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How Small E-commerce Businesses Can Prepare For Black Friday

By Andy Bojko, MD of clothing retailer Hidepark.

Black Friday 2019 is coming up on the 29th of November, and consumers are getting ready for a frenzy of online deals. Last year, there were 194 million site visits on Black Friday alone, with over 1.2 billion visits across the whole of Cyber Week for the top 10 retailers. Clearly, this is an event that retailers should be taking part in and maximising from.

However, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, especially with so many large businesses dominating the market and a constant stream of new entrants pushing for their share. In 2018, Amazon held a 28% share of the Black Friday market. With this in mind, it is more important than ever before to understand your audience, focus on your unique selling point(s) and portray this through your marketing campaigns, especially if you want to compete with industry giants and take a share of that increased traffic.

It can be a challenge to understand your audience, however, it’s also a huge opportunity for growth and content creation. On Black Friday, users may be willing to try out products from new businesses, providing the deal is enticing enough. The biggest challenge is getting users to convert, especially if you’re not a household name, which can be difficult if you don’t have the resources or the budget to spend on making a sale more likely to convert.

With that in mind, here are some top tips on how to make the most of the surge in traffic and ensure that users will convert into a sale on your website this Black Friday.

  1. Trusted Payment Methods

Consumers are ever-conscious of online security and protecting their personal information from being stolen and this is especially important when paying for a product or service. The payment methods you offer on your website can be a strong indicator of trust for customers. Ensuring that you have the latest secure financial technology on your website will reassure customers that their money will be safe when they handover details and also that they will receive the products they ordered.

Offering services such as PayPal and the new ‘buy now, pay later’ service from the likes of Klarna will give customers the trust signal they are looking for in order to convert. This is especially important if they are a new user and haven’t previously engaged with your brand.

Be sure to bring the customer’s awareness to your different payment methods before the user reaches the checkout. For example, you could add a section into your footer which highlights all of the payment options available and keep all visitors in the know.

  1. Customer Experience 

The way in which you engage with your customers has never been more important. Around the Black Friday period, you should be targeting engaged customers across all relevant channels. This may be through offering special offers through targeted email marketing, or creating a series of paid adverts which retarget customers who have previously engaged with your brand. This sense of repetition instills loyalty and attempts to create an experience, which will hopefully lead to users converting, but be sure to make sure your website is quick, can handle an influx of traffic and simple to navigate.

It would also be wise to look at your Google Analytics traffic from the previous year to see what products received the most amount of interest or performed best with most amount of sales. Using some of this data, those products (if still in stock) could be made readily available through paid social or even taking the lead as hero products on the website, making it easier for customers to find the product you know might be successful again and potentially lead to a sale.

  1. Personal Connection

Amazon dominate the Black Friday market, with lightning deals taking place weeks before the day and a huge push in marketing campaigns. A key part of its success is the competitive pricing and rapid delivery services. The Amazon Prime service has changed consumer expectations for delivery speed, with next day delivery available for millions of items. It can also deliver items on Sundays, which isn’t always possible for smaller businesses. This service is especially popular with students, who can sign up for a student Prime account for just a small fee each month.

However, one way in which businesses can compete with industry giants like Amazon is through a personal connection. Younger generations are seeking more interpersonal connections with brands, rather than supporting what can often seem like faceless corporate giants. If you can prove to the user why they should support you and offer them a unique experience, they are more likely to stay loyal to your brand. For example, offering discount vouchers via email marketing campaigns, simply for being a loyal customer, a simple way to make a customer feel special and connected to the brand.