As we head closer to Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM), we reach a time of year where businesses either win or lose. In 2016, we saw smaller businesses come from nowhere to enjoy more sales than their larger counterparts and this is the magic of the season. This year, it’s set to be bigger than ever so what can we learn from 2016 to ensure this year goes well?
BFCM is Worldwide - At first, BFCM could only be found in the US and this is where the majority of interest still takes place. However, there was huge interest in BFCM all over the globe in 2016 and this included massive growth in Denmark, Spain, and the UK. If you’re currently advertising in the US alone, despite your ability to ship abroad, this could be a mistake.
This year, it might be wise to stick with English-speaking markets so all you need to focus on is your message and the way in which you advertise your brand. If you see success, next year might have the potential to grow into other languages.
BFCM is a Season - Previously, we treated BFCM as an event and nothing more. However, we now know that it’s actually a season that can run for weeks. Just because the traditional dates run from Friday to Monday, this doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the build-up. Just like Christmas, interest generally starts after Halloween. The earlier you advertise, the more chance you have of finding your audience in the lead up to the big days.
Small Businesses Thrive - As mentioned in the introduction, BFCM is a time for ALL businesses and this includes the smaller companies. While they might not have the same budget, they do have a loyal audience and the customer following to have an impact. For the bigger companies, all they need to do is send a tweet and millions will see it. For smaller companies, it’s harder work but their loyal customer base will spread the word and they have an opportunity to shine.
Email is Valuable - With the introduction of social media, people generally think email marketing has gone but BCFM brings it back to life for a short while. Assuming you have an email list of people who have already shown some level of interest in your brand, a couple of emails advertising your special offers could work wonders.
Last year, many Shopify companies found email marketing to be their most reliable and profitable channel. With a simple campaign offering just four emails, one company in particular made over $3,000. Considering their size and reach within the market, this was a huge achievement and a great way to increase brand awareness before the holidays; let’s not forget, these sales may lead to more sales in the coming weeks and months after positive reviews and word-of-mouth.
Mobile Devices are King - Although this won’t come as a surprise, mobile devices are now important for shoppers because they allow for ordering when commuting, in the doctor’s office, or even on the toilet. By now, your website should be mobile-friendly and you should have convenient payment options so the ordering process is simplified.
Not only do consumers buy using mobile devices, they also research this way. What do people see when they type your name into Google? If you pay attention to SEO, it should be all positive and they should feel encouraged.
Summary - While some choose to close their eyes for BFCM, it’s actually one of the best opportunities for your business each year. So long as you advertise your special offers on social media and through email marketing, you can generate some interest. Throughout the weekend, it might be wise to go on Facebook Live to show behind-the-scenes. With a simple stream showing your team packing orders, people start to wonder what you have to offer and it could snowball from here.
If possible, many companies also find success when partnering with other businesses. Whether you run a campaign together or even combine for a special offer, there will be interest as long as the two products complement one another. Suddenly, you become more valuable together than alone!
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