Posted: Tue 21st Nov 2023
Once thought of as 'American imports', Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now a crucial part of the retail calendar.
The UK retail e-commerce revenue forecast is estimated to be £125 billion for 2023, making it an opportunity you can't afford to miss.
Zoe Hominick, former O2 (Telefónica UK) head of SMB marketing and now the UKI marketing director of Amazon Web Services (AWS), offers some practical tips to get your business ready for the big event.
1. Think mobile-first
VoucherCodes.co.uk’s Shopping for Christmas Report 2023 predicts for the first time smartphone sales are expected to exceed PC sales, with smartphone devices now accounting for 41% of online sales, or £12.52 billion.
Can customers access the information they need on their mobile devices? Is checkout a simple process, without reverting to the desktop? Are you taking all touchpoints into consideration when mapping the consumer journey, both online and offline behaviour?
2. Make sure your store can handle increased demand
Reports from Queue.it found that Black Friday remains the biggest day, with traffic three times (295%) the regular October shopping day.
Top tip: Test your website to check it can take a massive surge in traffic, as any downtime can mean missed opportunities.
3. Create banners and hero images
You can use these to advertise your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales early, consistently and with force!
Canva is a great free resource if you don’t have an in-house designer. It even gives you the right dimensions for social images.
4. Build a sense of anticipation and emotional connection
Start to tease the deals ahead of time using social media or your newsletter but don't forget to add a dash of humanity.
In the words of the great Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel."
5. Check your policies and get feedback before the rush!
Is it clear where to find delivery and shipping information? How do you deal with refunds? Have a clear process to deal with any unexpected issues.
6. Make some noise
Why not take a shot at pitching your product or service to blogs and gift guides? No PR agency is required. The hashtag #journorequest on X is a great place to look for last-minute UK-specific press opportunities.
7. Reward loyal customers and repeat customers with exclusive offers
How about a free gift or an attractive add-on? Complimentary gift wrapping is always appreciated, too.
8. Do you have a bricks-and-mortar store?
Team up with other small businesses in your area to create a Black Friday (or Christmas) marketing strategy to attract shoppers.
Watch this webinar for tips on making a success of pop-up opportunities:
9. Make sure you have quick and courteous responses to all FAQs
It’s a great time to strive to go above and beyond with communicating with customers who take the time to chat with you on social media.
I recommend setting up a Facebook autoresponder, sharing your phone details and email if immediate help is required and briefing your social media support team on all aspects of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers.
10. Finally, give yourself some room to breathe!
While it's great to be over-prepared, make sure you take some time for yourself this festive season. Flexibility and reflectiveness are critical parts of the growth phase for any business.