How to prepare a best-in-class strategy for Black Friday

This year’s shopping phenomenon will be dominated by online retail, while the FIFA World Cup presents unique opportunities for an ironclad Black Friday strategy – but what is ‘best in class’?

Black Friday is just around the corner and retailers around the world are putting the finishing touches to their strategies to get ahead of the competition.

This year’s event will be heavily dominated by online shopping. E-commerce has swamped the retail scene post-pandemic and in the wake of the cost of living crisis, consumers are desperate to find a good deal.

Retailers must also contend with the FIFA World Cup this winter, the first time the footballing spectacle has taken place outside of summer. This, coupled with the traditional businesses associated with the festive season, will present a unique challenge for retailers –- but also a unique opportunity.

This starts by ensuring your Google Shopping campaign is ironclad. So what does a best-in-class Black Friday strategy look like? Liam Patterson, CEO of Bidnamic, runs through the checklist of essentials.

Focus on what’s different this year

Cyber Monday has become Cyber Month, with brands spreading promotions throughout the weeks leading up to the big shopping frenzy. With the World Cup bang in the middle of it all, media planners across the board have their work cut out trying to prepare.

Highly organised, creative digital ad campaigns are key to getting a headstart over the competition. Take advantage of influencers or bespoke email marketing campaigns – these tools can distance you from the crowd.

Tapping into the buzz surrounding the World Cup should also be prioritised. This is the chance to connect with prospective customers that will be glued to their screens for the next month – be it TV or smartphone.

Take advantage of the multiscreen consumer

We are living in a multiscreen culture and audiences can pop up across various mediums. IPA reports that 32% of consumers tuning into the World Cup will do so through social media, with an additional 20% playing games online. Smartphones usage is likely to spike, meaning retailers need to ensure their mobile sites are prepared to welcome high amounts of traffic. Retailers can test the speed of their website using tools like k6 cloud. If your store is on Shopify, they can test your online store speed themselves.

Convenience is king in time-poor periods

Evolving consumer expectations have to be considered. Convenience is king - seamless, simple checkout processes are essential.

This applies to desktop and mobile alike. Conversion rates will suffer if consumers are forced to fill out box-after-box. Google Pay and Shop Pay can provide much-needed support in securing these conversions.

The World Cup isn’t the only activity retailers have to contend with. Christmas parties, pantomimes, Christmas markets – all will be vying for consumers’ attention. Free time will be in short supply meaning any festive-goers that would typically look for deals in brick-and-mortar stores will have to compromise and shop online.

Cover your audience

Retailers have their work cut-out catering to all of their audiences’ needs, not least because there are countless groups to contend with.

Frugalism is expected to be seen across the masses. WARC’s latest report on consumer trends indicates that 40% of consumers are predicted to be more price-conscious about clothes and shoes alone. More people will be trying to get their Christmas shopping done early, but retailers must remember to take into account the historic last-minute shoppers. Ad campaigns must be prepared to target both groups.

Cater for the social Gen Z shoppers

New payment solutions will also impact Black Friday deals. Predictions forecast that 78% of consumers will lean on buy-now-pay-later platforms to navigate the cost of living crisis and fund present purchases. This, however, doesn’t mean that everyone is planning to stay at home this winter.

Canvas8’s research indicates that almost 1-in-3 Gen Z consumers are not prepared to give up socialising – despite their economic struggles. Brands, with this knowledge in tow, have the chance to create extra value opportunities attractive to this demographic.

Keep your stocks – and your customer base – up

Identifying your most popular items – and stocking-up well in advance of Black Friday – will ensure conversion opportunities aren’t missed. If the worst happens, update your website to indicate a product is low-or-out of stock.

If you’re not already, it is vital to start selling across multiple platforms. This embraces the typical customer journey and allows potential customers to see an ad for a product, then let them see it again elsewhere which may result in a sale.

Retargeting campaigns can be a powerful asset moving forward. Opening a new line of dialogue and connecting with consumers that may have forgotten about your brand could improve revenue streams. Past customers are not only easier to reach, they also have increased purchase likelihood if their previous experience was a good one.

The clock is ticking…

Creating a Black Friday strategy that navigates all these challenges is complex, but not impossible. You don’t have to go it alone – digital partners are out there to help retailers with their Google Shopping this Black Friday.

Retailers have reached the crossroads. Getting organised and tuning into what your consumers are asking for now is the recipe for success. Optimising your website, delivering a smooth checkout process – these should be at the top of your list of things to do.

Follow this advice and it won’t be long before your conversion rate starts to climb.

Liam Patterson

CEO, Bidnamic