As you know, Black Friday is one of the most important days for most e-commerce merchants in Europe and America. Compared to a normal day, the world sales average is +663% and there is no doubt that this year many sales records will be broken again. Black Friday 2021, which is happening on November 26, will be unlike any other in the previous years. Buyers’ behavior and customer priorities have been changing at a fast pace. The supply chain will play an important role this year, and finding the right marketing tactics will be more important than ever. As an answer to the question "how to prepare for Black Friday 2021?", in this article, we’ve prepared the 10 most relevant tips for Black Friday 2021.

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Black Friday Tip #1: Keep your profits in mind

When talking about Black Friday, many online merchants’ eyes become shiny and they hear that famous “ka-ching” sound. However, in that gold-rush-like state, many of them forget about the difference between revenue and profit. While pushing sales with attractive offers is great, there is no use in doing that if your profit margins shrink to zero. 

So, if your margins are small anyways, ask yourself what would happen if you don’t go down the road and do what everybody does. The main question here is, are customers primed for discounts or for buying on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Also, if you plan on launching a sales offer, experiment with the amount of the discount. Does a 5% discount lead to the same results as a 15% discount? Well, then you’ve just turned 10% discount into 10% profit for every sale.

Increasing revenue is nice but profit is what counts.

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Black Friday Tip #2: Plan ahead and get your timing right

Every year the Black Friday madness starts earlier. It has even evolved to the point that some marketers are now talking about “Black Month”. Amazon even launched its Black Friday 2021 campaign 53! days ahead. Does time even matter anymore for you, Amazon?

For most e-commerce merchants, the holiday season is kicked off by a spooky Halloween night. November has indeed become packed with important e-commerce shopping days. The relevance of Single’s Day, for example, has been increasingly spilling over from Asian markets to American and European e-commerce markets.

You may or may not prepare a campaign for this day already. In any case, some of your competitors will. So, you should start teasing your potential customers before that day with your Black Friday offers. One strategy that turned out to be beneficial in recent years is to announce early that there will be special offers. When the day comes closer, you can unveil more and more concrete information about your campaign. By using this tactic, you will keep your customers excited and will stay on top of their heads.

Competitors will be promoting early this year. Make sure that customers don’t turn to them before you’ve even started your campaign.

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Black Friday Tip #3: Keep an eye on your stock levels

Timing and planning for Black Friday 2021 have not only become more important in terms of marketing campaigns and sales offers. One of the biggest differences compared to recent years is that supply chains have been overloaded and are not running smoothly throughout the previous months.

Sure, the pandemic brought about massive logistical challenges for Black Friday 2020. However, this year suppliers face even bigger challenges. Not only has a backlog of production and shipment been built up for many companies and products but basically, everything has become more expensive. We are talking packaging material, paper inlay, transportation costs, and even Euro palettes. The same goes for raw materials, gas, and oil prices.

Many experts project that there will be problems for many companies to keep sufficient stock levels. Make sure to be prepared for any scenario and stock up on your products early enough. There will be companies that can’t fulfill their whole potential during Black Friday 2021 due to missing stock. Make decisions early and work with trusted partners so that it won’t be you.

A smart inventory strategy will be one of the top make-or-break factors for Black Friday 2021.

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Black Friday Tip #4: Keep it simple

Keeping it simple is one of the main marketing mantras – for good reason. Customers will only engage with offers, ads, content, and similar if it is easy to grasp. This is especially true in a rather stressful period of the year. The holiday season 2021 and Black Friday 2021 will get online shoppers more overwhelmed than ever.

Make sure to be straightforward with what you offer. Focus on 1 to 3 of your best sellers and promote them prominently. Bring your offer to the point and don’t confuse potential buyers. Create that one deal that customers love and don’t make them think about another attractive purchase.

Too many favorable deals can lead to the so-called choice overload effect. In that case, the customer won’t be able to make a confident decision and will eventually leave your online shop without purchasing at all.

