Successful Ecommerce Black Fridays

21st November 2016

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may feel like a chore to many businesses, but for online retailers, the low prices on offer that day can give your business a shot in the arm. There are many possible ways to improve the outlook for your bottom line. Let’s look at some of the potential areas for success.


Loss Leaders and Special Deals

When setting up Black Friday campaigns, remember that unless you are using certain desirable items to draw in the customer’s, then you need to ensure that the sale is profitable.  But consider your longer-term goals.  If you are in a business where customers stay loyal to your brand and place regular or ongoing orders, then it is worth considering that special, enticing product that you are selling at a knock-down price, as part of your cost of acquisition.  In most markets, where there is more flexibility in brand allegiance, or where repeat sales are few and far between, you will need to make each sale profitable (or at the very least reach a break-even point).


PPC on Black Friday

If you are offering a product at an unbelievable price, and without any catches or clauses, then be ready to sell quickly. Consider if you wish to continue running PPC, in the hope that customers buy alternatives, or if you wish to stop the PPC campaigns once the headline stock is sold.


Server Load Tests for Black Friday

Have you load tested your server? If not, people seeking that special deal may overload your site, meaning that no one can purchase from you at all. This is far from ideal, particularly if you are driving traffic from your PPC campaign, you may be paying for someone to see your 500 or 503 error pages.


Email List Building

The secret to success in list building is correctly identifying items that are likely to appeal to a sector of the population with sufficient spare cash to make repeat purchases and to use.  

You can effectively use your special offers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as bait to get customers to purchase your products in future.  Make sure that your customer receives a regular email to remind him of the new offers you have coming up, and any special items or events that they might qualify for.  Remember most people like to feel special, so exclusive mailing list offers to “specially selected” customers (even if they aren’t currently special) could push you in to profit long after you have acquired the customer.

You can also offer a pre-sale email to the customers you really wish to target, offering further discounts, or an exclusive sneak-peek of what the sale is likely to contain.  By targeting likely consumers, who have already expressed an interest in the products, you can almost book the sale before the release to the general public.


UK Organic E-commerce Opportunities on Black Friday

We’ve talked briefly about PPC and building your mailing lists.  But that is only part of the e-commerce world.  What about organic traffic? The list below highlights the most significant terms surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November 2015.  Whilst there is considerable search volume, the reason there is so little competition on some of the generic terms is due to their lack of precision.  Knowing that someone is looking for Black Friday deals, is only really of help to a store that has a wide range of stock and is confident in its ability to turn a visitor into a customer. If you are running a company offering, lingerie or Hi-Fi systems you are unlikely to find a potential buyer using that method.

We would recommend using brand keywords, model number keywords or more general keywords that describe your product coupled with the Black Friday/Cyber Monday term.

Keyword UK Search Volume
Black Friday Deals 1,200,000
Black Friday TV Deals 100,000
Cyber Monday Deals 95,000
Black Friday 1,800,000
Black Friday Laptop 20,000
Black Friday Laptop Deals 50,000
Black Friday Holiday Deals 18,000
Black Friday Deals UK 90,000


E-commerce After Cyber Mondays

Rushing to take down your pages?  Don’t.  This is the time when you can take care of a little remarketing of your own.  The landing pages can stay up all year round, with content redirecting customers to your current offers.  By doing this, you will ensure that the pages are not delisted, and by keeping the content fresh (or at least less moldy) you will probably improve your search ranking position for next year.  After all, most of your competitors will rip up their pages once the event is finished.


The Ecommerce Tool Kit for Black Friday

The tool kit below gives a great overview of what you should be looking to do for both PPC and SEO to make sales season a success. The key takeaways remain:

  • Don’t focus on generic terms
  • Don’t get involved if you do not have sufficient ROI
  • Don’t neglect potential customers
  • Don’t take the pages down at the end of the sale
Before the Event

  • Consistent presence year round – with link to current deals
  • Conduct link-building activities to raise profile in time for peak purchase
  • Pick a good H1 tag and leave it all year
  • Repetition of theme and well themed copy
The Days Before Black Friday

  • Provide information in the consumer research phase
  • Create a small cookie pool for remarketing
  • Don’t concentrate on generic terms – feature terms nearer the bottom of the sales funnel
  • Ensure that you have set all necessary feeds and meta data
After the Event

  • Leave the Black Friday etc. pages up
  • Let replacement page signpost to current offers – Take email addresses and phone numbers to alert buyers to special offers.
  • Send promotional emails
  • Use Leftover stock for Cyber Monday and Christmas