Black Friday 2021 is scheduled for November 26th, followed by Cyber Monday on Monday November 29th. What began as an American shopping frenzy with brazen discounts on Christmas gifts - especially toys and electronics - is now an international e-commerce event.
Find out how you can best prepare your e-commerce store for this important day for digital trade and how you can optimally and profitably align your marketing strategy with Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday 2021 serves as preparation for the Christmas business
With the introduction of Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, the Black Friday sale is getting longer and leading us straight into the holiday season. The lockdown-related boost in the online shopping trend is also still unbroken. And so now is the perfect time to turn your Black Friday marketing ideas into a fully-fledged strategy.
The pandemic has not only had a major impact on online trends and consumer preferences, but also its impact on your Black Friday marketing strategy this year. According to McKinsey & Company's report on Christmas shopping and consumer trends in 2021, here are five trends to watch out for:
- Holiday deal days are becoming more and more important worldwide: Black Friday is now the most popular sale in Germany, France and Great Britain.
- 40% of consumers have tried new brands during the pandemic - that means new opportunities for first-time buyers but an uphill battle to keep loyal customers.
- Almost a third of shoppers say they will start their holiday shopping earlier compared to last year - so remember to develop campaigns for early shoppers
- Online retail sales grew 93% in 2020, and e-commerce grew more than three times faster from 2019-2020. And this year, online retailers have even bigger opportunities for growth
- Exceptional omnichannel experiences are critical to success - because customers are looking for a seamless shopping experience
Here's how to prepare for the 2021 Black Friday Sale
Omnichannel commerce is a major contributor to the busiest online shopping time of the year. To stay ahead of the competition, you need accurate data on seasonal traffic trends and market analysis, and you need to optimize all your marketing channels accordingly:
- Your search engine advertising (Google & Bing Ads)
- organic search (SEO)
- display ads
- social networks
- Email Marketing
- referral marketing
Put your paid advertising to the test
Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday only take place over two days, but you can reap the benefits of these sales throughout the year. That's why you should balance your organic and paid search plans to give your audience the best omnichannel experience.
We've put together a few tips you can apply to your own Black Friday PPC campaign:
- During Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday, ad bids can skyrocket. So choose carefully the keywords you want to use for your product and search ads.
- Black Friday is more than just a weekend event, meaning you can start running paid ads before and after the actual date. There's less competition, and lower bids are possible.
- Try out new markets that fit your audiences. Start showing ads already LinkedIn, tik tok or Pinterest? The holidays are a good time to experiment (but don't overdo it or spend your entire advertising budget on it).
Organic traffic isn't built in a day
We all know that SEO is not a quick fix. Rather, it is a long-term strategy. So the sooner you start planning and optimizing your Black Friday promotions, the better:
- Research the current online shopping trends
- Find seasonal keywords to target (and focus on holiday content)
- Create sales-focused landing pages for Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday
- Think Mobile First
- Think about how SEO interacts with your other marketing efforts
Create landing pages for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
To rank for these seasonal keywords, you need landing pages where searchers can find your Black Friday 2021 deals. Consumers often search for keywords such as "sale", "deal", "discounts", "specials" and "promos" in conjunction with specific product or brand names. Take a closer look at Google Trends to find out which keywords work best for your industry.
Create your sale pages in advance and temporarily redirect them so they are not visible until your sale is live. Be sure to add these new landing pages to your sitemap so crawlers can properly index them (and returning customers can find them).
Make them live when you're ready to start your sale and track and optimize your progress as the holiday season approaches. The best way to plan a marketing strategy is to think from the top of the funnel to the bottom.
Start with organic search, then use social media to increase brand and product awareness. Remember to carefully measure your efforts to understand which channels are performing best and optimize your strategy accordingly.
With these 4 tips you will stand out from other online retailers during the Christmas season
Black Friday heralds the start of the Christmas business. And even in August of this year, searches for "Christmas gift ideas" have already surpassed 2020 levels.
We've rounded up four points here to help maximize your success during the most important shopping season of the year.
1. Fast shipping and easy returns: highlight your fulfilment options in Google search and shopping results
Fast shipping and easy returns are high on customers' priority lists this year. 78% of consumers say they choose online stores that offer free shipping when shopping.
Google even added this in their new shipping and returns instructions in search and shopping results for both free and paid offers. Online shoppers can now see when their orders will arrive. The following shipping instructions are available, for example:
- Free delivery until Fri December 24th
- Get it by December 24th
- Free returns within 90 days
- Free returns until January 31st
2. Present your products in several places on Google at the same time
Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Google to shop and discover products. Showcase your items in free Google listings: If you use Shopify, WooCommerce or GoDaddy, you can now get started right from their respective platforms. Seamlessly sync your products and increase their reach with smart shopping campaigns powered by machine learning.
You can also turn your YouTube videos into a virtual storefront and present your most popular items there: combine your product feed with video advertising campaigns that drive customers to your website. In the coming weeks, we'll be rolling out the option to associate a product feed with Discovery ads to show customers relevant products at the exact moment they search for them on Google.
3. Prepare for the rush with Google's automated formats and scheduling tools
Google is rolling out additional tools and reports to help focus on your profitability. With the Bestseller Report you will receive information on the most popular brands and products in your online shop. This can help you decide which new brands and products to stock up for the holidays.
In addition, Google is introducing a feature that will allow you to view your promotional deals through real-time reports in the Merchant Center. This is particularly useful when running promotions to shift your inventory - for example in preparation for Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday Sale.
Tools like the Insights Page and the Performance Planner also help identify trends and plan budgets so you can better meet customer demand. And if your company offers an app, you can use two new tools – the Deep link validator and the Impact Calculator - check if your customers are directed to the right places in your app.
4. Reach more customers via Facebook, Instagram & Co.
The holiday season this year is driven by consumers' desire to reflect timeless human needs in modern shopping experiences. They want to feel connected, entertained, and inspired. Knowing how your prospects shop can help you meet each of those needs and create personalized shopping experiences.
The new Facebook Discovery Commerce System helps online providers to put the interests of customers more and more in the foreground:
- Personalization based on data: By combining machine learning with data that users share, you can reach the right audiences and even discover new ones.
- Inspire with creative content and engaging interfaces: Showcase your creative content in social apps and formats optimized for mobile experiences. Surprise and inspire your customers where they already spend time anyway. Namely on Facebook, Instagram & Co.
- Facilitate the discovery and purchase of your products: With ad and conversion tools, you can offer your customers a seamless shopping experience - from discovery to purchase.
- Learn and optimize based on measurements: Get a better understanding of how your marketing is affecting business outcomes with intelligent measurement tools - so you can allocate your effort and your advertising budget more efficiently.
Would you like to find out more? Then contact us for a free analysis of your advertising accounts and let us show you the potential of your online shop.