Strategy

Successful cases from Black Friday to keep in mind for 2021

Gabriela Porto
Gabriela Porto November 19, 2021
Successful cases from Black Friday to keep in mind for 2021

There is no need for a crystal ball when it comes to predicting what customers are expecting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021. For instance, online sales have skyrocketed during 2020 holiday shopping season, which only indicates that this trend is going to repeat itself this year. That means that if you don’t invest in an online strategy as well as a brick and mortar one – if that’s the case – you might miss a huge opportunity. 

By the end of the day, all you need is a very watchful eye and a good nose for trends that have popped up on the previous editions of these same events. When it comes to big sales, being prepared is everything. And to be prepared, you have to look around you. 

That is why we have separated some of the successful practices we have seen from ecommerce websites during the 2020 Black Friday weekend and how you can apply them to your business.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and let’s take a look at what other big companies from various industries have done in the past in order to achieve fruitful Black Friday sales. These successful cases from Black Friday include not only site-building but also email marketing, social media strategies, bundles and other promotional plans that offer way more than just regular Black Friday deals.

1. Amazon

Amazon is a big player in the ecommerce game and some say it has already mastered its sales techniques, especially during big events such as Black Friday. That is why looking at their strategies and figuring out what works or what doesn’t is important when building your own Black Friday plan.

According to DataHawk, just last year Amazon sales for Black Friday marked a 222.43% increase when compared to the 15 days average of sales before Black Friday. To achieve these results Amazon has mixed and matched different ecommerce promotional and marketing strategies such as urgency notices, email marketing, promotional offers, good website layout and seamless navigating experience. 

Here is a quick look at what Amazon’s homepage looked like in November 2020:

Let’s go over this landing page and analyze some of the practices Amazon has employed to bump up the end-customer experience and drive revenue to the ecommerce website.

Urgency

Black Friday is a time-sensitive event. Even as some brands choose to keep the sales all month long, the weekend of the 26th is the busiest one. Countdown timers and limited-time offers for specific, trending products are the go-to strategies to reinforce urgency. Another strategy that is also widely used by Amazon is displaying how many more of that specific product is left in stock. 

Personalization

By using artificial intelligence and tracking customers’ previous purchases, Amazon is able to offer personalized deals that cater to every client’s preferences. Plus, it is also able to identify what are the most popular products and put them on the home screen, giving them the necessary emphasis when trying to empty out stock. This should be a very thought-out process because it involves margin and supply chains, plus defining what kind of products deserve the priority.

2. Walmart

Following the trail of multi-category retailers, business owners can also take a page from the Walmart holiday sales strategies book. In 2020, Walmart’s goal was to spread out all of their Black Friday offers during the month of November in order to avoid high foot traffic in their physical stores and to also manage online traffic rates. Walmart also offered an omnichannel experience to customers by amping up their pickup and delivery services during the busy holiday season.

User experience

Walmart has prioritized user experience at the forefront of their online shopping strategy, making every piece of information about Black Friday deals available in an easy way, without too many links and with filterable options in every product category. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, users must be able to quickly understand each category, and how it differs from the others in order to decide where to click.

This is fundamental for a good Black Friday operation because having a cluttered website can actively damage the entire sales process. It is all about the end-to-end ride for the customer and if the shopping experience starts off in a bad way, they definitely won’t be coming back.  

Delivery options

The best strategy that has emerged for retailers is curbside pickup or buy online, pick up in-store. If consumers aren’t shopping in stores, it’s the least expensive way to get the goods into the consumer’s hands. Other fulfillment services reduce retailers’ profitability because of the high cost of shipping and then the potential for the product to be returned.

3. Apple

Much like Walmart, Apple has turned Black Friday into a 4-day shopping event offering customers perks that didn’t involve percentage and regular discounts, but different promotional strategies that are not often associated with a Black Friday offer.

 

Go beyond the obvious

When it comes to Black Friday promotional strategies, the most common types of promotions seen are discounts, codes and, sometimes, bundles. When offering a different type of offer to customers, they can be more attracted to your product and consequently your brand. Let’s take a look at Apple’s promotional tactics. 

During Black Friday 2020, they used a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) strategy that consisted of customers buying a gift from Apple to win a gift card for later purchases. Also, if shoppers bought an iPhone they would get another gift card of a smaller value than the first one mentioned. 

These types of promotional strategies benefit both customers and brands, because it can – and will! – be used for remarketing and for generating new sales opportunities. 

Conclusion

By looking at all of the brands mentioned above and the strategies they have used in previous Black Fridays, some business owners can get some inspiration on where to act during some of the busiest shopping days of the year. Whether your goal is to increase conversion rate, enhance brand awareness or lead customers to a new path of product discovery through Black Friday, these brands have mastered some simple techniques that can be used by most online retailers.

As always, the key is to be prepared. Remember that not every strategy will work the same and you should keep in mind your own mistakes and learnings too. What has worked for other companies, might not work for your industry or even your own customers. To see more examples of success cases, check our track record for VTEX clients during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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