Black Friday Marketing: The Ultimate How-to Guide in 2021

Halloween is almost at hand, meaning that it’s time for retail businesses to start preparing their Black Friday marketing strategies. With 57% of consumers planning to do their shopping online, working on your Black Friday campaign this early might be the only thing you need to get more holiday sales this year.

Before you jump to create a landing page, rework your product pages, revamp your social media presence, let’s talk about customer ownership.

I. How Can Customer Ownership Possibly Help Me Make More Holiday Sales?

Customer ownership refers to the direct contact that exists between your eCommerce business and customers. It is a highly functional approach that primarily revolves around creating, delivering, and communicating compelling business value.

It generally works by tracking customer behavior, activities, interests, and social interactions, then using that insight to tailor-make and curate products and marketing content that targets their specific needs.

Well, it’s a game-changing concept that adds to your competitive advantage and, most importantly, helps you to engage with your potential customers effectively. But remember, deploying a new inventory tracking system this holiday won’t necessarily mean that you automatically own the customers.

Instead, such automation coupled with careful customization will ensure that your online business consistently delivers the best blend of functional, emotional, and financial value—the three main ingredients for winning target markets and making more holiday sales.

Contrastingly, what you need to do to win your customers’ hearts? Check out this detailed tutorial on how to give excellent customer service this holiday season:


That said, here’s how Covid-19 is expected to shape the upcoming BFCM shopping this year:

II. Black Friday Shopping in the Covid-19 Era – What to Expect? 

The 2021 Black Friday weekend is fast approaching, meaning that it’s time for online store owners to start preparing for another holiday shopping season. Although the BFCM shopping season is around the corner, the rising cases of the new Delta variant will primarily affect how online shopping will pan out over the upcoming holiday season.

Well, the positive side of the COVID-19 pandemic is that 70% of consumers won’t be going to the physical Brick & Mortar stores any time soon. In other words, eCommerce businesses are likely to enjoy higher Black Friday sales this year.

Besides the long list of uncertainties caused by the pandemic, Shopify businesses recorded a 76% increase in BFCM sales worldwide. This totaled a record-breaking average of about 5.1 billion sales in the platform’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday market history.

To give you a glimpse of what to expect, experts predict that the global holiday retail sales this year should spike by at least 7%, whereas eCommerce holiday sales are projected to reach a bare minimum of $210 billion.

But how can you prepare your Shopify business for success this holiday season? Let’s now look at some of the best Black Friday marketing ideas for your Shopify business:

III. Your Complete Shopify Black Friday Marketing Guide

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend often kick off the busiest and most profitable holiday shopping season. With a global eCommerce sales projection of $4.891 trillion and 2.14 billion online shoppers, 2021 is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding times for online shopping.

Landing pages, social media ads, and email marketing campaigns are suitable for enticing potential customers. But if you want to amplify sales and conversion this holiday season, you must first take time to prepare and run effective Black Friday Marketing campaigns for your Shopify store.

Well, use the following step-by-step guide to create a sense of urgency, revamp your Black Friday Marketing strategies and ultimately get more Black Friday Sales.

Step 1: Plan Your Sales and Test Your Site Early

With more than 51% of holiday shoppers planning to start shopping before Halloween, you must first prepare your sales and test your site efficiently. Doing this early enough adds to your competitive advantage as you’ll be going into the holiday shopping season with:

  • Adequate inventory
  • An intuitive and responsive user interface
  • A seamless and diverse sales checkout process
  • A fast mobile functionality

Planning your sales will not only keep running into inventory issues at bay but also ensure that your special deals don’t eat into your profit margins because you forgot to turn them off. Of course, you can schedule and track all your BFCM sales manually using a spreadsheet or choose to automate the process with a good Shopify app like the Sales & Discount Manager.

Since Shopify speed is a huge turn-off to store visitors, testing site speed helps identify core loading issues that could otherwise threaten your holiday shopping performance. You can quickly use the Google PageSpeed Insight to check for loading issues and identify new opportunities for speed optimization on both mobile and desktop.

Google PageSpeed Insight

Step 2: Get Ready with The Perfect Holiday Landing Page

Numerous competing advertisements throughout the internet pose a common and increasingly annoying challenge for most online businesses. What if I told you that you could quickly go around this problem, boost holiday traffic, and improve overall search visibility?

Yes, a carefully optimized holiday landing page is all you need.

A landing page essentially refers to a standalone web page visitors land on after finding your store in organic search engine results. It mainly serves to capture their attention and convert visitors into paying customers.

Landing pages have an average conversion rate of 9.7%, meaning that creating one for your business might land you your first Black Friday sale during the holiday rush. Whether you want to generate more leads or make more product sales, a well-optimized landing page should be able to take your business to the next level. 

