by Andy Bojko, Director at Hidepark Leather
With high street stores firmly closed this Black Friday, businesses are set for a digital shopping weekend as their customers move online to find their sales.
For many businesses, Black Friday holds an additional pressure this year after the challenges which the pandemic has brought over the past few months. Traffic to the top 100 shopping sites increased by 137% on Black Friday last year and companies will be looking to capitalise on this surge in traffic and convert customers to make a sale.
To help firms set up for Black Friday this year, here are 5 tips below on how businesses can successfully set up their website to convert customers to a sale for the all-important Black Friday on Friday 27 November.
1. Understand your unique selling point and maximise this.
Your business will have a unique selling point with customers which really sets your brand apart from competitors and retailing giants like Amazon. For smaller firms, Black Friday is a fantastic opportunity to remind your customers that you have a unique ability to directly serve the local community and are more in tune with their needs and wants.
As a smaller business, you have the ability to meet the local needs of customers, a factor that can greatly help your business to stand out. With the pandemic putting many businesses at risk, consumers are looking to help out local firms so you should ensure that your business is on the radar of the local community. Providing vouchers or discounts to these customers can be a great way to ensure you are instilling loyalty and can help convert this audience to make a sale.
2. Analyse the data at your fingertips to make decisions.
When you are ordering stock for your Black Friday sale, you should be sure to analyse any google analytics data from previous years. This data will give you an insight into which of your product pages are particularly popular amongst customers.
This data can be used to feed your stock forecasting but also contribute to planning your Black Friday marketing campaigns. Understanding which products your customers were most interested in during previous years will allow you to focus resources into these areas and maximise sales for these categories.
3. Target your marketing efforts to suit your target audience.
Many businesses fail to prepare in advance for Black Friday and will simply send out an email to their customer base the day before the event. Although Black Friday itself is the main event, activity and preparation for this day must begin for businesses in advance. Since consumer inboxes will become crowded in the day or two leading up to the event, businesses need to successfully capture and maintain the attention of customers with valuable information in order to stand out from the sea of emails they are receiving.
Using email marketing is a great way to build anticipation with customers, offering sneak-peaks, VIP discounts, limited-time offers, all designed to drum up interest and encourage consumers to seek out your emails. You must take the time to personalise your content to the customer base you are targeting rather than sending a generic email to every customer. Using browsing and purchasing history information can be an effective way to target customers in time for Black Friday, giving you an insight into what these customers are particularly interested in from your brand.
4. Make your customers journey as easy as possible.
If customers are finding your website difficult to use, they will most likely move to another site on Black Friday meaning the user journey should be at the core of your website design. When businesses prioritise the user journey in their content and design, their website automatically becomes more user-friendly. To ensure your business is in the best position to secure sales on Black Friday, your website must provide an easy user experience for consumers in order to persuade them to convert to a sale.
Having strong calls to action on your site can also ensure users are not lost along their journey and that they can check out efficiently. Your website should also have clear contact details or a contact form so that customers can easily get in touch with any queries they may have before or on Black Friday.
5. Focus on supporting trust payment methods.
On Black Friday consumers need to feel safe with their online security when shopping on your website, especially if your business is new to them. To ensure customers feel comfortable when using your site, you should ensure you have the latest secure financial technology to help reassure customers that their money will be safe once they have paid.
You should also consider adding a section to the site, perhaps in the header or footer which shows the payment options available to consumers. This can act as a trust signal and help users to feel comfortable proceeding to the checkout to convert to that all-important sale.
Andy Bojko is the Managing Director of eCommerce clothing retailer Hidepark Leather. Andy has over 30 years of experience working with clothing retailers and has built his expertise in dealing with making fashion eCommerce sites a success.