How Retailers can prepare for

Black Friday 2021

One of the most awaited events of the year is just around the corner and you need to be ready for the jungle prices that it’s gonna take place out there! Black Friday represents a great chance for any retailer that wants to capitalize on it. If you run online shopping, Cyber Monday and Black Friday are your chance to shine. You need to prepare yourself at best if you want to handle the competition and the number of users on your website.

We spoke to Alex Kakouratos, Chief Operating Officer, Andreas Broutas, Business Development Manager and Gina Sanni, Marketing Manager to discover what they think are best practices to get ready for Black Friday and thrive.

What do you think are the 3 most important things retailers must do for Black Friday?

Black Friday is the busiest and most important day in the retail business for at least the past 15 years in the US and gradually around the world.
As Black Friday in the last years represents a respectable percentage of the year’s revenue, retailers have tried to maximize the effect of this day, thus unofficially extending its duration from 1 day to 1 week and often to a couple of weeks, as today one can see: early Black Friday deals, first chance deals, weekly sales, daily offers, pre-Black Friday deals etc. (limited only by one’s imagination) with of course the pinnacle of the period always being Black Friday itself.
As it is known and can be easily understood, it’s the period of the most intense competition where the stakes are at their highest and no mistakes are allowed.
What can one do to achieve the best possible performance?
Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe, but… the road to success always has 2 main components, Planning & Execution (or Action).
First of all, don’t wait for the last moment to do the planning, it’s a guaranteed low performance.
Use historical data of at least the previous period that have to do with important KPIs such as traffic, sales, stock, own and competitor’s prices, conversion etc. as history tends to repeat itself, these will show you what worked, what didn’t, what were the problems, which products were in high demand, which is low, what were the price points that generated more sales, and what was the strategy of the competition.

Combining all the above, a detailed plan can be put together.

Last but not least, since retail is a team “sport” don’t forget to involve all parties/departments that play a part in the execution of the plan such as marketing, sales, purchasing, logistics etc.

Execution (or Action)
A plan is only as good as its execution.

Making it clear and transparent to all involved parties without unnecessary complexities will ensure that everyone understands his/her role and will be able to perform it on time.
Timing is of the essence and every delay during this period can be easily translated into a loss of revenue.

Don’t forget that you are not alone.

There are other competitors of yours who would most likely have performed the same steps as you have and will enter a “struggle” with you for sales, so there is a 3rd component that must be added which is no other than Re-Action.

Good planning and good execution can end up meaning nothing if one doesn’t know what is happening around him, as his/her competition might have a more aggressive plan, a plan that counters the one drafted or reacts fast to their competition’s plan and offers.
A close eye must be always kept to the competition in terms of marketing communications, assortment, and availability, and of course prices.
It’s certain that your competitors will have some offers that will be more aggressive than yours, it’s also certain that they will try to counter your offers, especially the key ones. Competition reaction is to be expected and the question here is what will you do? How and how fast will you react? Will you manage to be on top of the game or will you remain an observer?
This is the most important element, as this is the one that ensures that the plan is executed promptly and readjusted where required in order to maintain or generate momentum and eventually achieve the optimal outcome.

To summarize, there are 3 main elements that you need to invest in for optimal performance during this period: Preparation, Action & Reaction.
Dedicate the required amount of time and attention to each one, treat each one with respect and importance and results will come.

Alex Kakouratos, Chief Operating Officer @ TGN

Marketing Tips:

Are you ready for Black Friday?

Get your eCommerce store ready with our checklist of the things you need to do for a successful Black Friday. 

Gina Sanni,
Marketing Manager @ TGN

Run an omnichannel Black Friday campaign

Many consumers prefer to conduct their research online and purchase in-store, or vice versa.

Contact your subscribers

Before Black Friday to create Hype & on a daily basis during the Black Friday Period.

Create special BF themed exit intent pop up

Try something like: “Save 50% off your order NOW!” to see an increase in conversions.

Create a Smart Product Recommendation

It will help you re-engage the vast majority of Black Friday traffic that viewed a product but didn’t convert.

Offer More Benefits

Free Changes, Gift with Order, Coupon for next order, etc. It’s not a new strategy, but it is an effective one.

