Black Friday Planning Tips

Online shopping on Cyber Monday was once again the biggest online shopping day in history with online sales of £1.4 billion, up 11.7% over last year.

With a +71% uplift in order value, +39% uplift in sales and +23% in average order value, Tradedoubler’s data mirrors this trend and Black Friday should remain the busiest shopping days for 2018 as we forecast an 11% uplift year-on-year for 2018.

Looking at our user journey stats we have seen a large increase of customers going to blogger and content sites, researching purchases up to 3 weeks before the Black Friday period. So many customers are preparing and waiting for the offers to drop – even customers have their own buying strategies – and this a great opportunity to evaluate your affiliate strategy. Review your payment models for that week, set-up tiered commissions to incentive publishers or offer bonuses to sites higher up the funnel. It’s especially important to reward the publishers contributing to the end sale during this period.

Some interesting facts Black Friday and Cyber Monday

  • According to a 2009 article published in TIME magazine, the term “Black Friday” was first used in the 1960s by Philadelphia newspapers referring to the huge rush of crowds to stores on the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Historically, Cyber Monday has been the online version of Black Friday. In recent years however the lines have blurred, with the shopping window for both online and offline consumers expanding to the entire week.
  • Cyber Monday is the top online spending day, but Black Friday has grown significantly as an e-commerce opportunity in recent years.

When is Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2018?

Black Friday is on 23rd November 2018. Cyber Monday is always the Monday after Black Friday. In 2018, Cyber Monday will be on Monday 26th November 2018.

Can your website handle the large impact BF & CM will have?

On peak shopping days like Black Friday, your website will experience an enormous amount of traffic, which can cause your website to simply break, and unfortunately, this is exactly what happens every year even to major retailers.

To ensure you make the most of Black Friday weekend and not lose sales due to your system crashing at the very moment thousands of sales could be made and avoid the negative impacts on your brand perception of thousands of users having a poor shopping experience, we strongly advise you to perform tests and ensure your website can handle the surge in traffic.

When should you start planning your activity?

The key to taking advantage of Black Friday weekend is to get your promotions out as early as possible to build demand and excitement. Think about some of the promotions that have previously performed well and put together your strategy for that week on what products, offers and type of customers you want to target! Please ensure you speak with your affiliate teams so they can plan and support accordingly to your plans and support other channel activities, keep an eye on your social media and speak to your customers to get feedback on your brand.

Have you reflected on last year’s results and learnings?

Evaluate everything from what went well to what was a disaster! It’s important to take your previous numbers into consideration, if you are new to the business or you are a startup, do your research. Before you plan all your offers, make sure you check with your internal teams you have enough stock –  we wouldn’t want your site to have ‘out of stock’ for the week, this is a great opportunity to liaise with your product teams.

Which affiliates worked for Black Friday? Did you overspend on tenancies that didn’t convert? Were all links live and offers correct? All these things must be considered. Speak to your account manager and run through the potential players you want supporting your Black Friday & Cyber Monday success.

Leverage publishers to help you upsell

It’s not always about new customers, there is so much opportunity to upsell during this week. Customers are ready to spend, so ensure you include publishers who can support this. Consider implementing partners such as Soreto – a social referral tool which offers your customer and their friends discounts when sharing their favourite products, and work with the likes of Smarter Click or Insider who can run browser notifications and display targeted overlays to engage with lost customers and increase conversion rates and profits.

Black Friday Cyber Monday is a huge opportunity for your business, focus on giving some special offers to your publishers if you want to increase performance and take advantage of your affiliate program, work closely with your network account team and potential partners to ensure you have everything planned and in place so you can make the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


The Author:

Rebecca has been at Tradedoubler for over for 4 years and currently is Head of Client services in the UK. With over 8 years of affiliate experience, Rebecca has previously worked at other networks.

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