Key Takeaways From The Black Friday Summit

There’s a lot going on here with Black Friday now just a little over a month away. Our preparation started a while back, but we are aware of the value that connecting with other thought leaders and agencies can bring to boost our own success. The Black Friday Summit was held last week and involved thought-provoking talks from industry leaders and “gurus” who offered anyone involved in Black Friday their advice on a number of categories. 

In the past, the Black Friday Summit would have been held at a conference venue, but with advances in technology and everyone now comfortable with remote working and interacting online, we were all brought together to share our thoughts and engage. So, here are our key takeaways from the Black Friday Summit. 

We kicked off with an introduction from Klaviyo who pointed out that with 67 million new businesses each year plus Amazon, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. We have all had to adapt with the introduction of Apple’s iOS 14.5 and 15 privacy updates and Google following close behind, which has made it all the more important to focus on customer retention. 

The one thing that is going to stand out for brands in 2022 in building long-lasting relationships with their existing customers, which is described as a shift from transaction commerce to relationship commerce. 

Ways you can do this is to:

  1. Build engagement by creating the correct content for your audience.
  2. Ask the customer for their email/SMS details, but when you do this you must remember to point out what makes you stand out from the others.
  3. Improve your ability of gaining First party data such as website optimisation, UX, and promotions.
  4. Ask yourself: why should your customer want to be part of your brand? What makes it relevant to them?
  5. Focus on personalisation, especially in SMS and email as it makes the customer feel more valued.

5 Trends that will impact BFCM into 2022

Another thing all brands and agencies have to ask themselves is what are the trends starting now that will impact your Black Friday strategy and lead into 2022. Black Friday isn’t only about sales, but about gaining new customers and increasing loyalty with your current ones so that the next year is even stronger.

Here are a five standout trends that are predicted to impact Black Friday:

  1. A shift to relationship Commerce – The focus will be on repeat buyers and customer retention This is a great way to increase AOV and CLTV. As a result, you need to show the correct and most valuable content to people that matches their interests. 
  2. Customer First Data – The most crucial forms of data you’re going to collect during this time will be based on website behaviour, customer preferences and their responses to things like surveys. As you do your lead generation, it’s a great opportunity for brands to collect as much data as possible.
  3. The increased cost of acquisition – The cost of acquiring new customers is more expensive than ever with a 31% increase in CPC and CPM increased by 6% vs similar time to last year. The fact is that most brands will see that 6% of purchasers over BFCM weekend bought in Q3, so there is value in converting these customers again via email and SMS.
  4. Supply chain issues – Any issues with shipping or delays should be communicated to the customer beforehand. This may reduce your add to cart, but customers love transparency and there is an opportunity for discounts and upsells while they wait. 
  5. SMS – This platform is very strong at the moment due to the direct nature of the marketing and can be personalised and curated to the customer. It’s another revenue stream that should definitely be looked into by all brands.

TikTok Over Black Friday Weekend

The next topic covered was the emergence of TikTok as a potential new revenue stream. TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the world, and we previously discussed how advertising would soon arrive to it and potential ways it could be leveraged to make brands more revenue. 

A few tips for kicking off TikTok advertising, are:

  1. Focus on organic-looking ads using real people doing the TikTok dances or sing-a-longs because on TikTok no one is interested in seeing an actual ad.
  2. Be as natural as possible. TikTok users respond better to videos by real people rather than a brand (and they hate being explicitly sold to).
  3. FB / IG Stories Ad don’t work on TikTok, so change your approach. The best way to do this would be to get on TikTok yourself and see what people are loving and what’s trending.
  4. All TikTok videos and ads need an eye-catching hook. If you don’t catch people’s attention in the first 3-5 seconds then you’re already being swiped on. 
  5. There appears to be more creative fatigue on TikTok than Facebook due to the ever-changing nature of what’s trending. This means that more creative testing will be required. 
  6. A good way to find inspiration is to visit TikTok’s own Creative Center, tiktok.com/business/creativecenter but the best way is to simply download TikTok yourself and spend some time scrolling through all of the different trends to see how it really works for yourself. 

