November 09, 2020
7 min read

Black Friday 2020: Five Tips to Increase Sales

As you know, many factors will be different this holiday sales season, as retail is facing major challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brick-and-mortar stores in particular are struggling with a sharp drop in sales. Online retail, on the other hand, saw growth: U.S. ecommerce sales grew more than 30% between the first and second quarter of 2020. 

There are many different predictions when it comes to consumer willingness to spend on Black Friday and beyond this year. Deloitte predicts two possible scenarios: a stable year-over-year sales increase (0% to 1%), or a more significant jump (2.5% to 3.5%). 

While anticipated consumer behavior seems to be divided, what is clear is that online retailers must optimize this sales season. In order to reach sales potential, here are five tips to stand out from competitors: 

1. Recommend products customers really want

In a physical store, an employee can show a customer a selection of products that go well with their intended purchase. Online, this is the task of a personalization solution that reacts in real time to a visitor's click behavior. There are many ways to share relevant recommendations at various points in a shopper’s journey, including: 

  • Individual deals for every customer. Not all of your visitors are interested in the same promoted deal. Personalized recommendations based on current or previous clicks, shopping carts, purchases, searches or likes around products make it possible to offer individual promotions, such as products within a preferred brand or category. 
  • Recommendations based on products recently viewed. For example, if a shopper looks at a yellow parka, show alternative jackets in the same shape and color. 
  • Pairing similar items. Recommendations of products that go well with an item purchased in the past can stimulate a purchase. For example, gloves that pair with a winter hat, or a new book written by an author the shopper has previously purchased.

2. Rely on relevant campaigns

What's your Black Friday story? Campaigns that stand out from the crowd and surprise customers will further brand awareness. 

What’s more, a specific Black Friday discount doesn't always have to be the main focus. It is imperative this year to consider which items should be advertised given the current pandemic climate. According to CBNC, consumers are expected to purchase items similar including at-home fitness equipment, comfortable clothing, beauty products, desk accessories and home décor. 

3. Provide customers individualizedd newsletter content

Newsletter marketing is an important lever to get readers to an ecommerce site. Make recipients aware of the upcoming deals several times before Black Friday. In addition to an early start, pay attention to subject lines, as an email must compete with several retailers in a consumer’s inbox. 

Once these hurdles have been overcome, convince your reader with personalized content. Product recommendations generated in real time when a newsletter is opened, based on clicks in the online shop or newsletter, offer maximum relevance and can drive more sales in the online shop. 

4. Keep other online sales channels in sight

In addition to your online site and newsletters, other online sales channels can prove useful. Prepare marketing content for search engines, existing social media channels, or for your presence on online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon - and integrate them into your Black Friday campaign. Check web analytics from last year to analyze which platforms online shoppers used to find their way to your brand, and ensure that the content on these platforms is up-to-date. 

5. Ensure IT infrastructure stability 

Customers expect that online shopping will run smoothly, and will abandon a site if not. Long loading times are a common reason for abandoned purchases. In order to prevent a loss of sales, your online shop should withstand higher traffic and higher occupancy during discount days. It is best to discuss with your host whether a server extension makes sense for you. The host can analyze the number of hits for special sales days and assess to what extent there is a need for action. 

The busiest time of the year for retail begins this month – are you prepared? Contact us today to discuss how you can provide personalized service to shoppers during Black Friday and the rest of the holiday season.