Countdown to Black Friday: Best Tips to Drive Holiday Success

Nov 17, 2022

Black Friday is the best time of year for sales, but is your fashion business prepared to make the most out of this event? This article will show you how to set your company up for success.

3 Steps to Prepare for Black Friday

  1. Define your product offers
  2. Identify and plan your promotional strategy
  3. Optimize your technology

Define your Product Offers

The first step you need to do is to define what product you want to promote based on data such as analytics, surveys, or competitive analysis.

To define what you’re offering, depending on your type of business and product, you may not be able to discount your products or services. You would want to look to offer discounts on higher margin products, then upsell or downsell other products to generate other income. You also want to check your inventory and make sure you can support an increase of orders. Lastly, you want to plan your order management to identify the best way to ensure orders are fulfilled in a timely manner. You not only want to make sure they can get it as fast as possible but you want to give customers the support they need.

How will you sell your product? You will need to think of some creative ideas that align with your brand. That doesn't always mean offering a discount. If you can’t afford to offer a major discount on your primary offering, here are a few other ideas you can try: BOGO (buy-one, get-one 50% off), gift with purchase, create a sneak peek, unveil a new product, free shipping, loyalty rewards, upsell smaller products, create bundles or gift sets, gift card with minimum purchase, promoting a cause (donate proceeds of sales to a charity).

You need to entice first-time buyers as well, since this is the time that many customers will be open to looking for new products. You may have loyal customers but make sure to position your brand to a brand new audience and build market share.

Define and Plan Your Promotional Strategy

The second step you want to do is define and plan your promotional strategy. BFCM is the most popular shopping day of the year so you want to make sure your brand and products stand out. Here's 5 keys for a great product promotion.

  1. Define your timeline. What can you be promoting in advance of BFCM? You can try sending 1 -2 emails per week, featuring the offer you want to promote.
  2. Prepare your audience. Build anticipation and excitement in advance, perhaps you can work with influencers to post sneak peeks of upcoming promotions or a new product launch and create buzz. This way your customers know what to expect and is ready for your offer.
  3. Create urgency. You want to create a sense of urgency to have your audience ready to take action as soon as the promotion starts.
  4. Choose your medium. There are many channels in which to reach your audience, such as social media, email marketing, paid ads, referrals, SEO.  Look at the best ones that have the highest conversions and start with those.
  5. Create supplementary content. Promote your brand with various content such as blogs, videos, and other promotional materials that showcases your brand that aligns with the offer you want to promote.

When should you start promoting your Black Friday offers? Depending on the size of your business and resources you have available, you can start as early as October or between Halloween and Black Friday. Ideally, you can start your promotional strategy 2 weeks before BFCM and gradually build anticipation by adding more promotions for the week of Nov 21-27.

Here are 4 ways to reach your audience:

  1. Email Marketing- Emails sent on BFCM last year had the highest open rate and CTR of any other day.
  2. SEO- Make sure you perform quality Keyword Research prior to BFCM so that your know exactly what your audience is looking for.
  3. Social Media- Engagement on social media messages during BFCM have increased 968% year over year
  4. Paid Media- Make sure to plan ahead and target your ads in a timely fashion

As you can see with all that needs to be done to ensure successful holiday sales, it's important to plan your online marketing ahead of key dates this holiday season.

Don't forget to make sure to follow up with new customers, through the new year and beyond!

Optimize Your technology

You want to make sure it's easy for customers to buy your products. Make sure to optimize customer experience with quality, user-friendly technology.

First, you want to make sure your tech can handle Black Friday. Here are 4 areas you should look at:

  1. Website UX- Check to see if there are any issues that would stop a customer from converting.
  2. SEO- Make sure its easy for searchers to find you with SEO. Make sure people can find you and products you are offering.
  3. Ad Accounts- Are your paid media ads running on the right channels? Are they optimized to draw your audience’s attention?
  4. Analytics- Do you have software in place that can track orders, sales & shipments?

Plan your campaign in advance (now) and upload your assets early to ensure they are approved in time for launch for you Black Friday campaign. Creative approvals (paid ads) are a huge pain point and could cause an advertiser to completely miss out on running ads for BFCM.

Another important tip is to make sure to list the expected delivery dates and your return policies clearly on all your communication and website.

Over half of online shoppers in 2021 were first-time buyers who need to be catered to. So make it easy for them to buy on your website. That's why it's important that you take the steps listed above so that you don't lose them dues to a glitch on your website.

Some last tips to help give your e-commerce marketing a boost this holiday season:

  1. Show "order-by" dates when a customer needs to order a product to get it before the holidays
  2. Show countdown timers on your website and emails leading up to the sale
  3. Make sure your messaging and branding is consistent from your ads, social posts and make sure your messaging matches on your website
  4. Have several online payment options such as Paypal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Recurly
  5. Give customers more flexibility with payment installments such as Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, or Sezzle
  6. Displays scarcity messaging, such as “Only X-left” X people have this in their carts. “X people viewing this product now”
  7. Make the return policy easy to find. Have it near the add to cart button
  8. Make sure chat is prominent and that your support team is able to respond quickly.
  9. Clean up minor design issues like ugly fonts, mismatched icons, generic stock photography, add to cart and checkout buttons are easy to find
  10. If your brand is focused on sustainability and want an alternative to Black Friday- while supporting a good cause, you can look into initiatives such as Blue Friday.

Hope you found these tips to be helpful and let me know in the comments which ones you plan to use for your online store.