Black Friday — The single most important day for any online store. Almost all the online retailers, big or small, look for this day. Just like the customers.
Black Friday is when the biggest sale happens, with the online businesses offering huge discounts.
A 2013 global survey by RetailMeNot, found that of its 10,009 participants, 51% agreed that they were influenced by deals, discounts or sales when shopping online. In the U.S., where the sample size was 1,000 respondents, 56% felt the same.
This post is aimed at helping you prepare your online store for the Black Friday.
Let’s look at creating a high-converting discount strategy, the pitfalls to avoid, the best practices to create effective Black Friday deals and more.
Customers on a Black Friday
Before deciding on a discount strategy, let’s have a look at the typical psychology of a customer on a Black Friday.
- He knows there will be “huge” discounts. Of course!
- He has a “big shopping list”.
- He has to visit multiple online stores. Just like yours (imagine the rush at Wallmart stores)
- He has been waiting for a long (some customers postpone their purchase decisions to this day)
- So he expects the discount to be automatically applied to his purchase
What does all these traits tell us?
The customer is in a “rush”. He has a “very little time to spend on your site”.
The right discount strategy
There is no thumb rule for discount strategies. It varies depending on the industry, market, geography etc.
However, there is one concept that really works for all — KISS ( Keep It Simple Silly)
Black Friday is all about huge discounts. Having a right, simple discount strategy can drive you maximum conversions.
A dead simple discount that everyone understands. No twists or turns.
Here are some examples:
- 30% discount on any purchases in the store. — Works really well. It is a no brainer
- 30% discount on Category A. 40% on Category B (just like what Wallmart does for its in-store) . — A category specific discount
Pitfalls to avoid
Some of you might question “why the discount has to be simple”?
Let’s look at this with an example.
Imagine you have an offer — Buy any 2 items from Category A and get Product X free.
It does look simple to read.
You are offering a free product. It could be a greater value.
In reality, it is not simple for the average Joe who is shopping in your site.
It requires a bit of work for him to understand. Let’s have a look at the tasks he has to do.
- Joe has to search products in Category A.
- Then he has to choose 2 items from a plethora of choice.
- Naturally, he has to compare and then find 2 items that offers more value to him.
By the time, he makes the decision, he had spent a considerable amount of time. In a day like Black Friday, he has a lot of things to do. Wasting the time is the one thing he does not want to do.
So what kind of offers are familiar to him? The ones offered by e-Commerce giants like Amazon, Walmart or Tesco. They simply offer a percentage discount. So they are more familiar see the numbers like 30% off, 40% off, 60% off.
Here are four simple strategies that will help boost your sales on Black Friday.
1. Create a simple offer
The built-in coupon feature of WooCommerce does not really help in bigger events like Black Friday.
We cannot tell the customers to apply a coupon code to get a discount. The customer has to see that the discounted price right away.
So we had to create an offer that automatically applies the discount and shows the discounted price to the customer. Showing the discounted price influences the customer to make the purchase.
WooCommerce Discount Rules is a great plugin that can help you create discounts that automatically apply.
In three simple steps, you can create your discount and go live.
After downloading and installing it, Go to WooCommerce -> Woo Discount Rules -> Price based rules -> Create a new rule
- In the first screen, just fill in the name and choose the method as “Quantity based”
- In conditions tab, choose “All Products” (You can also choose Specific Categories for category specific discounts).
- In the discount tab, set the percentage discount to 30%. Make sure the min quantity range starts with 1.
Thats all required.
In your store front, you can see the products are “on Sale” and the discount is applied by default.
The original price will be crossed-out and the discounted price will show.
Since the discount automatically applies, this motivates the customer to just buy. The crossed-out price indicates the customer that they are buying the product at a discount.
2. Offer Free Shipping
Let’s face the fact. Customers are not really happy to pay a shipping cost.
About 70% of the customers abandon their cart. That is 7 out of 10 customers, according to the Baymard Institute study.
The top reasons for abandoning the cart is the high extra costs (including shipping, tax etc). So having a shipping cost, especially on big sale days like Black Friday, will lead to high cart abandonment.
Consider offering a free shipping. If you would like to be generous to your shoppers, you can offer free shipping to all your customers. That is a great motivation. However, if you would like a limitation, then you can consider offering it for a minimum order value. Say, orders above $100 get free shipping. You can do this by using the WooCommerce’s built-in free shipping feature.
Alternatively, you can also use the WooCommerce Discount Rules to offer the free shipping as well with a minimum order value condition.
3. Inform your customers
Of course!. You at least have to send a mailer to your customers informing that you are running a Black Friday campaign.
You can send one or two mailers notifying the customers. However, it is not just sufficient to send the pre-sale emails alone.
You need to send the Post-purchase emails to at least say thank you for shopping in your store. Most store owners make the mistake of using the order notification emails to say thanks. However, that is not sufficient.
You will have to send them a personalised email at least a day after their purchase and follow up them after 3–5 days interval. This establishes how professionally you are handling the business and boosts your brand image.
After 7 days, you should also send another email asking for a feedback. A consistent feedback loop will help you improve your store and drive maximum conversions, in addition to retaining your customers.
However, manually sending these emails to each and every customer will be a pain.
So set up an automated follow-up campaign using Campaignrabbit, which natively integrates with WooCommerce and send personalised emails to your customers.
4. Recover Abandoned Carts
Cart abandonment is now an everyday phenomenon. Despite all your efforts to motivate the customers with discounts, you will still see abandoned carts.
Don’t get dis-heartened. You can recover at least 60% of the abandoned carts with a better follow up mechanism.
Implementing a manual follow up will consume a huge amount of your time, which can be spent in other marketing efforts.
Liked it? Share your experience on Black Friday deals.