There’s no denying that Black Friday is huge for eCommerce.
Last year, Black Friday sales in the US grew by 17.7% from 2015.
In one day alone, we collectively spent a jaw-dropping $3.34 billion dollars!
And as a entrepreneur and an eCommerce store owner, you’re probably doing all you can to capitalize on the Black Friday frenzy.
Maybe you’ve already started teasing your Black Friday campaigns.
Maybe you’ve ordered more stocks from your supplier, in anticipation of the higher demand.
Maybe you’ve bribed (or blackmailed!) your best friend into lending an extra pair of hands, so that you can get all your orders packed and shipped in time.
But what happens once Black Friday ends, and the dust starts to settle?
There’s still Cyber Monday, and the entire period leading up to Christmas for you to maximize your 2017 sales revenue.
You’d be a fool to rest on your laurels and take it easy for the rest of 2017.
You’ve still got more than a month to go… so make sure you use the following strategies to make December your most profitable month yet!
#1: Participate in Cyber Monday sales
If you’re like the majority of eCommerce store owners, you might be thinking:
Psh, Black Friday is where the money’s at. Consumers don’t get that excited over Cyber Monday.
Whelp, that’s where you’d be wrong.
Black Friday might seem like a bigger event than Cyber Monday, but Cyber Monday actually results in more revenue generated for retailers and eCommerce store owners.
The numbers don’t lie:
Whilst US shoppers spent $3.34 billion dollars during Black Friday last year, they spent $3.45 billion during Cyber Monday.
Why wouldn’t you want to muscle in on that?!
One caveat, though - because other eCommerce stores will be trying to capitalize on Cyber Monday as well, you’ll have to make your promotions and messaging extra special to stand out.
Here are some tips:
Engineer your promotion for maximum engagement
Social media is your best friend.
If you can have ten of your shoppers, ten of their friends, and ten more friends of friends share your post, you’ll be raking in the profits, and laughing your way to the bank.
But how do you create a promotion or social media campaign that encourages people to share?
Simple. Incentivize the sharing process! Here’s how Pagemodo does it:
You can experiment with various Call to Actions with this, such as…
- Share, tweet and pin
- Share and tag your friends in the comments
Bear in mind, though, that not all your shoppers will be comfortable with sharing your post.
If your main aim is to build your social media following and engagement, then feel free to reward only the sharers with discounts.
However, if you’re looking at maximizing revenue and profits, take a leaf out of Pagemodo’s book and offer your non-sharers a discount as well.
Time your email campaigns appropriately
Cyber Monday is a working day, so your shoppers (the conscientious ones, at least!), might not be checking their personal emails during office hours.
For this reason, I recommend scheduling your email campaigns for 6pm or later (if you’re using Mailchimp, go ahead and use the Timewarp feature, which enables you to schedule campaigns based on your subscribers’ specific timezone.)
Whilst you’re at it, why not experiment with tongue-in-cheek email subject titles? Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing…
- Your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder anymore. Time to start shopping!
- You’ve been waiting all day for this moment. Take 40% off with code CYBER40!
- You’re on Santa’s “nice” list for not shopping at work. Here’s your reward!
Alright, one last tip before I move on…
Use a countdown timer in your Cyber Monday emails
Countdown timers are super effective.
Like, increase your conversion rates by three-fold type of effective.
These are used both on eCommerce stores…
...and in email campaigns.
One thing to note: if you’re utilizing a countdown timer, it’s wise to keep the design of your email fairly minimal, so that your countdown timer stands out.
In the example above, the larger banner directly below the countdown timer is pretty distracting. No shade to Hotels.com, but you can do better!
#2: Continue your sales post Black Friday and Cyber Monday
In an ideal world, everyone would get all their shopping done during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and not spend (on anything significant!) for the rest of the year.
But real life gets in the way.
Maybe Shopper A gets slapped with overtime work at the last minute. By the time he reaches home at 9pm, he’s too exhausted to do anything apart from heating up a frozen pizza, and consuming it whilst lying in supine position on his couch.
