A change in season means more than flipping your inventory and refreshing your stock. For your customers, the period between November 1 and the 27th is a frenzy of flagging emails, favouriting web pages and making lists of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
All of it in preparation for the two days when Canadians kick off their winter holiday shopping in search of big savings.
Business owners, are you ready?
If not, don’t fret! Here’s everything you need to know.
Editor’s note: Check to make sure your website hosting and security are up for the tide of incoming traffic (some of it potentially malicious) before the big day! Have a chat with a knowledgeable GoDaddy Guide now at +1 (866-938-1119).
Get ready in 5 easy steps
Step 1: Put the following dates in your calendar
- Black Friday: November 27, 2020
- Cyber Monday: November 30, 2020
Step 2: Carve out time to strategize
Next you’ll want to identify your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale items. Your marketing strategy depends on this.
Spend a few days looking at your inventory and making decisions about what items you’d like to feature.
Take into consideration current trends and research what your competitors are doing. Think about your last Black Friday and Cyber Monday experience. If you participated as a customer, reflect on what drew you to some retailers and not others. Apply your personal intel to your sales strategy.
Here are a few options to consider:
If you’re selling apparel, you could decide to give 50% off on all T-shirts.
Individual item reduction
Select your individual items and adjust prices accordingly.
Show your customers how they can continue to save by packaging relevant products such as running shoes and socks. So if they purchase both, for example, they save an additional 5% off.
Your Top 10
If you’re a very small business and can’t reduce costs, pick 10 items you want to feature — five for Black Friday and five for Cyber Monday sales. Instead of a price reduction, you may wish to offer free shipping or hold the sales tax on those items.
For details on how to set discounts that will still make you money, read this post.
Step 3: Pick three platforms
On a shoestring budget? You’re going to want to focus on just three places to spread the word about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
- Your website
- Social media
It may seem hard to believe, but many small business owners overlook the selling power of their websites. It’s your most powerful resource and all of your email and social media marketing campaigns should drive people there. Get your website in top shape for the holidays with these five steps.
Step 4: Create compelling content for your sales
Now that you know what you’re selling and have identified where you’re going to be focusing your marketing energy, you’re ready to create articles, posts and videos that get the word out.
Start with your website and ask yourself, is this the biggest Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale you’ve ever hosted? If so, lead with that.
You’re going to need the same elements, just worded slightly differently, for your website, emails and social media posts.
Let your customers know they can get sale updates from you by providing their email addresses. This will grow your email list and feed into your email marketing strategy. The bigger the list, the more the contacts you have for your winter holiday promotions (and beyond).
Pro Tip: Attract attention by counting down to your big Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales reveal announcement.
Create two sets of promotional images, one for Black Friday and one for Cyber Monday.
Here’s an example of how SportChek called out their Black Friday deals in 2019:
Brief write ups about your sales
Attention-grabbing write ups will bring email and social media readers to your website to browse your sale offerings.
Keep in mind that your audience scans content quickly, so if you’re having big sales up to 70% off, you’re going to want to use graphics with your writeups to draw attention to the savings, like in the SportCheck banner above.
Step 5: Set your schedule and launch your campaign!
To create a schedule, ask yourself these three questions:
- How many emails am I going to send in the three weeks before Black Friday/Cyber Monday?
- How many social media posts am I going to publish during that period?
- How many paid social media ads do I want to run (if any)?
You will need to create fresh content for every piece of marketing (perhaps highlighting a different product in each), so once you decide how much content you’ll be creating, you can plug these into your schedule.
For social media, be sure to use location-based hashtags. If you’re running ads, be specific when targeting your audience.
Remember, customers are already on the lookout for these deals. If you wait too long, they may have already decided to shop elsewhere.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday recap
Just as with any other sale, it takes a bit of planning to surpass last year’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales performances. Remember to:
- Start planning your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy as soon as possible.
- Assess your inventory and decide what items you want to advertise.
- Decide where you want to invest your marketing cash, be it in email marketing, social media marketing or digital advertising.
- Create all of your articles, posts and videos (including your graphics) in advance and schedule each for distribution.
The more prepared you are for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, the more successful you’ll be.