Three quick tips for playing the Black Friday long game

The Black Friday shopping season is waiting all year for some of us, our heads loaded with the promise of scoring the very best deal on a new TV, smart speaker, printer, or whatever fashion tickles our fancy. 

As you probably already know, though, 2020 is going to be different. Not just because people are far less likely to make their way into physical stores, but because consumers are suddenly much more aware of how much things cost. And we mean actually cost.

Many of those great deals are not as amazing as they seem and consumers know it. Not just because they're pinching pennies in tough economic times, but because more people are aware of the benefits of shopping online.   

This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will present unique challenges - but it will also come with unique opportunities. Over the last few years, retailers have increasingly extended sales out longer than just one day. As a result, consumers know they have time to browse and compare deals. 

Add the whole social distancing because of a pandemic into the mix and you shouldn’t be surprised if your ecommerce site doesn’t crash (but definitely prepare for if it does).

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have long since shifted beyond being exclusive, one-off events. That does not mean you should not put sales up, but it does mean you don’t have to throw the kitchen sink (and taps if that’s your ecommerce product) at it.

Whatever your product and however big your brand, Black Friday is all about the long-game this year.

Find the right customers and keep them

A key strategy in all ecommerce is building a strong community around your brand. As with any sale, many customers feel the need to participate for a sense of accomplishment.

These are the people most likely to take the plunge and buy something during this time. For customers already familiar with your brand, this is an easy sell. But, for the new ones, this is a chance to create a long and varied email marketing program to help them along - not just with those abandoned carts on the day of the sales, but in future, too. 

Listen to feedback

All year long we hear customers talking about their favorite products or services. This is great for free word-of-mouth marketing, but on Black Friday, all the conversations come to a head. Users are already excited about the sales, so you'll want to be on top of customer feedback.

The first thing to do is to stay on top of feedback from customers about your site. Your list of complaints or praise will set the tone for your future ecommerce marketing. 

Remember what we said about preparing for the worst case of a crashing site? Well, we say worst… if your site crashes under a deluge of traffic that’s probably not a bad thing. 

Make sure you are ready to respond to any glitches (and inevitable complaints) as they happen though. But put yourself first. Tighten those Ts&Cs so that you don’t lose more than you gain by firing up the sales. 

It’s the season for some folly 

You might as well have some fun while you are trying new things, right?  When putting together your content strategy, think a bit further ahead than just Black Friday. It’s the holiday season, after all.

You can use this opportunity to create awesome content for your customers. Focus on content that has a longer shelf life than just the sales season and make it a soft sell rather than self-promotion. Make your content as useful as the products you are trying to sell through it.

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