Moreover, while bundles are a great way to increase sales and your basket size, I advise you to not offer complex bundles for Black Friday 2021 for the same reasons as mentioned above. This will not only facilitate the decision-making of visitors but also ease your business operations.

Keep it simple for your customers and your business.

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Black Friday Tip #5: Fuel your marketing funnels with social media, content, and display ads

E-Commerce, during the holiday season, is a battlefield. This field will be more competitive than ever for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021. Therefore, make sure to fuel your marketing funnels before that.

Use content marketing throughout the year and encourage your visitors to sign up for newsletters and your social channels. That way, you can build powerful remarketing and email lists to reach your target audience most cost-effectively.

Moreover, use display ads before Black Friday. They have a bad reputation due to poor Click-Through-Rates. Yet, they can be a great way to support your marketing efforts. They are comparably cheap and you can reach targeted audiences via channels that you don’t currently cover. In fact, it is one of the cheapest strategies to build audiences.

When is the best time to start with this? No matter when you’re reading this, our answer will stay the same – yesterday. Get started as soon as possible, you won’t regret it.

To survive the e-commerce battlefield during Black Friday, you need to fuel your tanks (funnels) before.

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Black Friday Tip #6: Email marketing is king

Building on what was said before, it is hard to get customers’ attention on a day every other company is investing time and money to do the same. One way to get this attention before and during Black Friday 2021 is to use the power of your email list. Leverage the trust you’ve built and let your subscribers know about special deals for them.

To fulfill the whole potential, categorize and personalize the content and the offers in the mails. One tip to get low-hanging fruits is to use the recipient’s name in the subject line. Experiments have shown that this leads to 22% higher open rates. The subject line in general is a huge topic. 47% of email recipients open emails based on them. Hence, spending a few minutes to strategize on subject lines pays off in most cases.

A bit more work is to cluster customers and send them a Black Friday email according to their previous behavior. However, this is a highly powerful strategy. One-time buyers, for example, are usually more interested in discounts while you can show loyal customers who might care more about exclusive VIP offers that they are special to you.

Leverage the potential of email lists and personalize the messages.

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Black Friday Tip #7: Social media is queen 

Like email lists, social media is a great way to catch your customers’ attention. Optimize your accounts and include relevant keywords. You can even customize your profile picture for Black Friday 2021.

Let your followers know about your latest deals, include relevant hashtags in your posts, and post-promotion codes. Encourage user-generated content to leverage the social proof this strategy creates. Use the social shopping feature to facilitate the buying process for your peers. Additionally, did you ever think about working with micro-influencers, or have you ever done this before? In any case, it is worth testing the return on investment.

While your social channels are a great way to push sales, be conscious about why people follow you. Don’t overdo your Black Friday promotions as this could harm the trust your followers put in your account and brand.

Use your Social Media Channels to leverage your Black Friday sales campaigns but don’t overshoot the mark.

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Black Friday Tip #8: Make your visitors convert

Once you have managed to get some traffic on your website or your product page, you are so close yet so far to make that sale. 70% to 80% is a usual benchmark for e-commerce checkout abandonment in 2021. For mobile traffic, this number is even higher than 80%.

Being so close, yet not making that conversion is one of the most frustrating feelings for online merchants. Talking sports, it is like missing a penalty in European football or dropping the ball in the endzone in American football.

Now, how can you reduce this number that is especially high during Black Friday?

Update your store design

Be creative and stand out from your competition. That way people will be more inclined to stay on your page and you will increase your chances of completing the sale.

Create a sense of urgency

One trick that you can apply during the peak season of 2021 is to create a sense of urgency. Add a timer that shows the customers that the offer will expire soon, or show the amount of stock left.

