Black Friday, the day right after Thanksgiving each year, unofficially marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season for millions of consumers across the United States.
Roughly US$9 billion worth of retail sales was made during this shopping day last year, so Black Friday 2022 presents a lucrative opportunity that you and your e-commerce store can capitalize on with the proper preparation.
- What is Black Friday, and why is it worth caring about?
- Black Friday 2021 by the numbers
- Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Who comes out on top?
- 10 strategies to boost your business on Black Friday
- Some last words
What is Black Friday, and why is it worth caring about?
Black Friday was originally the name given to the heavy traffic and crowds that often accompany the day after Thanksgiving, when shoppers come in droves to avail of the huge discounts offered by shops as the holiday season begins.
These days, however, Black Friday isn’t only an in-store event, as it’s also become a huge online shopping event due to the rise of e-commerce.
e-Commerce stores therefore stand to benefit from Black Friday, given the higher profit margins and opportunities for expansion that the event offers.
Caring about and preparing for this monumental shopping holiday is then a must for anyone who wants to cash-in and make the most out of the approaching opportunity.
Black Friday 2021 by the numbers
To get a better picture of how things might go this year, taking a look at last year’s numbers is a good place to start. From enormous amounts of sales to the dominance of mobile transactions, much can be learned from Black Friday 2021.
1. Sales everywhere!
In 2021, the holiday season that began with Black Friday actually saw a 14.1% year-on-year increase in sales, bringing the total amount of spending during the November-December period up to record-high of US$886.7 billion.
Online sales accounted for approximately 25% of all spending, clearly indicating that holiday shoppers are indeed flocking to online stores to get their goods without having to fall in line at physical stores.
As mentioned, Black Friday last year brought in about US$9 billion of online sales, rising by 22% compared to 2020’s numbers. One can therefore only expect that Black Friday 2022 will experience a similar rise in total sales that online businesses can take advantage of.
2. What do consumers want?
Naturally, certain Black Friday trends surfaced during last year’s shopping event. Consumer electronics, for instance, seem to be rising in their popularity.
Adobe Analytics noted that 41% of all out-of-stock product messages were from consumer electronics goods. This apparent demand and lack of supply may nevertheless be due to labor and supply issues experienced by production plants in Asia.
For apparel, footwear such as wedges, mules, and flats experienced the largest increase in demand. The demand for wedges increased by a whopping 12,259% between Black Friday 2020 and 2021, while watches and pants saw a year-on-year rise of 222% and 111% respectively.
3. Where’s the action happening?
While physical and online shops appear to be the two main places where shoppers pour in to get their Black Friday deals, e-commerce sales are actually split as well into transactions made on smartphones, laptops, and desktops.
42.4% of all online sales during the event were in fact made on mobile phones, increasing by 2% from 2020 and indicating that mobile may be the way to go for future e-commerce purchases.
Shopify even noted that 70% of all the purchases on their platform were made on a mobile, while 29% were made through a desktop.
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Who comes out on top?
Cyber Monday refers to the Monday after Black Friday that serves as a major shopping holiday as well.
Being mere days away from one another nevertheless leads to both similarities and stark differences between the two holidays in their overall sales, audiences, and marketing methods.
1. Which makes more?
While Black Friday caters to both in-store and online customers, Cyber Monday (as suggested by its name), caters only to e-commerce consumers. Cyber Monday nevertheless takes the lead with regard to sales, with its US$10.7 billion largely exceeding Black Friday’s.
Historical data also reveals that Cyber Monday routinely comes out on top in terms of revenue during the Thanksgiving weekend, often making US$1-2 billion more than Black Friday each year.
2. Cultural differences
For the two shopping events, consumer spending habits bear differences in both size and type.
Black Friday is known to entail detailed planning for large purchases and pricey items like iPads, TVs, computers, and refrigerators. Shoppers back then would even camp outside malls and department stores with their lists and planned routes through the aisles to make the most out of the available deals.
Cyber Monday, however, is more associated with much smaller goods and gifts that some people buy on impulse, such as clothes and gift cards.
10 strategies to boost your business on Black Friday
Capitalizing on Black Friday can be achieved through strategies that would (1) encourage further spending and (2) create a better e-commerce customer experience that potential shoppers would want a part in.
Below are 10 strategies to boost your e-commerce business on this momentous shopping event. Let’s take a look at what they are!
1. Start marketing early!
Early involvement pays off. Starting to market your store and your Black Friday deals earlier than everybody else can set you apart from all the other stores and their own big promotions.
As mentioned, many Black Friday shoppers meticulously plan what to buy and scout out good deals early on as well, so getting your marketing materials out there before everyone else may aid you in attracting more customers overall.
2. Tap into influencer marketing
Instagram and TikTok host thousands of influencers who each have thousands, if not millions of followers that they can spread messages and market products to.
Tapping into this 21st century-type of marketing can therefore help your business reach more people, including the high-spending Millennials and Gen Zs!