 

Good creatives/trends for TikTok:

  1. Text blocks/Text overlay
  2. Robot Voice Over
  3. Copy about gifting (this season)
  4. Needs to be weird and catch people’s attention in 3-5 seconds
  5. Use discounts
  6. Sound must always be on
  7. Needs a human element
  8. A good thumbnail is always required

Email for Black Friday

Email is an age-old marketing tool that many people thought would eventually die out. However, email continues to be a crucial source of income for brands as well as a way for them to keep in contact with and retain their current customers. 

Email may also be quite traditional, but it is still evolving ever-so-slightly every single year, with many opportunities to catch people’s attention before, during and after Black Friday. One thing to take into account is that these people willingly signed up to your list, so are expecting to receive mails from you. By connecting with them during the year in the lead-up to Black Friday, you make it more likely for them to purchase from you when they’re receiving loads of emails on launch day. 

A few ways you can do this is to: 

  1. Aim to show your sign ups how the promo will benefit them beyond just them buying the product/making a sale, which ties back into creating human relationships through your marketing strategy.
  2. Start before BF and engage your audience, prepare them for the launch.
  3. “Shop early (early access)… so we can ship early”. Speak to people’s pain points around BF and before BF to get them buying before and throughout the weekend. A major pain point last year was shipping, so you could play on this.
  4. Urgency – “there won’t be a sale like this for the whole of next year”.
  5. An early warming email is important – don’t use the wording “Black Friday”, but something generating curiosity like “Can you guess what’s coming up next week?”
  6. Text-based emails aren’t dead. Very often, they’re more personal and direct than designed emails.

Email Design Ideas for Black Friday

One thing on a lot of people’s minds is what designs are you going to create to stand out this Black Friday and grab people’s attention. One major thing to note is that once your email is opened, you’ve won half the battle, so the best design is the most simple design, that communicates your offer in the best way possible and doesn’t confuse your potential customers. 

A few tips and tricks when it comes to this are: 

  1. Messaging over brand
  2. Purpose to get people to buy right now
  3. The design, subject lines and email in general must only be focused on the deal during BF
  4. Don’t bring up problems and solutions, the USP is the offer.
  5. Use a mixture of designed and plaintext emails. Different emails speak to different people. 
  6. Using both is important mainly because of deliverability and accessing different audiences who respond to different marketing methods.
  7. Don’t be confusing – sitewide offers grab the most attention and make the discount the design i.e 25% in BIG lettering.

Black Friday and SMS

SMS is a relatively new marketing tool that has seen some incredible results. The best thing about SMS is that people are always on their phones, so it’s the most direct way of contacting them without being too intrusive. The consent around SMS marketing is also very strict, so only people who really want to be connected with you are going to opt-in to receiving messages from you. 

There are a few ways to use SMS to have an extremely successful Black Friday, but for the most part you (your brand) just needs to be yourself, literally. This is an awesome way for you to play around, send your SMS subscribers jokes (if that’s your thing) and make this a really fun way for you to interact with your audience. 

Here are a few tips:  

  • Engage users – ask them a question at the end, get a little personal, be topical – idea for weekly campaigns
  • Early Access and VIP access for SMS Only
  • Users and consumers are very open to receiving text messages and are much less likely to unsubscribe, so use this to your advantage. 
  • Add an email to your Welcome Series where you ask people to opt-in to your text club – to get early access is a good idea in Q4
  • Make subscribers feel special for being part of the text club
  • U up? – messages like these are potentially good for the day before the BF sale starts, or you can say “are you excited to finally see what we’ve got for you?” .
  • Vibe check – check in with your list and see how they’re doing, ask them to respond and tell you what they’re feeling or looking forward to. With SMS, the opportunities to make real connections are endless.

 

In conclusion, the Black Friday Summit covered a wide range of topics, many of which were very useful and revolved around engaging your current customers to keep them loyal because these are the customers who are going to keep your business going over a long period of time. 

It was interesting to note how excited all of the attendees were and sharing knowledge within the eCommerce marketing community even helped us learn a few new things that we’re going to implement into our strategy. 

The most important takeaway is to start your prep early, gain leads who really want to get behind your brand and don’t be afraid to experiment beforehand so that you can have a much better idea of what’s going to work come the big weekend. 

We probably say this every year, but with the massive growth of eCommerce over the past year, this is probably going to be the biggest year for Black Friday online, and we can’t wait to tackle it head-on.