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Jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon

26 October 2017

Black Friday, the viral holiday shopping spree has finally crept to the shores of Singapore. More online retailers such as Sephora, Harvey Norman, Zalora and Qoo10 are taking advantage of the publicity and hype that Black Friday generates. Take Courts for example; they had sales double that of a regular Friday and it has been steadily increasing every year.i Here’s how your online business can break through the clutter to reach your target audience and prepare for this annual retail bonanza.

 

Advertise ahead of time

 

Customers will be searching for Black Friday deals online early. Let your potential customers know about your Black Friday sales by getting word out early so you reach as many people as possible. Most marketers find that digital messages (e.g., email and push notifications) are the most effective method for engaging consumers. Brands often attempt to leapfrog each other by sending messages earlier and more often, therefore it is advantageous to make known your participation in Black Friday sales earlier.

 

Formulate a digital strategy for your site promotion. 

There are no fixed rules to promotion but 75% of online retailers advertise via Facebook, therefore it is imperative to integrate social media into your advertising strategy.ii

Prepare your website

           

Start preparing your online store about a month in advance to give yourself ample time to troubleshoot.

 

Design your website in a way that is intuitive to navigate. Ensure that site navigation is a pleasant experience to the customer - nothing turns off a customer more than a confusing website. The overall user experience should be efficient and pleasant; products should be easy to search and find, and items should be well catalogued. You give yourself a higher chance of retaining customers long after Black Friday sales are done and dusted. Popular e-commerce sites such as Zalora and Sephora often have a landing pages that are easy to navigate with clear content, images and easy navigation buttons to relevant sections of the site. 

Ensure that all your links work and there are no dead links. It is also important to ensure that your e-commerce site has a fault-tolerant database with sufficient bandwidth to accommodate the upcoming mass influx of online transactions.

 

You should also make sure that the mobile version of your e-commerce site is synchronised with your main website. Changes made on the desktop site should be reflected on your mobile site too. This is crucial because a significant portion of consumers make orders through their mobile devices. In fact, mobile browsing has surpassed desktop browsing in some industries. 

 

A poorly done mobile site will alienate a large portion of your customer base.

Create attractive promotions

 

Get creative with your promotions and do not be afraid to take risks. A creative promotion that you can use to attract your customers are online sweepstakes on social media. Have customers provide their info for a chance to win.

Last year, online retailer Zalora offered discounts of up to 70 percent and additional 18 per cent off if their customers used an app-only voucher code. This helped to drive their app downloads through the roof. Make sure the discounts offered are attractive and clear, which are the highlight of Black Friday sales. 

Alternatively, you can entice customers to shop at your store during Black Friday by giving each paying customer a mystery gift. For example, Qoo10 offered lucky draws and deals to customers who spent a minimum amount. This will encourage shoppers to hit the qualifying amount spend and generate even more revenue for you.

Other vendors such as Beyond The Vines choose to hold sales that are available exclusively at its online store. This motivates your customers to browse through your online site to look for deals, providing exposure for your other products.

 

Converting new customers

 

The hardest sale is always the first. With Black Friday online sales, you have the opportunity to convert first-time shoppers into loyal customers. Capture their email addresses by enticing them with opt-ins for deals and promotions. This can lead to a boost in your social media presence and exponential growth. Engage your customers in meaningful ways such as tailoring email promotions to user activity. For instance, send an email promotion with discounts on dresses to a customer that viewed prom dresses. If executed well, this will help you gain loyal customers that stay with your brand well beyond the Black Friday sales.

 

Order Fulfilment

 

After transactions are made, the goods must be delivered to the customer in a timely manner. For a small business, the logistics and coordination required to tackle mass orders can be daunting. Ensure that your online business comes with an integrated delivery courier service to ensure a seamless and hassle-free delivery process.

 

Black Friday online sales can benefit SMEs as much as large retailers. Spend more time on preparing for the occasion, and capitalise on Black Friday as a great period to boost your business’s online presence and product sales.

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