While Black Friday has long been the jewel in North America’s retail crown, the shopping phenomenon is now one of the biggest days for Australian shoppers too.
Indeed November sales have increased by 42% over the ten years to 2018 as eager shoppers sought out pre-Christmas bargains.
But with health and safety key and retailers still adhering to social distancing measures, the event this year will be a little different to iconic images of packed shop floors and never-ending queues.
In fact, the retailers best placed to succeed on November 27th could be those who find ways to add method to the madness, rather than those who offer the biggest discounts.
With changing consumer habits and the proliferation of eCommerce and social media, retailers are now able to promote their Black Friday offerings well ahead of the big day itself.
So, if you’re a retailer looking to capitalise on the start of peak season, here are some ways to help you inform and entice shoppers:
eCommerce: The jewel in your retail crown
While traditionally a bricks-and-mortar shopping bonanza, engaging customers this year is as much an online event as it is in-store.
August was the busiest month in Australian eCommerce history with over 8.1 million households shopping online between March and August – 16% more than last year – the value of an online presence can’t be underestimated.
Whether they make the final purchase in-store or online, customers are increasingly using online channels to research products and brands.
In fact, in 2020 there was a 60% increase in ‘near me’ searches, so use as many channels at your disposal to generate a buzz about your business, and what offers customers can expect from you before the big day.
Whether you’re focusing on eCommerce or an omnichannel approach that aligns your online and offline strategies, your website could be crucial.
Use your website to both inform and entice by ensuring that any offers are prominent, your product page is easy to find and your online checkout process is seamless. Identify the products that might be in seasonal demand, or any stock you might want to clear.
Make your site visually appealing with eye-catching photos and glowing reviews, but don’t overwhelm your customers with more information than they need. Keep things simple, and make your contact details and online store easy to find.
They will likely have questions too, so make the answers easy to find. In fact, 78% of Australian mobile shoppers are more likely to purchase from a mobile website or app that helps them find answers easily.
So, consider an FAQ page that details your returns policy, shipping options, location, opening hours and, if relevant, in-store health and safety policies. Through tools like GoDaddy Website + Marketing you can do all this and more, and give your business the online capabilities it deserves.
Expand your Black Friday buzz
Effective and efficient digital marketing strategies should be central to getting the word out about your business. The good news is, you don’t have to spend large sums to promote your Black Friday products through digital tools like email marketing or social media.
In fact, research from GoDaddy found that 33% of Australian respondents promote their products through social media, and one in five (18%) through email marketing.
Eighteen million Australians use social media, so it’s safe to say that many of your customers will too.
Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular social media platforms for consumers, so consider creating business profiles on these platforms and updating them with beautiful imagery, promotions and other relevant content that encourages your customers to visit your website or eCommerce store on or ahead of the big day.
Nearly half the world’s population uses email, so it can be a quick, cost-effective way to help you stay top of mind with a potentially broad audience.
To help build trust and credibility consider an email address that matches your domain and use it to communicate Black Friday operating updates, promote a new product, or share testimonials that make you proud.
While email is a great way to connect with existing customers whose contact details you already have, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can help make your website more visible to potential clients by helping it rank higher on search engine results.
The better optimised your site, the easier it is for someone to find it, so populate it with keywords that people might search for like ‘Hobart homewares’, ‘Tasmania Black Friday’ or ‘personal home decor gifts’.
If, after an extraordinary year, Black Friday represents a significant opportunity for your business, but you’re conscious about health and safety and those chaotic scenes the day can create, remember that an online presence and digital marketing can help you bring method to the madness.
Suzanne Mitchell is the Senior Marketing Director for GoDaddy in Australia, responsible for leading marketing strategy and campaign execution in the region. GoDaddy is the company empowering Australian entrepreneurs.