Black Friday 2016: How e-commerce retailers can maximise sales

Whilst customary in the US, Black Friday is newer to the UK market but is gaining momentum fast. This year it falls on Friday 25th November so there's still time to plan out an e-commerce strategy to compete for your slice of the £1bn spent (2015 Black Friday sales).

What does an effective Black Friday campaign look like?

We came across an article this week by tech experts Alphr guiding shoppers on how to get the best Black Friday deals. It gave us a great opportunity to turn the tables and feed their tips into our own guide on how online retailers can create a successful Black Friday campaign that meets the expectations of online shoppers.

1.       Customers will do their research

Alphr’s article advised customers to do their homework to find the best deals. Online retailers should promote and publicise their Black Friday deals in advance of the big day. You could use a combination of channels to advertise what products will be on offer and what the special deals are. Encourage customers to bookmark your site and come back when the offers are live.

2.       Decisions are made fast

Shoppers are aware that Black Friday deals don’t last long so make it easy for them to buy. Ensure all your deals are featured on one landing page to direct marketing traffic to and make sure some of your advertising includes deeplinks to product pages, so shoppers are just one click away from the checkout.

3.       Shoppers buy early

Many online retailers start running their deals in the week leading up to Black Friday so customers will be looking around – make sure you secure sales from early bird shoppers.

4.       Extra costs could lose you the sale

Shoppers will be expecting the absolute very best deals. Adding on extra costs like delivery and customs charges could mean customers head elsewhere. Make sure your advertised prices are final and promote free delivery if you’re offering it.

5.       Are they Christmas gifts?

Because of the proximity of Black Friday to Christmas, many Black Friday deals will be purchased as gifts. Be clear on your website about delivery timescales and product availability to manage customers’ expectations and avoid disappointment.

6.       Can you offer a voucher code?

Despite Black Friday being about very low prices, shoppers will also be hunting around for additional savings. Promoting a voucher code through affiliates and high-traffic sites like HotUKDeals could provide you with welcome additional traffic and sales. Even an extra 5% off is enough to entice shoppers if your margins and marketing budgets allow.

7.       Shout about secure payment methods

Lesser known e-commerce retailers and start-ups can increase their conversion rates by reassuring customers of their secure payment methods. Shoppers can be wary of entering their details into unknown websites, so if you offer PayPal this will encourage the sale and make it quicker for customers to check-out too.

8.       Offer VIP status

Sites like Amazon often provide exclusive discounts to members. Whether you only include your highest value customers or your entire email subscriber list, think about ways you can provide existing customers or email subscribers with extra value and incentives.

So there you have it, our very own round-up of how to secure those Black Friday sales on your e-commerce site.  

Underpinning our post is the need to understand and respond to customer behaviour and expectations and Alphr's article gives a great insight into what customers may be looking for when buying on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.

Why not check out Alphr's full article: 12 tips to find the best Black Friday deals.