Note that the opposite is also true. If you’ll create a landing page that’s not well designed and SEO optimized, it might negatively affect your brand reputation and cripple your Black Friday sale efforts.

Luckily, you can use store optimization tools such as PageFly to quickly design and create effective Shopify holiday landing pages that customers can’t resist. Well, it is a highly efficient Shopify page builder for you to quickly create, optimize, and manage a variety of sales-boosting page types this BFCM season.

You don’t need to have any special programming skills, as it comes with a drag-and-drop functionality coupled with 24/7 chat support. Take advantage of the PageFly free plan to create the perfect holiday landing page that’s optimized for speed and personalized for mobile view in time for the holiday shopping rush.

PageFly is one of the best shopify advances page builder

Step 3: Update Product Content

Product listings and descriptions work to characterize the products you are selling and are essential for SEO ranking. Therefore, well-written and optimized product content helps your site rank top in search engine results, ensuring that your target audience quickly finds your site.

A compelling product description improves overall conversion rates. Well, here are some quick pointers to help you curate more effective product descriptions for the Black Friday Cyber Monday shopping spree:

  • Create and use authentic description content
  • Make sure your product description info is accurate, relevant, and reliable
  • Align your product description content with your buyer persona by using language that connects with the customer and makes the products irresistible to buy
  • The product content should be clear, concise, and complete
  • Spice things up by adding stunning images or high-quality “season” graphics
  • Use power words to create a sense of urgency and exclusiveness, e.g., must-have
  • Look for opportunities to naturally use specific keywords within the product description for SEO optimization

In summary, you should create product descriptions that connect with your target audience by explaining how the product or its features will address their pain points or needs effectively. Describe your products using a language they can relate with and use actionable words that draw them to buy. For instance, check out how the people at KONG have effectively described one of their products at Petco. With the help of a good product description generator tool, you should update the numerous product content listings on your Shopify store in minutes.

Petco

Step 4: Plan Your Content Marketing Schedule

The marketing world is highly dynamic, and it’s going to get busier this coming holiday season, but one thing will remain constant. That’s content.

I’m sure you’ve already heard of the phrase “content is king” before. But did you know that it’s the only marketing strategy that costs 62% less and guarantees to attract up to 3 times more leads than any form of traditional marketing?

Ideally, it’s the most cost-effective solution for luring more potential buyers in the coming holiday shopping season. Therefore, it would be best to plan your content assets before launching your Black Friday marketing campaign.

With only a few weeks left, leveraging on free tools like the HubSpot Content Calendar will help grow your reach and coordinate campaigns with more ease. This way, you’ll be sure to capture search engine attention and engage more with your target holiday market.

Hubspot content calendar

You’re more likely to draw in more holiday traffic if you start creating a content marketing schedule this early. Just make sure that it details out your publication dates for all target content assets like email marketing and social media ad campaigns. Remember to spice your holiday content with some catchy, relevant Black Friday quotes for more conversion.

Step 5: Prepare Promotional Sales

Now that you’ve already ensured that you have adequate inventory, it’s time to prepare your Shopify for promotional sales. Quickly determine the products you want to sell more of during Black Friday and start planning for discounts.

With plenty of customers looking forward to locking in good Black Friday deals, it would be best if you primarily discount products that your most potential customers deem valuable.

Automation tools like the Shopify Bulk Discount Manager will give you more control and convenience when planning and running your Black Friday promotional sales.

Shopify Bulk Discount Manager

Since competition for customer attention is always high during seasonal holidays, being a little creative can help you stand out. So, consider using attractive landing pages, bold promotional burners, attractive images, and eye-catching GIFs to boost your holiday promotional sales.

Step 6: Optimize Your Checkout Flow

Online shoppers are often pressed for time, especially when the holiday season is fast approaching. As a result, they tend to expect that your checkout process is simple, fast, and efficient.

With more customers eager to purchase products this holiday season, you probably want to use this opportunity to make as many holiday sales as possible. Right? 

Well, since 18% of cart abandonments are due to either complicated or too long checkouts, your checkout flow needs to be seamless. Otherwise, all your marketing expenditure and efforts to drive in more traffic won’t matter.

Therefore, you must optimize your checkout process in advance by going through it and testing each flow yourself.  Luckily, you can use Shopify apps like the One-Click Checkout to declutter your checkout processes and offer online holiday shoppers a seamless way to make purchases.

One-Click Checkout

Step 7: Revamp Customer Support

Successful customer support or service often leads to higher sales, increased customer retention rates, improved loyalty levels, better brand recognition, and fewer complaints. All it takes is a single bad customer service experience to ruin your brand image, which leads to loss of customers, sales, and revenue.

Being the start of the ever-busy holiday shopping season, you must prepare to revamp your customer service systems and make it easy for customers to reach you for support during Black Friday.

