If you’re selling anything online you’re probably anticipating the holiday rush and all that comes with it. Black Friday is on deck, looming in the distance but rapidly getting closer.
We know, you felt like March and April were about three years long, but then June and July flew by, August was a blip, and September is nearly over. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get crackin’ on your holiday campaigns. We met with StoicYeti, a consultancy that helps e-commerce businesses grow through “brand response” and a “you grow, we grow” mentality. This year is unlike any other year, with consumer behavior changing due to Covid-19. StoicYeti is a step ahead, so we asked them for a few tips that might help Silicon Slopes ecommerce businesses this year. Here are a few tips they gave us:
- Plan ahead
This is the most crucial thing you can do. Although it’s only September, you need a clear plan for your campaigns, deals, and sales. You need to make sure you’ve ordered inventory to meet anticipated demands, especially if you manufacture in China with a longer shipping time. This season in particular is unique, with e-commerce and online browsing bigger than ever. No one wants to be completely out of stock before, during, or after Black Friday with nothing to put back on the shelves for a month. Make sure you’ve got a smooth system for fulfillment so when items are ordered you know how much you’ve got sold and how much you’ve got on the shelves.
- Invest in October
Your ad budget will take you much farther in October than it will in November. There will be a lot more ads hitting consumers, which will make it more expensive to reach your audience right before the sale. Invest in reaching new audiences early. You want to bring brand awareness and keep your business on the minds of your customers in October so they’ll be more likely to buy in November. Use ad strategies to collect as many email addresses and phone numbers as you can during this period, then use that info to market to potential customers in November and without using your ad dollars. This is also a good time to run some tests- a flash sale in early October, email promos, or surveys- to validate your Black Friday promo. You might feel stressed about maxing out your ad budget now without much return, but studies show that you will reap those benefits in November if you spend heavier in October.
- Anticipate your customers, capture their attention
You want to build up some anticipation and hint at upcoming sales. Google searches for “holiday sales”, “holiday gift guides” and “best Black Friday deals” start increasing in October, so an early holiday gift guide is a great idea. Capture that browsing behavior by having a gift guide landing page on your site. Consider “package” or “bundled” deals to present your products in a new way people want to buy. Pay close attention to analytics and test sales campaigns early.
- Run a long(ish) Black Friday promotion
Every year Black Friday sales start earlier. Many competitors will start in early November, but some will even begin at the end of October, so consider when is the best start time for your business.
Beginning early might mean a much longer sale period, which can bring in more revenue, but also runs the risk of losing steam. Monitor campaigns closely and have backup campaigns ready to implement if your primary campaign is failing. While a large scale, quick sale has traditionally been the way to go, in recent years we’ve seen consumer behavior change. This year that will be even more pronounced. Because of Covid-19, more people will be shopping online and will be shopping earlier for the best deals. If you start your Black Friday campaign early, you will catch those early shoppers and will beat out your competitors who will probably start their campaigns later in November.
These are just a few things you can do now and in the next few weeks. Get going and slay the end of 2020. In the next few weeks we’ll have some more tips from StoicYeti about successful post-Black Friday and Christmas campaigns.