Retarget, Retarget, Retarget

Black Friday shoppers have incredibly short attention spans. Give them ample opportunity to conclude their purchase by retargeting through email, Facebook and display advertising.

Make Your Subject Line Stand Out

Email marketing is a key channel for building campaign engagement, but without the right subject line, even the best emails will be lost in the inbox.

Optimize your PPC campaigns

Traffic and competition will increase considerably over BF Period, so be prepared to adjust your budgets and bids constantly. Be aware of getting into a bidding war that could affect your return on ad spend (ROAS).

Reignite Potential Customers From Past

Abandoned products in shopping carts are prevalent these days and are a big problem for online retailers. this is the perfect time to remarket your products with exciting offers to those customers.

How Price Intelligence and Dynamic Pricing can help retailers especially during the Black Friday period?

Price Intelligence & Dynamic Pricing are two terms more and more frequently encountered and very intertwined as they complement one another as the second is the natural extension of the first and the first is a prerequisite for the second to operate properly.
In order to better understand them it’s appropriate to examine them separately, but eventually, combine them to create and identify the value.
Price Intelligence collects valuable market information and provides awareness of the market status at any given time, and of course, along with historical data, it provides even more valuable insights that can be used as a fuel for forecasting. This usually includes, but is not limited to information such as price, availability, shipping, promotions,
Dynamic Pricing acts upon the market status information in an automated or semi-automated way to efficiently react to the changes and adjust the company’s strategy. Of course, dynamic pricing takes additional variables into consideration, such as the cost, the available stock, product elasticity, traffic, etc.
Combining the two in the day-to-day operations create the base for a highly sophisticated process that, executed correctly, has the dynamic to skyrocket the performance of any company.
How? Simply put, at first one needs to know what is happening, when it is happening. Then, with the correct set of business insights, rules, and data, via automated or semi-automated processes, can almost instantly and with minimal effort adjust accordingly the pricing policy to match their short-term and long-term strategic goals.
Taking the above-described process and chronically placing it into the Black Friday period, it’s easy to understand the immense value that it will bring to the most competitive period of the year, where prices change fast, offers and deals are communicated at a very fast pace and the customer has relatively little time to decide. In short, during this period fast and accurate decisions are of outmost importance, and the combination of Price Intelligence with Dynamic Pricing is the winning combination.

Alex Kakouratos, Chief Operating Officer @ TGN

Marketing Tips:

Are you ready for Black Friday?

Use Price Intelligence to inform marketing campaigns and optimize ad spend. Putting this marketing data to use, can assist your business directly through higher sales of your products.

Gina Sanni,
Marketing Manager @ TGN

Maximizing Return On Ad Spend

At a tactical level, you can use competitive intelligence to identify the right products to bid for, as well as to improve your ad targeting so you reach the prospects most likely to buy.
When building out your ad campaigns, you can use competitive intelligence to maximize the return on ad spend.

Boosting Conversions By Studying Competitors’ e-shops

In digital marketing, it’s well known that calls to action (CTAs) are one of the most important factors to convert a visitor into a customer. 
Retailers use that strategy to attract visitors and convert them into customers by promoting offers through Homepage banners. When visitors click on a homepage banner then they will follow a well-planned customers journey with more products and more offers. By using Competitive Intelligence you can monitor your Competitor’s HomePage banners and be informed about all the offers behind every banner.

Is Black Friday the new Cyber Monday for E-Commerce?

Black Friday was traditionally an event or a “promotional day” for physical stores where the products on offer were sold offline. We all have seen scenes from big retailers, especially in the US where the consumers “fight” to get a product.  Someone could call it “A fight for an offer”!! 
As E-commerce started to become bigger and gain market share there was an opportunity for the retailers to sell faster, smarter and advertise it to a wider audience. So today, everyone has the chance to get that TV or Laptop at a super price.  What retailers didn’t initially see and still don’t, is the need for a really good and organized supply chain. But that is another story to discuss.

On the other hand, Cyber Monday was created in 2005 by retailers with the perspective to increase
online sales after the Thanksgiving period.  Cyber Monday is considered the Black Friday of E-commerce. And it actually worked. 