The monthly average for a customer service request is 62%, meaning that you will probably have to find better ways to provide real-time customer assistance to an influx of requests over the holiday. Or else you would risk losing most of your potential customers, as 86% of poorly serviced clients don’t return to the same store.

Considering that most online customers expect immediate responses, you must plan to integrate a fully functioning 24/7 customer service system into your Shopify. In this case, Live Chat channels are best suited for the job.

Therefore, leverage software such as Tidio and launch an effective live chat channel that matches your brand, automates chats, monitor customer activity, track results, and increase sales.

Tidio

Step 8: Curate and Schedule Your Email and Social Media Marketing Campaigns

With Black Friday shopping undoubtedly poised to increase this year, you should plan to start reaching out to all your potential customers as early as now. This is one of the most essential best practices in customer ownership.

Well, emails continue to stand out as the most preferred Black Friday Marketing strategy for many brands. About 116.5 million more emails were sent on the previous Black Friday than any other day, and they equivalently saw the highest opens and click-through rates.

Since online shoppers who receive emails are likely to spend 138% more than those who don’t, starting to work on your email marketing campaigns weeks before Black Friday can effectively help you boost your overall holiday sales.

Wait! If that wasn’t enough to motivate you, note that online shopping projections for the 2021 Black Friday are set to top last year’s $14 billion by 20%. That for Cyber Monday is expected to reach $11.8 billion.

Now that you’re excited to kick your Black Friday marketing campaigns off, keep in mind that it would be best to include a sneak peek of your upcoming Black Friday deals and promotions. This way, you’ll be able to build anticipation for all your forthcoming sales.

Emails are great for keeping both past and current customers engaged. But you can quickly extend your reach by using social media too. Just remember to schedule each post accordingly to remind potential buyers of order deadlines and timed sales. Throwing in a few gift coupons and gift cards is another good way to maintain the festive mood and keep customers excited.   

The good thing is that you can quickly take advantage of automation tools like the dotdigital Email Marketing app to schedule, personalize, and re-target both email and social media campaigns.

dotdigital

Step 9: Always Track Performance

If you’ve been keenly following and implementing our Black Friday marketing ideas, you should be on track for a profitable holiday shopping season. However, tracking your metrics throughout the holiday season is very important, especially if you’re looking to get more holiday sales this year.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaches, you must plan to track your Shopify store performance at the end of the Black Friday rush. The good news is that you can use Google Analytics to keep track of your store and marketing performance.

Once the Black Friday weekend is over, it’s not yet time to celebrate. Instead, prioritize running analytics for your Black Friday sales to understand what worked and what didn’t. This way, it will be easier for you to identify the best marketing strategies to focus more on among other lucrative opportunities for more holiday sales later into the year.

Google Analytics

Step 10: Prepare to Maximize Your Holiday Sales

Whether you’ll make a Black Friday sale or not, it’s but the tip of the iceberg. The Black Friday weekend only consists of at least four shopping spree days, and it often marks the beginning of the festive holidays.

If you think about it, this is one of the most opportune times for eCommerce businesses to test and capitalize on the most effective holiday marketing strategies and top-selling holiday products in their online stores.

Keeping in mind that you still have a whole holiday shopping season ahead, it’s always a good idea that you look beyond Black Friday and continue searching for better ways to keep online holiday shoppers engaged.

It’s a common first step for thriving eCommerce businesses to begin by converting first-time shoppers into recurring buyers. Borrowing from the customer ownership concept, you can easily do so by communicating with them more regularly, offer them excellent customer services, and make sure that your online store is running smoothly throughout the holiday season.

In a practical sense, an email or social media marketing campaign combined with a lucrative loyalty or referral program should do the trick; after all, customer retention is much easier than new customer acquisition. You can use automation tools such as S Loyalty to create effective loyalty programs and make more holiday referral sales in minutes from your existing customer base.

If you’re serious enough about making the most holiday sales, you should start thinking beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Just remember to structure a marketing plan that covers the entire winter holiday season.

S Loyalty

IV. Final Thoughts

The Black Friday Weekend often marks the start of the usual holiday shopping bonanza for retail and e-commerce businesses. With the Delta variant still on the rampage, more than half of the holiday shoppers are looking to start shopping online and early this year.

While this is good news to online store owners like yourself, you must plan to prepare your Shopify store for success this holiday season. Including discounts and gift cards in your Black Friday deals is excellent for enticing potential customers, but it would be best if you first optimize your store for speed and SEO.

The discussed step-by-step Black Friday marketing ideas were carefully handpicked to help you have an easier time preparing your Shopify for higher Black Friday sales. For better results, you will need to develop a good marketing plan for the whole holiday shopping season extending to New Year’s Eve.

For increased conversion and better holiday sales, PageFly is offering one of the best complete packages for building and optimizing your Shopify store, and you can try it for free. Good Luck!

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