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Ready to get some green of your own for Black Friday? The battle is on for shoppers – and the stakes are high. The whole post-Thanksgiving weekend, from Black Friday to Small Business Saturday and on to Cyber Monday, are ripe for ecommerce success.
In fact, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts a 10% increase in holiday sales over 2015, and a whopping 25% uptick in digital sales. Another study finds that half of survey respondents plan to shop online for gifts so it’s important to make sure you’re ready for them.
Here are some Black Friday marketing ideas that will help your site stand out.
Deck those halls (or walls, or pages).
Let your visitors know they have come to a holiday headquarters by making sure you have decorated your site with a holiday motif, along with plenty of copy that plays up your holiday gift options.
Optimize your pages.
Make no mistake: Your customers are looking for you in search engines. More than half of smartphone owners say they plan to shop or browse online this holiday season. To help your site be found in searches, make sure that you’re using the keywords that shoppers are looking for. An easy way to get found is to focus on gifts for the “hard to buy for” people in your customers’ lives, such as teachers, bosses, Secret Santas and grandparents. Another often untapped opportunity are stocking stuffers so don’t forget to include them for higher sales.
When you have gift ideas that are ideal for those groups make sure you use the exact phrases on your site and your landing page to up the chances it will be included in searches for those specific recipients.
Group gifts into easy-to-buy bundles.
It can be a chore to search around a site for a small item to go with a larger item. Make it easier on your visitors by grouping bundles of gifts that will make a great impression on the recipient. Show how you will ship them, in, say, a festive basket or other nice arrangement; or that they will all come wrapped separately so it looks like “more.”
Do their gift wrapping for them.
Most shoppers worry about what the gift will look like when it arrives, if they are using direct shipping. Will it have wrapping? Will the recipient know who it’s from? Will it have the (gasp!) price tag or invoice included? Provide a description and pictures of exactly how your packages arrive so that you can quiet any qualms your buyer may have.
Be ready for mobile.
Black Friday visitors are not just browsing via mobile; they’re shopping. In fact, 43% of smartphone owners surveyed expect to make a mobile purchase, 10% more than last year. And it’s a mistake to think they’re just heading to Amazon- smaller retailers actually have a great opportunity to bring in new customers. More than half of smartphone users say they have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their phones. Google reports that mobile searches related to “unique gifts” has grown more than 65%, while mobile searches related to “cool gifts” has grown more than 80%. So, make sure that your website is optimized for mobile, so you can capture those customers stopping by your digital storefront.
Make it easy to buy.
Shopping cart abandonment remains a sticky problem for many online retailers when customers want to buy something but end up clicking away because pages were slow to load or there were too many clicks involved in completing the transaction. Double check your loading speed; in fact, have a friend or family member make a sample purchase to try out the interface.
Gather their information.
Although you don’t want the checkout process to be overly time-consuming, you do want to make sure you capture customer information so you can reach back out to them to follow up on their purchase and provide new offers. Make sure you’ve set up opportunities to obtain their email address with their permission. Assure them you won’t bombard them with too much email. Give them a sense of how often they can expect to hear from you, i.e. a weekly newsletter or a monthly sale item. Always stay in touch over the holiday season and beyond. And, let them know how they can find you on social media.
Turn them into repeat customers.
The moment you delight a customer is the moment you should reach out to them. Once you’ve shipped their special item, let them know it’s on the way. Then when it’s been delivered, follow up with a quick email to see if they will provide feedback. A week or so later, send another special thank you offer. Letting your customers know they are important to you is the way to keep them not only as repeat purchasers, but loyal brand ambassadors long past Black Friday and the holiday season.