The Olympics For Ecommerce Businesses

November 2, 2023

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching, but is your team ready? 

Last year Shopify reported that their merchants hit $7.5B in sales, and saw a 17.5% growth in consumers, compared to the year before. 

For online retailers, Black Friday isn’t an event to copy and paste your strategy, it’s the Olympics. Considered prep can help you tap into the potential in a cost-effective way that works for your business.

Here are some of our top considerations to work through with your team and agency partners.

Design Your Offer Timeline

Early Bird Offer

Globally, retailers are launching Black Friday earlier and earlier. Over the last couple of years, we are seeing New Zealand retailers starting to follow this trend too. 

The Early Bird offer is a great way to give existing customers early access, or tap into early shoppers. This is typically a high-margin, low-cost play that aims to provide customers with an added value - e.g. a free gift with purchase.

Your Core Offer

The Core Offer is your main pull. You’ll want this to be a proven promotional angle that’s particularly simple for consumers to understand. This is what you will lean on to provide the bulk of your market cut-through, so don’t over complicate it! A simple percentage-based discount is always effective.

Your Supporting Offers

The role of Supporting Offers is to give you an added edge over a competitor. Especially when consumers are in the offer researching phase, or reducing a barrier to purchase. These are great to layer into your messaging across both paid and owned channels. Consider things like:

Free Shipping - Do you usually run free shipping, if so, shout about it, if not -  could this be bundled in to boost the conversion rate?

Free Returns - This is a great softer message to feature in ad copy, and ensure it’s clearly communicated on product pages.

Alternative Payment Methods - Test calling these out more loudly than you typically do, these might play a bigger role than usual this year due to economic impacts.

The Final Push

This is your final attempt to capitalise on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers. 

Here, we suggest that you focus on your proven high-value customers, with the goal to push your average order value. Bundle-based offers are typically a great play to drive basket size, incentivising shoppers to spend more e.g. buy 2 get 1 free. 

Question Your KPI

Understand the impact of your Core Offer on your profit margin. Note the scale of impact this may have over the numbers you are hoping to hit during Black Friday. Then assess if any changes need to be made to your KPI, to account for this.

For example, maybe your ROAS target should be increased, accounting for the impact discounting has on squeezing your profit margin. Or, if you are aiming to clear stock or chase topline revenue, you could consider temporarily lowering it to allow higher budgets to be pushed through paid channels.

Repeat Customers Make Up Approximately 65% Of Black Friday Revenue

The cost of reach across paid channels jumps up during Black Friday. This is a consistent demand-driven trend we have seen rising as Black Friday focus increases each year. Leveraging lower-cost conversions across your current email base is vital, rather than solely focusing on new customer acquisition in a highly competitive market at the most expensive time of the year. Therefore focusing on converting current customers, and pushing up their AOV is a great low-cost tactic to implement at this time.

The key starting point to this is defining segments across your email base. Below is the recommended approach from Klaviyo, but depending on the resources available and the size of your database it may be worth simplifying this into fewer segments.

The goal of this approach is to define clear groups of customers you can target with specific messaging, leaning into the attributes of the segment and increasing the relevancy of your message to consumers.

Another great application of these Segments is to use these Customer Lists in Social campaigns, further increasing your reach of communicating with your key segments.

Quick Wins With Email

Consumers will be shopping around and comparing sites more frequently than usual, so review your Cart Abandonment flow. Consider if your triggers should be temporarily changed to drive urgency, e.g a reminder after 1 hour, rather than 1 day.

How is the overall health of your email database looking? Lead Generation campaigns on Facebook (and TikTok) are a great way to boost email subscribers. Now is the time to run this activity, or increase spending to have more users to speak to directly in November.

Invest In What You Know Works, But Get Smarter

Focus your budget on discounting products. On Shopping this might be having a dedicated Shopping campaign housing your discounted products, this is a great way to know exactly how much visibility you are driving across them.

On Social most e-commerce businesses have proven success with Dynamic ad types, these are any ads that integrate your Product Catalogue Feed. Test applying custom frames to highlight the offer beyond the Headline or Primary test within a Social ad.

If Dynamic Remarketing is a key part of your strategy, lean into driving purchase CTAs across a shorter time frame than you usually do, to secure the conversion. Building out an Added To Cart (1 Day) or (3 Day) audience in dedicated campaigns is a great way to ensure you dedicate your budget to getting users already showing strong engagement, over the line!

Keen to sort your Black Friday Strategy?

Get in touch with the Reason team today, to chat everything Black Friday.

Written by:

Sophie Turner

Ecommerce Specialist
at Reason

Written by the team at Reason.

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