Black Friday is the most important time of the year for E-Commerce businesses. On one day of the year, shoppers will be spending millions of pounds online every minute! Businesses have one shot to get their strategy right and win big.
Black Friday represents the biggest opportunity for a business but also the biggest risk. Ads are at their most expensive during this period and competition couldn’t be higher!
In preparing for this year, we’ve taken our own advice and looked at last year’s performance with a view to finding some common factors and tips for success.
Last year we delivered £600k revenue from our clients from just £29k ad spend – in writing this article we’ve taken learnings from all the clients involved in last year. Think of this as a ‘mega case study’.
So what can past performance tell us about this year’s Black Friday campaigns?
Black Friday Isn’t for Every Business
Before you slide two-footed into Black Friday discounts and blow your ad budget on one weekend, consider this: should you be active on Black Friday at all?
We didn’t recommend all of our clients ran ads over Black Friday for a variety of reasons.
For some accounts, CPMs increased by upwards of 30% during the week of Black Friday compared to the period before. Simply put, it’s expensive to run ads at this time. If you’re in a competitive space and you’re not prepared to increase your budget to reflect this increased cost, you likely won’t get much traction from ads on Black Friday. If budget might be an issue, consider sitting the weekend out or sticking to organic channels or your mailing list.
If your product doesn’t apply well to a discount, or you’re not planning on running a deal at all it’s probably best to steer clear of paid advertising that weekend, as your costs will be inflated and likely drowned out by brands going all in on Black Friday.
It Doesn’t Just Have to Be a Weekend
Our most successful clients last year ran Black Friday related promotions for much longer than just the day itself.
This makes logical sense – if you have a dedicated fanbase and the right deals, it would be silly to limit the benefits to one night only.
Beyond this, the longer you run, the more you can test and the more mature your campaigns can become.
One client introduced ‘Black November’ last year – a full month of exclusive deals. As campaigns learned (and we found out what worked best), we observed an 88% decrease in CPA over the month. As ads became more efficient, we were also able to increase budget towards efficient ads, causing revenue to snowball over time.
This month resulted in an overall ROAS for the company of 26X through Paid Social alone.
Find Your Niche and Know Your Audience
Your Black Friday offer doesn’t necessarily need to be a massive sitewide discount. While these can be effective, they do come with downsides. Firstly, the messaging is liable to get lost among other websites running the same offer. Beyond this, you’re missing out on a chance to demonstrate your affinity with your audience and their needs.
A client in the health supplement industry opted to avoid a site wide deal in favour of a bespoke bundle including their most popular products, sold at a discounted rate.
The bundles contained products that worked well together and included a few lesser-known items. As such, customers were able to discover new products they may not have otherwise been using, when a broad discount would have just led them to purchase the items they were familiar with.
The bundles generated over $500k revenue in just 7 days, as well as increasing lifetime value by introducing customers to new products. Beyond this, the brand was able to demonstrate a deeper knowledge of what their customers were after.
Think about applying this to your Black Friday activities – how can you make your offer 1) unique to you and 2) an additional value-add?
By keeping these points in mind, you’re well on your way to success this Black Friday. Want to guarantee success? Apply for our Black Friday offer today and get your strategy from an Alphageek expert free of charge!