Offer a live chat option

If you have the resources to offer a live chat, this is a great way to reduce drop-off. Analyze patterns of those who leave the checkout process. In most cases, an unanswered (and never asked) question will make potential buyers leave. If you know where the problems appear for which type of visitor, you can step in before they leave your online shop. By doing that, you can not only increase the conversion rate, you can also learn valuable lessons and work on potential blockers or automated solutions in the future.

Optimize shipping conditions

Two of the main reasons for cart abandonment are: high shipping costs and delivery times. If possible, offer free shipping for cart sizes of a certain size. That way you will increase sales and decrease cart abandonment. Also, set up an efficient in-house logistics process or work with a fulfillment company like byrd.

Trigger abandoned basket reminders

Even if you have thought of everything and did your best to avoid abandonments, there will always be customers leaving the checkout process. While you cannot avoid that, you can try to follow up with those who did. In case you have the data available, sending a reminder email or text can be very effective. While most will ignore these follow-up messages, some customers will come back and complete the conversion. Others might not make a purchase but will let you know why they left, which can be, in the long run, even more valuable.

Offer clear and easy returns

Returns have become a powerful make-or-break factor in e-commerce. This is particularly true for the holiday season and this year new records will be broken – no doubt about that. Offer an easy-to-understand returns policy and set up an efficient reverse logistics process to stay profitable.

Optimize your page experience and checkout process to convert visitors.

 

Black Friday Tip #9: Customer retention – Use Black Friday as the basis for new sales

Most online merchants analyze metrics of only Black Friday, to evaluate if it was a successful day. However, you should take a step back and already use Black Friday as the foundation for new sales at a later stage. Benefit from the fact that many customers are willing to try new products and new brands during that day since overall everything is cheaper.

For example, use branded packaging to guarantee a customer experience that buyers will remember. Also, think about adding flyers or “thank you” cards to your parcels. Add coupons to make your customers buy again and turn them into loyal customers.

Benefit from the advantages of Black Friday 2021 even beyond November 26.

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Black Friday Tip #10: Communicate peaks with your fulfillment partners

In order to provide sufficient resources, it is important for 3PL companies to be informed about any expected increases in order volumes. This way, sufficient manpower can be made available to guarantee fast order fulfillment.

This is particularly important this year and will become even more relevant in the future. Customers increasingly value the purchase experience. Short delivery times, therefore, contribute to customer satisfaction and subsequently to customer loyalty.

Let your fulfillment partner know of expected order volumes in advance. This ensures fast and smooth order fulfillment.

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With these 10 tips for Black Friday 2021 and your expertise as a merchant, there’s nothing that can hold you back.

Good luck with your endeavor!



FAQ regarding Black Friday

When is Black Friday 2021?

Black Friday always takes place on the day after Thanksgiving. Therefore, Black Friday 2021 falls on November 26.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday refers to the day that generally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Originally, this day attracted millions of Americans to shopping malls and stores with reduced prices and discount promotions. Today, Black Friday is an important shopping day in all Western countries and has increasingly expanded to online retail.

How much online revenue was generated on Black Friday 2020 in the U.S.?

Last year’s Black Friday saw a whopping $9 billion in e-commerce sales in the U.S. alone. This corresponds to a growth of 22% compared to the year before.

How much online revenue was generated worldwide on Black Friday 2020?

Global online sales on Black Friday last year totaled $62.2 billion.

What time of the day do people buy the most on Black Friday?

Last year, the time between 12 noon and 1 pm was the most successful time for Shopify Sellers. In that one hour, they generated $102 million in sales.

What is the most popular product on Black Friday?

With just under 40% of total online spending on the day in 2020, smartphones are the best sellers. This can also be expected to be the case in 2021.

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday has evolved as online retailers’ answer to Black Friday. For a long time, Friday was heavily dominated by brick-and-mortar retail. This has changed, but Cyber Monday still generates more online sales ($10.8 billion in the U.S.) than the better-known Black Friday.

When is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Black Friday. Thus, Cyber Monday 2021 falls on November 29.