As Black Friday started to be “used” as a tactic in Europe, it quickly became a wider period of offers. Competition is much more aggressive and retailers try to even extend the already extended period and go live faster than anyone else. In addition to that, supply chain problems with the goods to be delivered later than expected, extended even more the Black Friday period and its results. 
Also, it is a fact that the Black Friday period even “steals” revenue from the Christmas business.  
Moreover, brands and suppliers are getting less and less interested in Cyber Monday as they focus on Black Friday cause a solid rule of thumb is that Black Friday is a better time to buy newer, big-ticket items. It’s also the best day to shop in stores, though you can also shop online. Cyber Monday is considered a better day to shop only online for tech deals and smaller gifts. 

So, taking into consideration all of the above, Cyber Monday loses its attraction and Black Friday is steadily becoming the “king” of the winter period sales and is definitely here to stay for good.

Andreas Broutas, Business Development Manager @ TGN

Marketing Tips:

Are you ready for Black Friday?

Eventually, and especially after covid effects at the market, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most hyped events in the eCommerce calendar. So get ready early and be prepared for a long run this year!

Gina Sanni,
Marketing Manager @ TGN

Optimize Your Website Performance

Now, m-commerce is the new e-commerce, as online shopping through mobile rules on Black Friday, e-commerces must be mobile optimized.

Update Store Design for the Black Friday Period

A new website skin may be a great solution that shows commitment to Black Friday Period and a desire to surprise your customers and win their loyalty.

Audit Product Pages

Optimize the product descriptions, Create gift guides, Sync the inventory on all sales channels, Include six to eight product pictures

Create the Urgency to Increase Black Friday Sales

Launch a pre-BF flash sale, Display the stock level when the quantity is low, Use time-sensitive language, Use a color that stands out to highlight the offer, Reward the fastest customers.

Reduce the Cart Abandonment Rate

Send cart abandonment reminders using email after 3 hours and after a day at the same time that the consumer left the website, Make Registration Easy and checkout fast.

What do you predict for Black Friday 2021 and is it enough to regain the loss of 2021’s revenue?

It is a real challenge to predict what Black Friday 2021 will look like. No one could ever predict how covid affected people’s lives & jobs.
The retail industry was affected really fast as the physical stores became a “forbidden” place and as a result, they were closed for a long time. Digitalization suddenly became a high priority task, e-commerce is booming, the supply chain is more important than ever, electronic payments became safer, e-banking is now a routine.

There is no doubt that the Retail industry had tough times and in some cases still has. E-commerce is the future and the retailers who understand that will continue to grow. 
Supermarkets started home deliveries and as a result, the Food delivery industry is growing fast.

More and more traditional retailers have already started to invest in Data, like Price Intelligence, competition monitoring, and dynamic pricing to automate manual processes, become more competitive and price-sensitive, and as a result to achieve better results in revenue and margin. 

Physical stores now have restrictions for the number of visitors, vaccinated and non-vaccinated consumers have different rules of shopping. People are not willing to stay in the line outside a store to get the best offer from a hundred more unknown persons. In addition to that, consumers who are older will also turn more to online shopping and they are the ones who are visiting the physical stores more often. 

So, retailers know that and will focus more on their eshop and its operations. Online journeys will probably become easier so the consumers can find, buy and check out faster. The Last mile will be a challenge and the retailers who didn’t plan it correctly will lose customers and revenue. The stock of products on offer and cross-selling opportunities are KPIs that must remain in high contrast. 

One of the most important things that retailers should also take into consideration is the day after Black Friday. Consumers will become loyal to the retailer who will deliver their goods on time. On-time doesn’t necessarily mean next day delivery but delivery on the day consumers were informed. As we are consumers ourselves, we understand that receiving a good we bought in the middle of a war of offers is not feasible but receiving it according to the delivery date is mandatory. 

To sum up, Black Friday 2021 will help retailers and brands to regain some of the loss of the year and it will be mainly online. The Black Friday period will be extended even more and “hide & seek offers” will start early. Another guess is that besides the offers, marketing and advertisement will focus also on the delivery, “buy today, receive tomorrow”.

Andreas Broutas, Business Development Manager @ TGN

Get Ready for Black Friday now!

Talk to our Experts to assist you to prepare for the busiest shopping days of the year!