job Request Portal detailing what you’d like done and our partners can provide you with a quote to make it happen.

Plan ahead for your automated customer communications

Tim Davies from Zellis says:

Plan your automated customer communications ahead of time (ie: now). Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and consider every inflection point of their journey into and through your website, and out the other side post-checkout. Consider what hopes, fears and doubts will be running through their mind, and plan your automated email communications to manage expectations realistically, reassure and reaffirm trust in their mind all the way. The most successful online retailers don’t necessarily have cheaper prices or better quality products – they make their customers feel valued and special. That’s what gets customers talking about your brand, and inspires them to come back for more.

Using marketplaces to increase your digital footfall

Marketplaces will all be competing hard with each other this year as the Australian ecommerce boom reaches new levels. Amazon will be putting significant spend behind their promotion of Black Friday, as they have done previously in the US and Europe, and eBay won’t want to give up the keys to the house as they celebrate 21 years in Australia. Local favourites Catch will also be spending big to compete with the international players.

With huge marketing budgets driving traffic to these marketplaces, savvy merchants can leverage the opportunity by using Neto’s native sales channels integrations with these leading marketplaces, allowing you to sell your products to a whole new audience.

Measure twice, cut once

Leon Firer from StreamIN says:

If your Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials are going to be using discounts/coupons, involve free shipping, or changes to your usual shipping settings, test everything thoroughly well ahead of time.

Shipping setups can get quite complex and sometimes minor changes to data or configurations can impact your customers ability to complete checkout. Don’t wait until the last minute to stress test any shipping changes you make and ensure that your customers aren’t disappointed on the day.

If coupons are part of your marketing strategy you’ll be advertising them everywhere, both on-site and off-site, so it’s vital that you make sure they are working exactly as you expect them to. If they aren’t, it could either end up costing you money or could mean that your customers aren’t able to redeem your advertised offers, neither of which are good outcomes.

Build hype with a dedicated landing page

Email campaigns, social media, paid advertising, influencers, guerrilla marketing…. the list goes on. No doubt you’ll be using some or all of these marketing tactics to drive traffic to your site, but have you ever considered what happens when customers get there? If your site looks the same as it does for the other 51 weeks of the year it can be an anti-climax for customers.

A great way of adding continuity to the customer experience and building hype for these major shopping events is by directing customers to a dedicated landing page where you can make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday messaging come to life with things like:

  • Adverts emphasising the benefits of your special offers
  • Sneak peaks of upcoming specials for products, brands or categories
  • Black Friday sale countdown timer
  • Feature advert panels
  • CTAs for membership or newsletter signup
  • Featured product galleries
  • Shipping information
  • Returns policy
  • FAQs
Speak with one of our Neto expert partners to talk about building your landing page and the features that will work for your business via the Job Request Portal.

Plan your sales strategy early

Annie Le from Rainstorm Studio says:

Analyse sales and inventory velocity reports, look at past data, explore trends in your categories/industry to plan your inventory. Having sufficient stock is the key to the success of your sales, and planning ahead is especially crucial this year.

Armed with this information you can then decide on your sales strategy and can be creative with your offers by mixing the commonly available methods: storewide discounts, % off per category/key product, order threshold discounts, and double reward points.

If you also sell on marketplaces, a review of cross channel sales data may unveil the products to focus on in this promotion.

Add Black Friday and Cyber Monday categories

When customers land on your site through search and other organic pathways, you'll want to make sure they’re able to find your best deals quickly and easily. Have your Black Friday and Cyber Monday categories set up and populated with your products ahead of time. Then, all you need to do is make them active and visible on the day.

To heighten the customer experience and build excitement even further, consider using a custom category page template for these categories. This could include things like a countdown timer to the end of the sale, special banners and adverts or even a custom Black Friday/Cyber Monday colour scheme.

Custom thumbnail and product page badges

Nick Zivanovic from Gallant Digital says:

Think about adding custom Black Friday and Cyber Monday badges to your category page thumbnails and to your product pages. These can be toggled on/off to coincide with your sales schedules and are a great way to highlight the best deals to your customers.

Abandoned carts don’t mean abandoned hope

On average, about 70% of ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned and this tends to increase during big shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday as customers shop around to find the best deals.

But, like any challenge, it’s how you deal with abandoned carts that can make or break a successful sale season for your business. Rather than viewing them as a sale lost think of them as an opportunity gained.

By installing Neto’s free Abandoned Cart Saver add-on you can send an automated email with the customer’s cart content and a call to action link to complete their purchase. Better yet, these emails are 100% customisable so you can really ramp things up by including stronger company branding, a custom message and even a coupon code.

If you’re comfortable with HTML and CSS you can follow our documentation to customise your abandoned cart email but if not, don’t worry, you can submit a job via our Job Request Portal telling one of our expert partners what you’d like instead.

Quick wins can change the game

Stefan Tsvetkov from AV Tech says:

There are some simple steps that merchants can take that don’t require a lot of effort but can certainly deliver a lot of impact.
  1. Add an announcement bar at the top of your website with a link to your Black Friday/Cyber Monday landing page/category page and promote your discount code.
  2. Create a pop-up on your website promoting your discount code.
  3. Setup your black Friday and cyber Monday sales early so customers can get a head start.
  4. Add a countdown timer to the header of your website or to specific pages to countdown to either the beginning or the end of your sales.
  5. Use the cross-sell and up-sell features on Neto to promote relevant products.
  6. Offer freebie products as a way to stand out from your competitors.
  7. Consider bundling popular items into kits with special or discounted pricing.
  8. Provide a clear returns policy so customers feel at ease if they buy something they may need to return.
  9. Setup targeted abandoned cart emails.
  10. If you don’t already use one, consider setting up live chat or a chatbot during this sale season.

We hope these tips and hints have inspired you to get your website ready for the exciting sale season ahead. You can find many of the jobs discussed in this guide in our Job Request Portal, where our expert partners can help you make sure your website is ready to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020.

To kick things off and get you in the mood for cyber season, we’re excited to announce that our friends at AV Tech and Rainstorm Studio are offering a discount to their normal rates for jobs submitted via the Job Request Portal between now and October 31st. So don’t delay, submit your requests now and claim 10% off from AV Tech or 20% off from Rainstorm Studio.

Win a $500 team lunch

In addition, for one lucky merchant, Neto is going to shout lunch for your entire team, up to the value of $500. To be in with a chance to win all you have to do is submit a job request via the Job Request Portal between now and 11:59pm Thursday 26th November, 2020 and you’ll get an entry in the draw. The more job requests you make the more entries you’ll receive. We'll draw the prize and contact the winner on Tuesday 1st December.