It’s getting to that exciting time of year again. Black Friday be in just a few days.
If you’re an eCommerce seller, this is one of the selling highlights of the year (Prime Day too if you’re selling on Amazon) where you get to see sales spike.
By this stage, you should already have your inventory in to capitalize on the opportunity. This is not the time to be figuring out keyword rankings or FB creatives. This is the time to scale up. It’s where all the time spent before on testing, tweaking and optimizing has really paid off.
The way to view this period is like a rising tide where there’s going to be a lot more people that are searching with buying intent, triggering one of the largest sales day of the year.
The primary online sales channels that I know of for physical products are email marketing, Facebook/Instagram advertising, and Amazon. I’ll go through each briefly.
Leading up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you’d ideally want to warm up the list to let them know what to expect and which products will be getting discounts. Some sellers worry that customers might be getting deluged with emails so they try to get ahead of that by sending out the actual promotions a week early. The risk with this is that people aren’t as receptive as they are during the shopping craze. But both are strategies that you can explore.
This one is a bit more tricky. Unlike email, your cost will not necessarily stay constant. They can very a lot. You’ll want to monitor your spend a lot more closely during this period since you’ll have a lot of companies that’ll up their spend to capitalize on Black Friday and you don’t want to let you know spend go out of control.
More spend does not always equal better results and this is especially going to be the case during Black Friday.
Ideally you’ll have figured out your creatives and audiences well in advance of Black Friday. Sometimes you can get lucky with BFCM because people have much higher buying intent but your cost of experimentation can potentially be high simply because of increased competition which will drive up your per click cost.
There are a variety of ways to get sales on Amazon.
The first is through Amazon’s offers like Deal of The Day and Lightning Deals. The first is typically invite only and they require you to have a huge amount of inventory. But being on DOFD can result in millions of dollars of sales. It’s also free. The guys at DOFD will usually go for items that are more likely to have mass appeal and products that have good reviews. Lightning deals will usually require a fee and doesn’t generate as much sales. It’s usually available for most sellers.
The second is by ranking organically for certain keywords. Unlike Facebook, if you’re not already ranked, you’re not going to rank in one day, especially for hyper competitive terms. But the good news is that if you’re already ranked, then you’ll see a nice spike, which will vary according to the product and category it’s in. Consumer electronics for example will see a huge spike.
The third is through Amazon’s advertising system. This use to be a surefire way to get a positive ROI but now with increasing per click costs, also requires diligence to ensure that costs don’t get out of control.
Preparing for Next Year
After the craziness of the period is over and the dust has settled somewhat, it’s a good idea to make notes on what went well and what didn’t and put them in a document so that you can better prepare for next year’s Black Friday. Some of the big box retailers start planning for next year’s Black Friday literally the day after Black Friday. Plan for success.