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Alee Pingol

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, the Black Friday Cyber Monday hype is now upon us  — but this year, it’s going to be a little different. Last year, Black Friday raked in a total of $11.9 billion in online sales. That doesn’t include the Cyber Monday sales, which reached a record of $9.4 billion.

Despite many stores remaining closed, Black Friday is by no means canceled. Many online stores are starting their sales early this year, so if you’re an e-commerce store owner, you’ll want to get in on the action.

Here’s how to prepare your brand for success this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

Preparing for the Big Day

In year’s past, Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s success has been mostly dependent on in-store sales. But with many stores remaining closed and large crowds unable to gather, consumers have turned their attention to online shopping. So this year, it would be wise to dedicate some time to promoting your brand online.

Shopify suggests providing a discount to the average order value to create a more considerable profit margin. Using site-wide sales rather than specific products can encourage customers to buy more. Also, “buy more, save more” promotions is proven to drive sales. You’re essentially enticing your customers to buy more of your stock, which, in turn, saves them more money in the future.

Email campaigns are a time-old sales technique that has always proven to be effective if done correctly. The subject line determines whether or not the reader decides to open the email. Once it is, you’ll want to make sure the email’s content provides value for the reader.

But be aware of bombarding subscribers with emails repeating the same thing over and over. The closer you get to the big day, be sure to release a few well-written promotional emails.

What Not to Do …

Now that we’ve told you what to do, here’s what not to do. Stay away from blanket discounts. Sure, you’d expect to get more sales, but it’s hard to maintain interest leading up to Black Friday itself.

You’ll also want to be careful when it comes to what you advertise in your email campaigns. Dozens of promotional emails are flooding the inboxes of your potential customers, and often, they’re promoting deals that aren’t accurate.

In 2016, a study from NerdWallet found that some Black Friday discounts are inflated to make deals seem better than they are. So whatever it is you’re advertising, you better be telling the truth.

Creating Your Black Friday + Cyber Monday Promotional Plan

Since Black Friday is only a few weeks away, we’re sure you’ve already planned out your promotions far in advance. As the weeks wind down, you might be getting anxious. It will be tempting to review your plan over and over.

But there’s no need to stress. The two main things to focus on are meeting your overall revenue goal and driving traffic to your store. Here’s how:

First, to set a realistic overall revenue goal, we need to look at past statistics. As we all know, Black Friday has remained the most popular day to shop. In 2017, Thanksgiving and Black Friday brought in a total of $7.9 in online sales. In 2018, it reached $9.9 billion — almost a 20 percent increase from the previous year.

In 2019, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, online sales were up 20.2 percent from the previous year, and shoppers spent an average of $361.90 on just holiday items — up 16 percent from the previous year.

Using the information on past sales statistics can help in setting an overall revenue goal. You can also keep an eye on how your brand is doing in the months leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But be careful not to overestimate, as this can lead to overspending, which will decrease your potential profit.

Second, you’ll want to consider how to drive your traffic.

We already touched on this earlier, but email campaigns can help exponentially drive traffic leading up to Black Friday. Not only is it cost-effective — with every $1 spent, you can expect an average return of $42 — but nearly half the world’s population uses it. So you can guarantee that email campaigns will be effective.

If you’re having trouble creating the perfect Black Friday email, don’t be afraid to check out the competition and gather some inspiration from other email campaigns.

Social media is another significant way to drive traffic. As of 2019, 90 percent of people use social media for advertising. Social media ads are a great way to reach a big audience in a small amount of time — Facebook and Instagram primarily. Regardless of what you’re selling, you’ll want to be sure to look into using social media.

Get Creative With Your Purchaser Perks

Now that you’ve got your promotional plan all laid out, it’s time to focus on the big day. Your customers are already spending their money, so why not offer some perks with their purchase?

We suggest offering a free gift or gift card or even a coupon code with their next purchase. Especially with the holiday season upon us, and many unable to be with their loved ones in person, encourage a bit of gift-giving with deals on gift wrapping and personalized cards.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest shopping days of the year. It can be stressful  trying to plan on how to stand out from the competition. But if you take the right steps to create what’s best for your brand, you can be confident your e-commerce store will succeed.

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