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August 11, 2021 - By Emma Collins

Black Friday Marketing Strategies Brands Need to Leverage Now

The ecommerce has never been more competitive, with the global pandemic bringing the whole world online. In 2021, Black Friday sales are expected to soar as always, but this time, the battleground is not in physical stores but online.

As shopping has become more convenient through smartphones and online payments, eCommerce retailers are already expecting a surge in online transactions. To get ahead of the game, marketing strategies for Black Friday should start not in or around November but now.

Here are some crucial Black Friday marketing strategies to put in place now before the competition gets a head start.

Start Campaigns Early

Black Friday traditionally is the first Friday after Thanksgiving. That means that in 2021, the Black Friday craze is expected to happen on November 26.

Unlike traditional advertising, online marketing needs momentum. Media planning and execution of marketing campaigns need to be moving months ahead because, thanks to smartphones, shoppers are “adding to cart” way before the actual sales begin. Brands and their products need to be seen online even before the Black Friday fever starts.

Here are some of the measures involved in a Black Friday marketing plan:

  • Identifying items that will be part of the sale
  • Preparing photos and images of the sale items
  • Designing the graphics and video materials
  • Media marketing and social media strategies
  • Centralizing orders
  • Packing and shipping

Optimize Your Website

Expect traffic on your eCommerce website, not just a few days before Black Friday but as early as late Summer and early Fall. Shoppers will be planning their purchases months ahead and checking out possible sales. Here are some ways to ensure your website will run smoothly and won’t crash on the day of the sale:

Shoppers do not like slow sites and pages that won’t load. It only takes a few seconds of lag to lose dozens of potential buyers. Catching these areas of optimization now allows your team enough time to execute on any necessary improvements so you can be ready when the holiday traffic surge hits your servers.

Make Your Campaign and Shopping Experience Smartphone-friendly

Without a doubt, most customers will be accessing retailer websites and brands’ social media accounts through their smartphones and mobile devices. One of the easiest ways for retailers to test the sales facility of this is to use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test. Simply enter the website URL, and Google will analyze the rest. Some other strategies to make a website mobile-friendly include the following:

  • Keep the layout and designs simple.
  • Use larger fonts to make text easier to read and catch more attention.
  • Use simple words targeting every user in different age groups.
  • Make sure ads and pop-ups don’t block important announcements.

Mobile-friendliness is critical for business as statistics indicate that 96 percent of people in the U.S. research a product on their mobile phones, and 35 percent push through with their purchases.

Embrace New Ways to Check Out and Deliver

Retailers need to give the buyers a smooth transaction from ordering to receiving the actual goods. According to Forbes, while delivery seems to be the new norm, shipping companies are overwhelmed by the sheer number of parcel pickups.

Retailers need to give consumers alternative ways to receive their parcels without breaking pandemic protocols, including outsourcing small-scale delivery services or offering curbside pickup.

For a smoother checkout experience, it is best to add more payment options, check if the discount vouchers are working, and ensure that the whole checkout process will run fast and smooth.

Update Your Social Media Accounts

Undoubtedly, consumers will be checking in on brands’ social media accounts for promotional announcements. Social media is a great way to create hype and excitement leading toward the actual Black Friday sale. Brands can schedule promotional teasers months ahead to bait consumers early on, and should focus on building a loyal and engaged audience in the months preceding the holiday rush in order to help their brand be top-of-mind when it comes time to make a purchase.

Create Rewards and Discounts

Creating digital rewards is a great way to accelerate engagement. These are digital e-gift cards and discount vouchers. Offering rewards is a great strategy to send more traffic to the website by having customers claim digital coupons right on the site or as an exchange for their email addresses. Here are some ways to let consumers know about the rewards:

  • Create pop-ups
  • Launch email marketing campaigns
  • Boost social media posts

Another strategy is to make returning customers feel appreciated by giving them product recommendations based on their previous purchases. Give them a special “thank you” discount for being a repeat customer.

Use Urgency Messaging

When a customer sees the word “free” in an ad, the instinct is to scroll to the next page and make sure to click on the link for more information on how to claim the free item. Free, right? It’s not like this always happens, even if it means customers must give their email addresses in exchange.

That’s the power of urgency messaging. It’s crucial for marketers to use this technique, especially during the sale season. This is to have a fighting chance against other brands that are also clamoring and using their best sales and marketing techniques. Here’s a list of urgency messaging words, phrases and tactics that can help optimize conversion rates.

  • Urgency of time — Use the words “now,” “deadline,” “today only,” “limited time.”
  • Urgency of scarcity — Use the words “last chance,” “few stocks remaining,” “one day only.”
  • Urgency of speed — Use the words “hurry,” “instant,” “act now,” “don’t delay.”

These are ideal for writing call-to-action (CTA) phrases. A good CTA can encourage visitors to take action without requiring them to leave your site. 

Learn more about ad copy strategies here!

Update and Highlight Return Policy

Consumers who plan to buy expensive items like appliances or purchase in bulk always want to look at the store’s return policy. Knowing they have options if they received defective items gives them peace of mind, helping them make instant purchasing decisions.

How do you create a good return policy? Here are some points to include:

  • Set a strict but reasonable time frame for the return.
  • Clearly define the condition of the item before the store accepts a return.
  • List the requirements for return and don’t make it complicated.
  • Define policies on refund or in-store credit.
  • Be upfront about the fees included in the return policies, if any.

Retailers who have an excellent return policy should highlight these throughout their campaigns. Make the words simple and easy to read across all languages.

The Takeaway

One would think that Black Friday 2020, the year when the pandemic hit, would have been slow for all retailers. As it turns out, despite all the pandemic restrictions, 186 million people still shopped and took advantage of the promos and discounts.

This trend gave retailers a sneak peek of what to expect this upcoming Black Friday 2021, up to Cyber Monday. Now armed with more knowledge from the lessons learned from last year’s Black Friday sales, there’s now more time to prepare and a chance to address online issues and make this Black Friday a better shopping experience for consumers. Schedule your free consultation today to start getting prepped for your brand’s best Black Friday yet.

Emma Collins is a freelance content writer and copywriter at Hawke Media. She’s been writing articles on digital marketing, finance, lifestyle, entertainment, social media, technology, and more for over eight years. Emma loves gaming and watching anime during her spare time.



Business Insider – Black Friday 2021 Date – Best Black Friday Deals 

Nosto – Black Friday Marketing

Forbes – 4 Black Friday Trends That Could Predict Retail in 2021

CNBC – Retail trade group sees holiday sales up 3.6% to 5.2%, posting strong finish to 2020 in spite of pandemic