Black Friday – that all-important date in every marketer’s calendar.

We’ve all seen the videos of crowds storming through department stores, new TVs trapped in tugs-of-war, and check-out areas overflowing with towers of products. 

However, since the pandemic, Black Friday’s presence online has started to take the lead. In 2022, Black Friday’s in-store sales increased by 12%, whereas its online sales increased by 14%. This makes sense. Why risk being packed into a store like a sardine for however long, only to leave with maybe a black eye and no purchases?

Moreover, in the US, last year saw 72.9 million consumers shop in-store for Black Friday, while 87.2 million shopped online. That’s a difference of 14.3 million.

Needless to say, this date is a big deal for online retailers. We expect you’ve already carried out hours upon hours of research to make the best possible strategies for the day. We expect that you’ll have them locked in and ready to go. And we expect the day to be a resounding success.

But it’s not all about the day itself.

If you really want to get the most out of Black Friday. It’s just as much about what you do afterwards, as you do beforehand. 

What you don’t want is a massive spike in conversions, click-through rates, and AOV on the day itself, only to fall back down to baseline by the end of Q4.

Let’s say that Black Friday arrives and you see a massive influx of shoppers and activity to your site. This would be fantastic news for any marketer. But how do you retain these new customers and what do you do with all of this new data you’ve gained?

To answer this question, we spoke with Dan Bond, VP of Marketing at RevLifter – winner of the Best Use of Data award at the GPMAs 2023

As certified data experts, we knew that the RevLifter team would have the answers we needed. Bond delivered a series of insightful tips to help turn your Black Friday data into powerful strategies for the rest of the year.

You can watch the full webinar here. We recommend you watch the whole session to absorb Bond's advice in its totality.

But, if you're stretched for time and want the highlights right now, we've covered some of the main points below.

It's time to experiment

Among its many benefits, one of the most exciting parts of Black Friday is the increased volume that your site or brand will hopefully see. Such an influx makes this the perfect time to experiment.

This is the time to try out targeted offers, personalised deals, and learn more about your audience segmentation. It's not often you get the opportunity to analyse such a large volume of customers in such a short space of time, so spend it wisely.

There is a caveat. Black Friday customers, of course, will be those already looking for promotions and discounts, rather than general traffic just visiting your site. Keep this bias in mind.

However, the inpouring of traffic and customer types will still provide you with a lot of valuable data for the rest of the year if you perform the right tests.

So, what do these tests look like?

Bond recommends trying out different words or phrases in your copy to see what is most effective. RevLifter recently published a report on its own findings in this department.

"If you use different words and phrases, you can build up a corpus of intelligence of what works and doesn't work," says Bond.

The same applies to imagery. You could experiment with UGC for your offers, as an example. And the same also applies to the offers themselves, whether it's free delivery or a particular discount. Testing out different percentages or dollars off allows you to collect an average from all of these conversions to find the sweet spot for your customers.

Your post-Black Friday optimisation plan should then look quite similar to your Black Friday optimisation plan.

Apply your learnings throughout the year and you should hopefully see improved results.

Keep your customers coming back

One of the key challenges with Black Friday is retaining new customers.

Brands are likely to see a rush of new customers shopping at their sites simply because of the deals and offers. But how did you keep them coming back once the frenzy is over?

"The numbers we see in our conversion rates are 25% of people who buy once are likely to come back and buy again," says Bond.

In order to get customers to return to your online store, you should accurately demonstrate your brand ethos and identity during the Black Friday sale.

"Be aware of context. These are financially difficult times for people," says Bond. "Can you show people you care with a bit of support for them? Can you show that 'here is a special offer specifically for you to help you out'?"

This is also a great strategy for rewarding your existing customers.

Bond also suggests emphasising convenience and ease for your shoppers on Black Friday.

Click on the image below to watch the full webinar with Dan Bond.

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