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Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 in Australia will take place on Friday 27th November and Monday 30th November.

That’s just a little over 2 weeks away. Yikes.

Traditionally seen as an in-store only event, Black Friday has grown over recent years to become an online extravaganza with a week (sometimes even weeks!) of offers available both in store and online.

As I’ve often said, Christmas is no longer in December. A retailer’s Christmas now happens in November.

Now, if you’re not persuaded, buckle in for some stats.

Last year (pre-Covid) Australia saw a 32% growth in sales over the Black Friday weekend.

This year Australian e-commerce sales have rocketed by more than 20% year on year.

When you combine the expected annual growth of this retail event with the pandemic driven uplift of online shopping you just cannot choose to ignore Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

Now, in the big brand world of marketing we would be planning Christmas 2021 right now (yes, really). We definitely wouldn’t be planning Black Friday and Christmas 2020. So it is definitely late in the day to be adding ‘plan Black Friday’ to your to-do list.

But not all is lost.

Keeping it real, it’s too late now to plan a complicated marketing campaign for Black Friday and do it justice (in my opinion). You should have been working on optimising your website for SEO for months, because trying to pay for cut-through using paid ads on Black Friday is like trying to pay for an ad spot in the superbowl. It’s expensive. There’s too much noise. You’re competing with everyone.

A successful Black Friday marketing campaign works to get your loyal customers engaged and excited for your offer way before the event itself. You want to be the event invite that everyone received first and has already RSVP’d for. It should also focus on getting your website ranking in Google for long tail keywords that’ll give you a chance at capturing traffic on the day itself.

Translation: Long tail keywords are longer phrases that people are likely to search, not just keywords. They generally get less search traffic, but greater conversion (AKA the winning combo in my humble opinion.) They are more specific and more likely to get you customers who are actually looking for your items.

If you’ve not yet planned your Black Friday marketing. All is not lost. Although you may not have time to get the cut-through with a brand marketing campaign. It’s not too late to carry out these marketing tips to make the most of the Black Friday sales 2020.

ONE: Set Up Google Analytics

I can’t stress this enough. If you haven’t already got Google Analytics set up in your website then do it now. Google Analytics doesn’t start to accumulate data until you’ve set it up. If you set it up before Black Friday when you’ll be expecting increased website traffic volumes, you’ll start to collate data at one of the most important times of the year.

Why?

This means that you can then go back and look at this data when you start to plan your marketing for Black Friday 2021. Because data is an intrinsic part of creating a strategically-led marketing strategy.

How do I do it?

Adding Google Analytics to your website is super easy. If you’re on Shopify or any of the other major e-commerce website providers you can follow their step-by-step instructions easily.

How to Add Google Analytics to a Shopify Website

Don’t know how to use Google Analytics?

Don’t stress. If you ever get a marketing agency on board in the future, they’ll thank you for having set it up and done nothing with it. Because, trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating than getting a new retail client who has zero data accrued in their Google Analytics platform.

TWO: Sign Up For Competitor Emails (now).

It’s time to stalk the competition. Sign up for emails from online retailers you already love, those your target customer loves and those who you think are direct competitors. Keep all the emails you receive over the Black Friday period. After it’s all over have a look over everything, check out how everyone else was messaging the promotions. How often did they email you? How did they approach their messaging? What did you love? What did you hate?

All of this will help you to plot and plan your email marketing for Black Friday 2021.

Take notes, start planning 2021 whilst this year is fresh!

THREE: Make Sure Your Website Is Easy To Use.

There’s nothing worse than trying to shop an online sale and having to trawl through loads of out of stock products, not being able to find the cart or being unsure about how much the shipping costs. Let’s be real, shipping in Australia can sometimes be a scary surprise.

Book out a morning in your calendar and smash through these easy-to-do website updates to make sure that your online store is ready for the Christmas season.

My biggest tips to quickly and easily update your website for Black Friday 2020 are:

Think about what customers Christmas shopping are looking for. They want to know three key things:

  • how long will delivery take (will it get there in time)

  • how easily can the recipient return or exchange the item if it’s not right

  • how can they pay for it – can they spread the cost with BNPL providers?

  1. Make sure you’re telling your customers this information right away so they don’t have to look for it.

  2. Add your shipping information and your returns information to your product pages and/or to a promotional strip on your website.

  3. Consider extending your returns policy so that items purchased in November can be returned until the end of January. You want people to buy now, not later. If you give them the chance to return that item outside of your usual 14 day window it’s more likely they’ll order sooner.

  4. Be transparent about your delivery timeframes and order cut-off dates. It’s ok if you are a small retailer and you are inundated with orders for things to take a little longer to be shipped but only if you’re communicating with your customers so that they know to expect this delay and order with enough time. Remember, everyone only ever wants to eat at the busy restaurant, the same goes for your business. If it’s busy, that’s a great thing, but you can’t let the customer experience suffer.