With just over a month to go, the countdown to Black Friday (27 November) and Cyber Monday (30th November) is well and truly on!
In a follow up to our BFCM strategy guide, we reached out to our Gold Certified Partners to get their tips and insights on how to make the upcoming sale season a success for your business.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are periods during which shopper behaviour ramps up, people are browsing more and specifically, they are looking for items they want at reduced prices. They are also happy to be tempted by things they might not have considered, in particular impulse buys (items under $300).
What does that practically mean for merchants? Our tips include:
- User experience is important but even more with increased traffic. Be prepared to audit your website from that perspective and work with a partner to make some much needed enhancements. If you don’t have the capacity to make improvements, at least be prepared to learn from the traffic that is coming, meaning, deploy session recording and heat mapping software.
- People will instinctively ‘search’ for products when looking for deals so ensure you have a fast intuitive search on your website.
- Increased traffic is a prime opportunity to boost your subscriber base. Ensure you have a compelling incentive to make it easy for visitors to give up their email address. Statistically “10% off your first order” outperforms most other offers, so start with that. Who would pass up a discount!
- This is also an opportune time to flood the Facebook Pixel with people to re-target. Ensure you have your pixel setup properly and a re-targeting campaign. You don’t need anything super fancy, a dynamic product ad carousel will do just fine to bring back wandering customers.
- Look at your marketing stack and invest into a dedicated strategy for Facebook, email and Google Ads.
Proposed Facebook Ad Strategy
Create new CBO campaigns
- Use only interests OR only LLAs in a single CBO
- 4-8 ad sets per campaign
- Website conversions objective
- Auto placements
- Use dynamic creative setting with about 3 creatives per ad set
- High budgets ($500-$3000/day per campaigns)
You need to watch these campaigns during the day and turn off anything that’s not profitable after a few hundred spent.
Facebook Ads Tips:
- If you don’t have capacity to put together new creatives, use past creatives that worked really well. Just add a prominent headline promoting the sale. Sale wording as that will ‘stop the scroll’
- Upload all creatives to ad sets a few days before to make sure they all get approved in time.
- Make sure your credit card has a decent limit that won’t make your ads stop.
- In some cases, have a backup ad account just in case
- Create a sale ‘event’ on your Facebook page up to a week earlier and promote it to your followers plus ask them to invite their friends.
- Facebook has dropped their 20% text rule which lots of agencies won't be aware of, so we recommend testing high text creatives before anyone else.
Email Marketing Tips
- Email, on average, generates $36 for every $1, which means it outperforms any other channel. Invest into a good strategy and implement.
- Make sure your popup is incentivised and that the welcome flow emails contain BFCM messaging and standout product deals.
- Send a campaign to your subscribers letting them know the sale is coming and give some hints. This should be done 2-7 days before the sale, depending on industry/niche.
- Run an early bird email campaign to VIPs (high spenders or loyal customers). Create a dedicated product category just for them and let them shop a day or two earlier than everyone else. Exclusivity wins big brownie points with existing subscribers.
- Bundles and gifts are a great way to drive up AOVs. Look at the last 6 to 12 months and profile what products are bought together most often and bundle those and then promote
Website UX Tips
- Ensure your website is loading fast. If it isn’t, reach out to a partner to optimise your website as much as possible.
- Mobile first experiences are key, so audit your website on mobile.
- If your products don’t have strategic cross sells and upsells, it’s time to get those in place. Think about placement and product mix - add value by showcasing products that add value to their purchase and then also show an upsell page to help them consider more expensive alternatives.
To see more great Black Friday content from Percetiv, check out their eCommerce Black Friday Ebook and read their 25 strategies to prepare for holiday shopping.
2020 has been an inflection point for selling online. Whilst parts of our global economy have been devastated by the COVID19 outbreak and the subsequent restrictions on the business sector and community life, ecommerce sales volumes have just about doubled across the board. At ZELLIS, we’ve seen demand for new websites and upgrading existing websites double over the past 6 months too. For merchants already running webstores and trading on marketplaces, it’s been challenging to meet such a sudden surge in demand, especially with the fulfilment and delivery sector struggling to keep up themselves.
There’s little doubt in our mind that we’re in for the Santa of all Christmases this year. The winners in the last quarter of 2020 will be those who have planned ahead and prepared for the retailer gold rush that is the pre-Christmas sales season. Here’s a few tips from our team that will help you sell more and engage more long-term customers and generate repeat business from them:
- Implement an informative stock status on your webstore. Informed customers tend to trust more, and come back for repeat shopping.
Add a thank you note or card into every parcel you dispatch. Get something designed professionally and have it printed. Leave a spot where you can hand-write a ‘thank you’ or even just your name. It’s a human touch that takes no time, but enhances brand engagement in the unboxing experience.
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.
We’re living in a truly digital era and potential shoppers are being bombarded with advertising everywhere they look. As a result, we’ve all become a lot more visual in our shopping habits and, with customers now having so many options, differentiation needs to be prioritised to gain the competitive advantage.
We recommend five key areas of focus for the upcoming sale season that will help you make your BFCM 2020 a huge success. Check out our insights and tips for FB & Insta Ads, eBay Promoted Listings, Amazon PPC, Google Shopping and, last but not least, Retargeting.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
This is all about putting your products out there! With Facebook and Instagram ads, your buyers don’t necessarily need to be actively looking for your products or typing keywords. Increasingly they stumble upon your products by chance in their feed and you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
- With Instagram being a Facebook owned company, you can use FB Ads Manager to set up your target audience and demographics for both platforms
- When creating adverts, set clear targets for conversions, leads, traffic and engagement
- Monitor, analyse and optimise to hit those targets
- Attractive images and headlines are essential
- Direct adverts to relevant landing pages to optimise conversions - sending customers to a home page is going to make it much harder to convert
eBay Promoted Listings
In a crowded marketplace like eBay it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. A great way to boost your visibility and be seen by millions of buyers is to experiment with eBay’s promoted listings.
- Always start low and experiment, even a 1% rate above eBay standard rates can help get you extra sales
- Promote new listings to establish traffic and sales history
- Promoted listings are not ideal for fixing slow moving sales – perhaps optimise these first
- An interesting side effect of promoted listings is some buyers who automatically scroll past anything “Sponsored”, but then they click on your next listing. You still get a sale, but don’t pay for the ad
Amazon PPC (pay per click) is an advertising system within the Amazon marketplace, where sellers sponsor their products to appear at the top of search results. They are charged each time an ad has been clicked and viewed by a customer.
- Products generally get a higher visibility and sell-through than organic listings
- The ads are displayed to targeted audiences thereby optimising Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
Google Shopping Ads are sponsored listings that showcase the product image, title, price and the brand. These ads appear at the top of most search results page and direct users to specific product landing pages on your website where they can make a purchase.
- Products are displayed to a relevant audience that is most likely to make a purchase. This allows you to concentrate only on the return on ad spend rather than the audience and keywords which you would need to do with traditional Google Keyword Search
- Get access to Google’s own machine learning technology which automatically runs dynamic retargeting if you set up Google Smart Shopping Campaigns
If you’re investing in your digital marketing strategies in the upcoming BFCM period, a retargeting strategy will ensure that you continue to reap the dividends long after these big shopping events are over.
- This tool becomes even more effective after Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Drive traffic through digital advertising and then retarget visitors that didn’t convert
- During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, website traffic is expected to increase and those cookies can be captured for a later retargeting campaign
- Create lookalike audiences with your Facebook Pixel to target audiences with similar traits to the ones who have already converted