Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is a massive opportunity for e-commerce, particularly after the pandemic. In these two years, buyers have increasingly turned to online destinations to research, review, purchase, and even seek support for products, and sales numbers hit an all-time high during Black Friday 2020 as well as 2021. SemRush reports that online spending for Black Friday reached $8.9 billion in 2021 and $9 billion in the year before. So, as BFCM 2022 comes around, how can marketers prepare? How do you optimize e-commerce for Black Friday? Read on to find out.
Understanding the Meaning of a Black Friday e-Commerce Strategy
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is one of the busiest shopping dates of the calendar year. Customers anticipate promotions and discounts from their preferred merchants. In return, corporations are rewarded with substantial spending. Cyber Monday, a successor to Black Friday brought in by the advent of e-commerce, is when online shops offer their greatest deals — although now, most companies run offers, promotions, and campaigns throughout the BFCM weekend.
E-Commerce has the same effect on B2B buyer behavior as it has on B2C buyer behavior, as B2B buyers migrate toward digital self-service. Two-thirds of Online shoppers prefer digital or virtual in-person engagements, according to McKinsey.
With the growing acceptance of online marketplaces, a stronger emphasis on enhancing fulfillment, and a focus on personalized user experiences, the B2B buyer journey resembles the B2C customer journey in many ways. These modifications make Black Friday essential for B2B businesses as well. In fact, most SaaS products with business-facing offerings take advantage of this holiday to rack up subscriptions and renewals. But to achieve this, you need to first optimize your e-Commerce strategy for Black Friday.
Tips for Optimizing E-Commerce for Black Friday
Here are eight ideas to optimize income prospects this holiday season:
1. Find and fix functional errors
Identify and address 404 pages, upgrade plugins and security fixes, and evaluate the functionality of all eCommerce shop features. Examine promotional codes, if available, and permit upselling and cross-selling to boost average order value. Errors and malfunctions on a website should be minimized as much as feasible.
2. Improve the user experience
Every year, a growing number of online shoppers utilize mobile devices. It is essential to guarantee that consumers can easily access your website no matter what device they utilize. If a website is improperly presented and does not adapt to portable devices (such as smartphones), users will likely prefer your competitors. In addition, the suggested website loading time should not exceed two or three seconds. It is among the most influential variables on user experience. With each passing second, the chance of a greater bounce rate increases. Consequently, it is essential to reduce this possibility.
3. Use segmentation data to personalize
Segmentation delivers clear advantages. E-commerce managers that make the effort to identify client segmentation and customize messaging for each subgroup realize ROI gains that regularly justify their investment. People want to feel as if you are communicating personally to them, as opposed to broadcasting mass-market sales pitches. The more your knowledge of your prospects, the greater your ability to influence their purchasing choices.
Top-down segmentation starts with the service or product and aims to tailor the offering to the most profitable market groups. Bottom-up categorization focuses on the preferences and personalities of the consumer, then tries to provide the most effective content to the appropriate customers. Customer personas are created as an extension of bottom-up segmentation. Both perspectives are required to design the most successful Black Friday marketing strategy.
4. Boost conversions by focusing on the right elements
One will need to conduct tests and site analysis to determine what motivates customers to purchase. Using a program such as Hotjar, observe how users interact with your website. Do the majority of users just engage with items that do not need scrolling (“above the fold” components)? If so, you should not risk your audience missing a Black Friday offer code by placing it below the fold. Run A/B testing on shopping-related aspects of your website while you still have time to acquire a large sample size.
5. Double down on SEO
Whether you offer physical equipment or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, improving your search ranking can help you climb well above the competition and increase conversion rates. Deploy a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) tester to determine your current ranking. It is prudent to refine product names and descriptions. This will aid buyers in discovering your items during a search and improve the user experience. You can identify the ideal phrases or keywords for the product pages using free Google tools. A strong presence on social media also benefits your search engine ranking.
6. Add a timer to your e-Commerce website
A countdown clock is a tried-and-tested method for creating a feeling of urgency and encouraging customers to make a purchase as soon as possible. A countdown timer encourages shoppers to purchase something instantly, as opposed to delaying the transaction and maybe visiting a competitor’s website. Additionally, countdown clocks are an excellent technique to increase demand and anticipation right before Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday. Consider installing a timer a couple of days ahead of the holidays, as well as a means for accumulating e-mails. Consequently, you will have a list of potential customers to promote once your offers go live.
7. Be creative with deals and discounts
Your Black Friday sales pitch and deals will attract people to your e-commerce website. Customers often anticipate substantially discounted deals. Therefore, you may offer significant discounts on both new and old items without tarnishing your brand reputation. Since all participating companies will be providing incentives on Black Friday, one must be inventive. Coupons add an unnecessary step to the checkout process by requiring consumers to perform an additional action.
8. Prepare customer support
To catch up with the amount of Black Friday consumers, try investing in an eCommerce chatbot. A chatbot delivers immediate customer support that can respond to approximately 80% of consumer questions. This allows your contact center to reply promptly to the residual 20% of inquiries. Keep in mind that there will be brand-new clients who are less acquainted with your offers and buying process. A chatbot may assist your consumers in locating the specific information they want. On an average order, they may also create individualized product suggestions, upselling, and cross-selling opportunities.
Understanding the Black Friday Mindset
The key to successfully optimizing e-Commerce for Black Friday is understanding the psychology behind this weekend-long purchase event.
It’s in our most natural inclination — almost in our DNA — to enjoy a good bargain. Black Friday marketing content like Discounts, Clearance, Deal, Sale, 50% off, and Purchase 1 Get 1 Free — stimulates the release of dopamine in our brains. These offers bypass our rationality and activate our brain’s inherent neural impulses to look for, and hunt down deals.
Additionally, shortage and community testimonials impact us. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is not limited to missing only a show or event, but also occurs when we miss out on a wonderful offer. Black Friday or Cyber Monday is indeed capable of appealing to the all-too-human inclinations of B2B buyers, for better or for worse, because of fundamental human urges and tendencies.
Knowing what’s at risk and how consumers feel regarding Black Friday is not sufficient for B2B organizations; they must also examine their company’s market standing during such sales holidays and current B2B customer behavior (many may want a more B2C-like buying experience).
As companies and individuals expect limited budgets in the next few months (due to inflation and fears of a recession), Black Friday is an important event. Many will try to maximize these deals to obtain competitive deals without straining their purse strings. As you gear up, make sure to check out our 2018 Creative Black Friday Marketing Ideas guide for more inspiration.