Maybe Shopper B gets in a fight with her boyfriend, and they spend the evening rehashing and reliving all the petty quarrels they’ve had in the past year.
Maybe Shopper C is attending her friend’s wedding in Bali. Ironically enough, she’s spent almost her entire month’s salary on her flight and accommodation, and could really use the Black Friday promotions to save on her Christmas shopping… but as it turns out, the wifi is spotty in her villa.
There are tons of reasons why your shoppers might miss out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So it makes sense for you to extend your promotion by a few days, and maximize your sales!
Again, I’d do this with a tongue-in-cheek approach, such as…
Email subject title: The Holy-Shit-I-Can’t-Believe-I-Missed-Black-Friday Sale Is Now On!
Quit moping, because you’re in for a real treat. We figured that you were too tired, busy, or otherwise occupied to take advantage of our awesome deals yesterday - so we’ve decided to extend our Black Friday sales by three more days. If you miss this one again, that’s IT. So get shopping now!
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#3: Ramp up your PPC spend with remarketing ads
I know that PPC always gets more expensive around Christmas, but hear me out.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s likely that you’ll have seen a huge surge in traffic to your website.
Not everyone will have made a purchase - so here’s your chance to hit the non-buyers with as many remarketing ads as possible.
Image from iMarketSolutions.com.
Again, if possible, try to convey some sort of urgency and limited-time offer with these remarketing ads.
For added benefit, spy on your competition to steal their keywords.
Pro Tip: Make sure to keep an eye on your inventory levels, and pause your PPC ads if your products are out of stock!
#4: Focus on marketing your customizable products
I don’t know if you’ve realized, but shoppers are becoming highly particular when purchasing Christmas gifts.
They’re ditching the generic, boring gifts such as Body Shop boxsets, Starbucks cards, and shopping vouchers…
...and increasingly spending their money on customizable products which are seen to be more meaningful.
If you’re a jewelry brand that sells both regular bracelets and customizable bracelets, go ahead and divert all your ad spend or campaigns to your customizable items during the holiday season.
If you’re not currently offering any customizable items, think about whether you can start doing so.
Pro Tip: If it takes too much effort to come up with a new range of customizable products, offering handwritten notes or customizable gift-wrapping is another option!
#5: Tap into the principle of reciprocity
If you’ve ever stepped into a Costco, chances are, you’ll have been greeted by a beaming promoter offering you a free sample.
What’s the rationale behind this?
Brands who offer free samples are banking on the power of reciprocity. As Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist, puts it:
“When somebody does something for you - such as giving you a quarter of a ravioli on a piece of wax paper - you really feel a rather surprisingly strong obligation to do something back for them.”
How strong is strong?
Well, giving out free samples of frozen pizza has been shown to increase sales by up to 600%.
Not too shabby, huh?
Whilst eCommerce store owners don’t have brick and mortar outlets where they can physically send out free samples, they can engineer similar campaigns online.
For example, launch a campaign where you send shoppers free sample-sized products in the mail (with shoppers only having to pay for shipping).
In order to maximize those heartwarming, feel-good Christmas vibes, make sure you tell your shoppers that it’s your way of showing some love to them this Christmas!
Pro Tip: When sending free samples to your shopper, be sure to include a short, memorable URL which they can use to navigate to the relevant product page. Try Bitly!
Final words on overhauling your holiday campaign strategy
Black Friday is super important - there’s no doubt about that.
But rather than thinking about Black Friday as a sprint, picture it as a marathon.
In short: it’s about lasting the distance.
It won’t do you good to burn out too early, and miss out on all the revenue you could’ve made during Cyber Monday and the entire month of December.
(Like I mentioned, Cyber Monday generates more revenue than Black Friday; after that, you can tap into all the last minute shoppers who buy presents a week before Christmas).
So pace yourself, and stock up on plenty of coffee, energy bars, and microwaveable meals.
These last two months will be grueling - but they’ll also be extremely profitable, if you play your cards right.
I’ll see you on the other side!
If you liked this post, please share it with your other entrepreneur friends who are obsessing over Black Friday, and neglecting their overall holiday campaign strategy!