Black Friday and Christmas shopping - here's how to prepare for the biggest sales period of the year
With Black Friday and Christmas shopping just around the corner, the retail industry is gearing up for its busiest sales period during the year. Black Friday in 2022 became the biggest online shopping day in Norway ever, with an 18% increase in sales from the previous year. At the same time, Virke estimates that Norwegians spent NOK 20 billion on Christmas shopping online last year.
Increased interest rates and fixed expenses have made consumers more conscious of comparing prices. A survey conducted by Klarna shows that the click-through rate for products under NOK 3,000 increased significantly on Black Friday last year, compared to the previous year. With a further rise in inflation, this trend is likely to continue into this year's sales period.
There is great competition for customers during this period and it is therefore more important than ever to be visible to the target audience where they are located. In this article, we give you some good and concrete tips on how your company can prepare for the sales period.
Analyze data and trends from previous years
Take a look at sales figures, traffic and customer behaviour from previous sales periods. This will help you understand which products are popular, which price categories get the most attention, and what type of marketing works best. Use this information to create a strategy for this year's sales period.
Create a clear marketing strategy
- Define audiences based on demographics and purchase history. Understand your audience's preferences, needs and buying habits to be able to adapt your message effectively.
- Define clear and realistic goals for the sales period. This may be a certain sales volume, increase in the number of new customers or a percentage increase in turnover. Goals should be measurable, timed and realistic.
- Set a budget for your marketing activities during the sales period. This includes costs for advertising, marketing materials, discounts and promotions.
- Create competitive offers that appeal to your audiences, such as discounts, package prices, exclusive products or free digs.
- Identify the most effective communication channels to reach out to your target audiences. This can be paid advertising on social media, paid search campaigns or email marketing. Choose channels that are relevant and effective to maximize visibility and reach your target audience.
Prepare marketing materials
Once you have prepared a clear strategy, you can start by preparing marketing materials for the various communication channels. Thorough planning and relevant content are essential to ensure that you reach your audiences in an effective and engaging way. During the sales period, you should also continuously monitor and analyze success metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and engagement. This gives you the opportunity to optimize your marketing materials to achieve better results.
Paid ads on social media
- Create appealing ads that have a clear message and visually appealing content such as photos or videos.
- Write short and engaging descriptions that present the product's benefits or special discounts.
- Include strong call-to-action (CTAs) that encourage viewers to take action, such as “Buy Now” or “Order Now.”
- Make sure your ads reflect your brand's visual identity through the use of logo, colors, fonts, and images. This will help create recognition and trust in the target audience.
- Use A/B testing to investigate which messages, formats, and audiences work best. Adjust your ads accordingly to optimize performance.
Paid Search Campaigns
- Define a clear sales period conversion goal that aligns with sales period goals, such as online store sales.
- Write engaging headlines and descriptions that highlight unique product features, offers or discounts.
- If you're using shopping ads or Performance Max, it's important to make sure your product feed is up to date and working properly.
- Make sure that you have set the correct conversion tracking in relation to the goal you wanted to achieve and that it is working properly.
- Use goals such as CPA or ROAS to optimize campaign profitability. This will help to allocate the budget more efficiently.
- Optimize the landing pages of your website so that they are relevant to the content of your ads.
- Conduct A/B testing to identify which ad versions are performing best.
Email Marketing and Newsletters
- Build up your email list ahead of the sales period by encouraging your site visitors to sign up for the newsletter. For example, offer a discount so that you can reach out to potential customers with exclusive offers during the sales period.
- Create a plan for the sales period that includes the timing of when you want to send emails to your subscribers.
- Create engaging and personalized content, such as exclusive offers for subscribers or personalized recommendations based on purchase history.
- Use clear and attractive CTAs that encourage recipients to act.
- Customize the design of your emails after the event. Use colors, images, and graphics that reflect Black Friday or Christmas.
- Test and optimize your emails to make sure they work properly on different devices and applications.
- Follow up customers with after-sales emails to thank customers for their purchase, request feedback or offer related products.
Organic content on social media
- Create relevant and engaging content that relates to the sales period and ensure that it is tailored to different channels. For example, tips and tricks, gift ideas or product recommendations.
- Use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts, such as #blackfriday, #julegavetips or similar.
- Use Meta Business's scheduler to publish content according to when your target audience is most active on the different platforms.
- Engage followers with questions, polls, and contests that encourage interaction.
- Be available by responding quickly to comments, questions and messages. This builds trust and loyalty.
Optimize your website and mobile experience
A well-optimized website is essential to increase visibility, stand out from competitors and ensure a seamless shopping experience for customers. More and more people are also making purchases via mobile, which is why it is important that the website is mobile-friendly and has fast loading times. If it takes more than 3 seconds to load a page, you risk losing a lot of potential buyers to your competitors.
Before the sales period, you should review the website and check that everything necessary is in place and that it is working properly:
- Include relevant keywords on the website. This will increase visibility in search results and drive more organic traffic to your website.
- Optimize your product pages. Make sure your product descriptions are detailed and compelling, include high-quality images and feel free to use customer reviews to build trust and credibility.
- Check that all product images, prices and descriptions match the products and content on the page.
- Test and optimize your website's usability across different devices and browsers.
- Test that existing solutions on the site are working properly, including payment methods, shipping, inventory status, and order confirmations.
- Estimate the traffic increase and conduct thorough tests to ensure the site can withstand the load and maintain performance.