Bianca Ingrosso, for instance, boasts about 1.3 million Instagram followers and she partnered with Nelly.com to create a new design collection: 80% of the collection sold out within a day.
3. Optimize your entire site
As with any major e-commerce event, you should ensure that your site is ready to receive and cater to any number of customers coming in from anywhere.
Your shopping platform should definitely be mobile-friendly, given the fact that an overwhelming majority of transactions are made on mobile phones.
46% of Americans actually spend between 5 to 6 hours on their smartphones daily, and experiencing lag, poor site layout, or broken buttons on your shopping platform would be a turn-off for customers.
4. Improve your store’s customer experience
You should also take measures to improve the online shopping experience you provide at your site and social media pages to further encourage spending in your store.
Everything should run smoothly for your customers, from their navigation of your store to the e-commerce delivery process to their homes.
Providing an excellent customer experience may increase their inclination to shop for your goods, and may help you set yourself apart from all the other online stores.
You can also explore different payment methods that make your consumers’ feel as though they’re getting a better deal, such as the buy now, pay later option that led to a 121% increase in sales for brands like Levi during Black Friday.
5. Build an email list
Though an email list may seem rather old-fashioned by comparison, it still serves as a reliable method to spread the word about your store and your Black Friday deals.
EDMs enable you to include even more images, links, and calls-to-action (CTA) for your store and products, making it a necessity for your marketing campaign.
The Danish store Miinto, for example, has an option that allows both current and potential customers to sign up for their email newsletter where they can learn about their Black Friday deals and discounts!
6. Prioritize your VIPs
In line with allowing customers to sign up for email notifications for new deals, you can also offer VIP access to some of your most loyal customers who have a history of high spending in your store.
These VIPs can have early access to deeper discounts, and may be prone to spending more though they may be few in number.
You can also create different levels of VIP access to cater to your best customers, seasonal shoppers, and other types of customers you may have, based on the frequency of their purchases.
7. Surprise your customers, pop-ups, promotions, throw them all in!
Nearly every store during the Black Friday holiday is bound to have their own inviting deals and low prices, so surprising your customers can set you apart as the place to be during the entire event.
Surprise promotions, countdowns to product releases, and even literal pop-ups that appear when someone’s shopping on your site can all contribute to customers’ willingness to check out and shop in your store.
8. Upsell and cross-sell for more revenue
The craze surrounding ridiculously low prices and big-time deals is one you shouldn’t forget to incorporate into your own marketing strategy.
Upselling more expensive products that boast similarly large discounts or cross-selling related products as part of a larger promotion can help your business push for more spending.
When a customer’s about to buy a standard iPad in your store, for instance, you could try offering them an iPad Pro or other related accessories, such as a case, Apple Pencil, or Airpods.
Revenue can increase by as much as 30% in the event you choose to deploy upselling and cross-selling.
9. Black Friday is not the end
Black Friday can undoubtedly generate a considerable amount of momentum and sales that can propel your business forward.
Resting on your laurels after said holiday may therefore seem appealing, but Black Friday is not the end — it marks the beginning of an entire season of shopping you can look forward to.
The months of November and December lie on your doorstep, along with thousands of other customers and potentially millions in more sales.
Planning how your store’s marketing and products will transition from Black Friday, to Cyber Monday, then to Christmas can help you maximize sales and the season.
10. Look out for those abandoned carts!
Lastly, one thing to regularly look out for would be abandoned carts at check-out. Businesses worldwide lose out on about US$18 billion yearly on abandoned carts, so devising ways to guarantee customers complete the entire check-out process is a must-do for Black Friday.
You can provide transparency about all potential fees, for example, to prevent people from abandoning carts after learning about high shipping costs and taxes only at check-out.
You can also try to invite those who’ve abandoned their carts before to come back and enjoy larger discounts!
Some last words
Tweaking the old saying can better reflect the opportunities that await you this upcoming Black Friday 2022.
Increased sales, expanded reach, and even more growth can all come to your store’s doorstep should you truly capitalize on this ultimate American shopping holiday. Once the time comes and customers start pouring in, we can all say: “Thank God it’s Black Friday!”
Looking for ways to step up your Black Friday game? Choco Up can help!
As a global technology and financial services platform, we provide e-commerce funding for digital merchants to fuel their growth. Whether you need to stock up on inventory or scale up your marketing campaigns during the shopping spree, Choco Up’s funding is something you can rely on.
In the past, we’ve helped clients like eBuyNow and BuzzAR grow their revenue and user base by 5X and 10X respectively. You can learn more about our funding here, or get your preliminary funding offer today — it’s free!
About Choco Up
Choco Up is a global technology and financial services platform, offering revenue-based financing and business growth solutions for digital merchants and startups.
With data analytics and machine learning at its core, Choco Up employs vast integrations to automate fund deployment, providing fast-growing companies with zero-equity funding in a quick and seamless manner.
We currently have offices in Singapore and Hong Kong and serve clients worldwide, providing smart-growth analytics and global payment solutions to fuel their growth.