9 Black Friday tips for ecommerce fashion businesses
The Romanian ecommerce market grew by approximately 30% last year and we expect a 15-20% increase in 2021, a local trend in line with the global evolution. Additionally, several industries had an above-average performance in online shopping, fashion being one of them.
The manager of one of the main players in Romania, FashionDays.ro, emphasized, in an exclusive interview for VTEX CEE, that in this sector sales have increased by 40% in 2020. Although the trend will not maintain the same level this year, Black Friday 2021 will definitely provide another significant leap, as well as new challenges for the industry.
If you are wondering what actions you may undertake this Black Friday and how you can prevent any potential issues, I will further provide a few tips & tricks which are very useful for those who operate in the fashion industry — whether they are pure ecommerce operations, or combining both online and offline in an omnichannel approach.
1. Scale your call center operation
Fashion businesses are receiving the largest number of calls compared to almost any other vertical. The best solution would be to have a call center available for as long as possible — preferably even 24/7, during the entire campaign and holiday shopping season.
To facilitate this, one could consider engaging the staff of brick-and-mortar stores or from other positions, who are not as pressured during Black Friday, to answer those phone calls.
2. Facilitate returns
The fashion industry also has very high return rates, which can even go as high as 30%. That is why it is extremely important to facilitate the process as much as possible. You can introduce a return form in the package, one that is easy to fill in.
So be ready for several returns and try not to go against the tide, using difficult procedures which generate frustration for the clients.
3. Increase your delivery capacity
Negotiate with courier companies, so that they may pick up several packages, as many times as possible, during the same day. If a courier company only comes and takes the packages once, they may also become overwhelmed and, at the same time, your business fails to get the deliveries out to the clients as soon as possible. After contacting the warehouses and/or the stores, the ideal thing would be to have the last (cut-off) package pick-up as late in the evening as possible.
4. Treat Black Friday as a holiday
During Black Friday sales, it’s not mandatory to have discounts as your only “hook”. There are numerous strategies that you can use to improve the customers’ experience and to interest them in buying.
Here are several ideas which you can easily put into practice:
- If you are an omnichannel business, you may initiate activations in store, for example: “take a selfie in your new dress, post it on social media, and we will reward you with a voucher”;
- Hire clothing consultants to provide competent and friendly advice to your visitors;
- Stream LIVE from your brand’s flagship stores and interview some happy customers;
- Use Live Shopping, streamed from the online store, together with an influential person in the industry;
- Stream LIVE on social media platforms from the company’s headquarters and interview some managers, in order to capture the “backstage” feel.
5. Start a closed presale campaign for loyal customers
If Black Friday is, obviously, on a Friday, you can start your campaign on Thursday or on Wednesday, in a closed circuit only for the loyal customers of your fashion brand. This way, you reward loyalty by providing access to the entire range of products, with at least the same discounts. Early Black Friday deals are also a way to make sure that those clients keep coming back to you in the long term.
6. Boost anticipation using a countdown
Before Black Friday, in order to create anticipation, add a countdown timer on your website. This way, you will create expectancy and positive excitement among the customers.
During the campaign, insert messages and push notifications, for example: “last products on stock” or “we have replenished our stock” and so on. Make sure you have at least one colleague available at all times to answer the questions of the press/bloggers.
7. Develop your brand visibility
You must make sure that you are “top of mind” long before you start the Black Friday campaign. Performance campaigns are essential. Retargeting is performed on as many persons as possible — even those who visited the website a year ago.
Also, it’s important that you try to do good deeds as well — corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns. Conclude partnerships with NGOs or institutions such as the Red Cross. For this purpose, you can try conducting a “scrappage program for clothes” campaign, where customers can trade their used clothes for new ones, being granted a discount. Second hand clothes will go to the poorer communities.
8. Implement omnichannel logistics
One of the VTEX clients in the Romanian fashion industry, Peeraj/Distinctive.ro, can make deliveries directly from their stores. Practically, they are scaling the delivery process according to their needs and the employees pack the products directly in the physical stores, from where they will be delivered. This is an important addition, ensuring precision and swiftness.
Read similar fashion case studies here and find out the benefits enjoyed by the business thanks to choosing VTEX as an ecommerce platform.
9. Learn from mistakes
Look back and take note of what went well and what went wrong on Black Friday! You’ll surely forget by next year, but it is better to remedy in due time what did not work and replicate and improve what went well. And remember: it’s best if you start preparing early for Black Friday.
Ready, steady, go…
Our colleagues from VTEX CEE have compiled some useful tips for a successful Black Friday, some of them being “last minute”. They are perfect for online retailers in the fashion industry, as well, so I invite you to go through them here. All you have to do now is to get busy! Best of luck!