A BLACK STORY FOR BLACK NUMBERS
Although it might sound like the title of a horror movie, and in some versions, the origin of this term borders on legend, it has become widely accepted that “Black Friday” is actually a reference to the retailers’ bottom line, which can go from red to black on these dates.
These are wild shopping sprees, in which people rush into stores and frantically grab products not only on this specific day, but also on the days before. Although the busiest day and the one with the highest volume of sales is still this famous Friday, nowadays the campaign is extended and spread over a whole Black Week and, in many cases, up to 30 days.
That is why it is so important to make sure that your online store is well-prepared so that everything runs smoothly during these days. But before we tell you how you can get ready, we’ll give you some context on what Black Friday 2021 was like, based on data that Doofinder collected from over 8,000 customers worldwide.
BLACK FRIDAY DATA 2021
The fashion, accessories and consumer electronics segments were the most in demand. And there was an interesting spike in demand for toys, beauty and health products, sports equipment and household wares.
Server usage increased by 53.2% compared to a normal day, reaching 93.9 million requests. Desktop computers are the preferred device for most users when making their purchases, with 55% of searches, while cell phone use maintained its upward trend.
And the average conversion rate compared to other days increased by a factor of 2.2.
Everyone expects 2022 to be a tough year, but the truth is that no one knows for sure what is going to happen, and in any case it’s best to prepare for it.
As I’ve said before, “The good thing about eCommerce is that it allows both customers and companies to anticipate and forecast purchases in times of high demand such as Black Friday. The growth of online searches proves it, as customers search in advance for their desired products and add them to their shopping cart only to buy them when they get the biggest discounts”.
SURVIVE BLACK FRIDAY
Now that we have reviewed the importance of Black Friday for online stores and how it is increasingly extended in time, I will give you some tips to minimize risks and ensure that your store is truly prepared for what is coming.
Here are 7 tips that will allow you to optimize your sales during these dates but are also useful at any other time.
These actions and strategies are very simple and don’t require complex technologies; however, they work remarkably well when it comes to attracting customers, triggering the purchase decision and, ultimately, making them choose your store over another one.
1 – Sense of urgency
People search and compare among many offers. You’re a shopper, you can understand why. So a sense of urgency will help them buy from your store and not continue to search endlessly.
But it must be a real sense of urgency, not fabricated or forced, because the customer will notice that. And that real sense is provided by giving the reason why this offer is occurring. Let’s see a few examples:
- Limited time offers, with an exact date and time until which the offer or special price will be offered. Example: the end of Black Friday.
- Discounts for a limited number of units of a product that shows how many are left. This fuels the desire to not want to miss out on it. For example: discount available for the first 100 units, and there are only 15 units left! The fewer there are, the faster they sell.
This is without a doubt one of the most effective strategies to motivate your customers to buy.
2 – Remarketing
This is nothing more than intensifying the impact on people who have already been to your store.
Thanks to Google or social media, you already know who has shown some interest in what you offer, so step up and try to finish convincing them with your value proposition. They already know you, so it’s a good time to be more aggressive.
It’s also important to anticipate needs, as some people have been thinking for a long time about what they are going to buy on Black Friday. Don’t wait any longer.
3 – Internal Site Search
A basic need for any eCommerce site, but it’s even more important on dates like Black Friday.
Between 10 and 40% of visitors to your eCommerce use your Site Search, something that increases on dates like these, when people search even by product reference and have a very strong intention to purchase. This can mean that 30-70% of your revenue comes from people who have used a Site Search.
About 70% of online stores don’t offer results if you search by synonym instead of the exact word, something that can be solved with the technology of an advanced SIte Search, with synonyms, autocomplete, filters, visual and voice search…
It is also a strategic source of data and statistics. The most searched products and terms, the average number of clicks, the conversion rate, the products that are searched for but do not offer results… All this is essential information for decision making in your business.
Taking care of all these details related to the Site Search can increase your sales between 10 and 20%, a percentage that can be higher on dates when visits and purchase intentions are intensified.
4 – Upselling, cross-selling and recommendations
The objective of this strategy is to increase the average ticket size. You can start by offering a more complete product than the one your customer is looking at for a slightly higher price.
You can also offer small consumables, with a small discount, that complement the main product, in this way saving logistic costs by including them in the same shipment.
What’s more, as Amazon (and analog sales long before it) has well demonstrated, there are few words that are more powerful than “customers who bought this item also bought…”. This is a very effective strategy to recommend related products, based on the customer’s previous behavior and products they’ve shown interest in before.
In this sense, Doofinder has a recommendation functionality that perfectly complements the internal Site Search and is a very useful tool to encourage cross-selling of products.
5 – Direct Response Email Marketing
This is without a doubt one of the most profitable tools for any eCommerce. This is the perfect way to advance offers before the big day arrives and, in this way, generate a certain amount of early anticipation.
Through email you can impact hundreds or thousands of people on your list at once, with a single message and at a time of your choosing. When it comes to Black Friday, some of those moments are very specific and strategic.
For example, the simplest and most effective is the so-called “abandoned cart“. It’s a fact: in any eCommerce, between 75 and 80% of the carts are abandoned. For this reason, sending a reminder email to complete the purchase in the first hour can “salvage” a large percentage of these “almost purchases”.
On Black Friday, when impacts intensify, you may have to adapt the timing and type of communication a bit. You can accompany it with an additional discount, a warning message that the products will only be stored in the cart for 10 minutes, etc. Use your imagination to facilitate the last push towards the sale.
And of course, your customers always come first. It may be an excellent idea to use email to provide early access to certain exclusive customer offers. This will also encourage them to sign up to your newsletter and increase your database of trusted contacts.
6 – Gift Guide
Many people warm up their purchase decision well in advance.
That’s why it can be very useful and effective to prepare content that helps in that purchase decision. On your blog on your social media accounts, make shopping guides with suggestions of products to give as gifts to mothers, fathers, partners, etc.
But also transfer this same strategy to the store’s categories or filters, in such a way that they serve to help or advise on possible purchases or gifts.
7 – Checkout Optimization
This is without a doubt the most important moment of the entire purchasing process. When the customer has already chosen you and has decided to pay for your products, you can’t afford to make any mistakes.
It comes down to every last detail, such as adaptation to the cell phone, button size, loading times, etc. But when it comes to the checkout process, there are three elements that need to be taken care of down to the last detail: trust, security and comfort.
Don’t make it mandatory to register to buy, especially on Black Friday. Incentivizing registration with discounts is a different story. Forego the unnecessary. Don’t ask for their date of birth if you are not going to give something away, don’t ask for their phone number if you are not going to send relevant messages, don’t cross-sell at the time of payment if you are not sure it will work…
What is necessary is: to provide several payment methods (PayPal, credit card, etc.), to make sure that all options are secure, to answer all FAQs, and to specify delivery times and return policy.
READY, STEADY, BLACK FRIDAY!
You now have a good toolbox with which to survive Black Friday and continue to be successful going forward.
But I will insist on the importance that your customers find the products they are looking for when they arrive at your store. Offering optimal results is not only a basic requirement that standard Site Search do not ensure, but also having an advanced Site Search can increase your sales by 10 to 20%, because those who search are more willing to buy.
To see the before and after effects of an intelligent Site Search in your own business, I encourage you to request a 30-day free trial of Doofinder. You’ll see how well it works for you.
Writer: Llorenç Palomas | CMO & Head of Marketing of Doofinder