Organising your digital marketing strategy for Black Friday is like preparing a plane for a long trip. There’s usually no room for improvisation and everything must be perfectly in line with clear procedures. Pilot and co-pilot know exactly what they have to do, even if there is turbulence during the flight. For you, it’s the same thing. Marketing, communication, support service, logistics… all your teams must work in harmony. And before pushing the engines to the limit for take-off, have a look at your checklist one last time for a successful Black Friday!
A controversial and pandemic Black Friday 2020
A prime example of an American tradition, Black Friday always takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). It is on this great family celebration that consumers rush to the shops and their favourite websites to make good deals. Imported to France in 2013, the hexagonal Black Friday obviously has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, as it only replicates the commercial event on the same date. Except that with the crisis linked to COVID-19 and the second containment affecting retailers, things are more complicated.
Initially scheduled for Friday 27 November 2020, the French Black Friday will therefore be postponed to the 4th of December following announcements by the government and certain major retailers. The duration of this event depends on the brands. For some, it will be one day only, for others, a full weekend to go until Monday 7th December and a replicate of Cyber Monday, when the most motivated will practice a full week of promotion.
In any case, this unusual change, linked to a health context that is just as unusual, offers new opportunities for e-merchants to fill up with customers. Between coming out of confinement and the prospect of the festive season, Black Friday 2020 will have a special flavour. All the more reason to finalise its preparation and to get off to a good start.
Black Friday 2020: the ultimate checklist
Fortunately, it is not too late to get in order to make a success of its Black Friday. Let’s review together the essentials for your e-commerce website.
Finalise your marketing plan to raise the pressure
Email marketing, social media publishing, performance advertising… everything needs to be aligned in order to know what content is being sent on what day, to what target and with what message. You still have a few days to get organised to gather your forces and let people know what’s going to happen. In a context of uncertainty, be there to reassure, communicate about your offers, and allow your community to get organised.
Check your tools one last time
Your commercial site is your first commercial showcase. All the more reason for it to always be at the top! An audit of your digital tools and a global verification before Black Friday will save you a few cold sweats:
- Test page loading speed (desktop and mobile): you can use online performance measurement tools.
- Check the responsive design: test on different screen sizes and browsers – not just the latest versions.
- Make sure you don’t have any broken links: to avoid the frustrating 404 error that will cause you to lose credibility and customers.
- Check conversion pixels and other tracking tools: to make sure that everything works well and that your analytics and KPIs are consistent.
- Try out your forms: from the confirmation message to the successful receipt of requests, this is an important step not to be overlooked.
- Check your automation scenarios: so that you don’t find last year’s scenarios with old content, offers and information.
Organise your resources
Who is going to answer to the Internet users on social networks? Do you plan to have a permanent with extended hours due to the exceptional activity? Can you quickly mobilise a graphic designer to update a banner? What happens if your community managers fall ill or have a problem with the internet connection if they work from home?
Answering these questions will help you refine your organisation: put in place your human resources, train them and motivate them. Black Friday is once a year, and it’s an event to succeed! Especially this year! For your part, you will have to be on deck to answer all the questions. Do not make any appointments during this week. You should be quickly available to optimize or adjust things if necessary. Reactivity and agility are the key words.
Create a plan B in case of emergency
Accidents and unpleasant surprises happen. If they can’t always be avoided, contingency plans can be put in place to respond quickly when needed. For example:
- Your shopping site breaks down: what’s your plan B? Who is mobilised to intervene in an emergency? Do you have a backup available that can be activated in a few minutes?
- You have a stock problem and sell unavailable products: how do you react to your customers? What are your general terms and conditions of sale? Do you reimburse? You are making a credit for a later purchase?
- Your sales prices do not correspond to those displayed: if they are more expensive, you should hear about it quickly. If they are cheaper, you risk losing a lot of money. What steps are in place to check that prices are correct?
- Your promotions are not activated: free postage that remains payable, additional services that do not work, discount coupons that cannot be activated… what is your plan to remedy this?
Pandemics, economic crisis, doubts and uncertainties… in the midst of bad news, Black Friday can be a bubble of oxygen for both e-merchants and customers. For the former, it’s an opportunity to create the event, to motivate their troops and to set in motion a virtuous dynamic. For the latter, it’s the opportunity to make useful purchases at smart prices and without going broke. A win-win Black Friday that will do you the greatest good.