Ask the experts - how to be ready for Black Friday 2021

Helena Jones - Marketing Executive,

The run-up to Black Friday is always a crucial time for ecommerce retailers, but this year is set to be the biggest peak season yet, with an 11% rise in ecommerce anticipated in an already record-breaking year. But how can you make sure that you have everything in place ready to make the most of peak season? We asked our experts for their views on how to be Black Friday ready.

Ensure your listing pages are algorithm friendly

"Before you start, review your listing pages. Your landing pages on Amazon can often go under the radar leading up to Black Friday. However, it is important to ensure they are “retail-ready” so they are looked at favourably by Amazon’s A9 algorithm. Review your product title and descriptions and ensure they include the keywords which are best related to your products to increase visibility. If you have the resource, consider adding A+ content if this isn’t already on your product pages - if not, this is an action that should be planned as early as possible to future proof your product pages."

George Illidge, Marketplace Account Director

Utilise the full affiliate mix

"The Affiliate marketing landscape is at its peak during the run-up to Black Friday, with brands looking to compete for their share of voice across affiliate platforms & capitalise on the surge in demand across the shopping event. Last year the channel reported record numbers with networks such as AWIN tracking more than 2.4m transactions across Black Friday alone, up 20% on the previous year.

A robust plan should include partners from the full affiliate mix, spanning Incentive, Content, Shopping and Deal based platforms to ensure brands have a strong share of voice right through the funnel, targeting users at different stages of their purchase journey"

Chris Ratcliffe, Head of Affiliates

Make sure you stand out

"Being able to stand out and get cut-through can be a serious competitive advantage for many. How Google is now attributing and using audience insight to join up their ecosystem means that YouTube ads will be more effective and easier to justify. 5-second bumper ads for maximum reach and frequency, at key times, will be a worthwhile investment of budget. Of course, YouTube will be the launchpad for retailers' Christmas ads - so engagement will be through the roof in anticipation for a better Christmas than 2020."

Lucy Gregg, Display Manager

It's not all about brand

"Queries for inspiration grew 82% from 2019 to 2020 and that is expected to rise again, therefore it’s important not just to focus on channels that harvest demand, but to make use of discoverable formats and placements, such as video and paid social. Once a consumer has narrowed down their list of gifts, what will drive the decision to purchase is attributed, such as price, delivery options, product reviews and returns policy, rather than brand name. Ensure these are highlighted in your ads to give your audience confidence in the product they are purchasing."

Andrew Mirzai, Paid Media Strategist

Keep a close eye on your competitors

"Use Amazon Advertising to bid on competitor products. Bidding on products similar/ complementary to your own allows you to be visible on a product page where the appetite to convert is higher than the initial search query, as a customer has actively clicked on a listing and is considering a purchase. Being visible in this space can drive the extra conversions you are expecting over the peak period.

Consider finding products you are competing against which are either more expensive than your product or have a poor review rating. Whilst this campaign is running, ensure you are keeping an eye on these products, as they may change their price or offer a promotion, which may mean your product isn’t as appealing to click on."

George Illidge, Marketplace Account Director

Know what your shoppers want

"Be aware of shoppers wants and needs - if you offer same-day delivery, next-day delivery, in-store pick-up or flexible payment methods, explicitly mention this on-page (not just in your nav and banners).

Keep your ear to the ground and monitor market trends - you typically hear rumblings of in-demand products on your site. Mine your on-site search and look to last year for spikes and trends."

Paul Norris, Organic Media Director

Get Creative

"Think of innovative ways to attract consumers to your brand. For example, Best Buy in the United States is offering a new subscription service to help consumers get around shortages and delays. Along with the now-familiar price discounts and free delivery, this $200 per year service gives exclusive access to hard-to-get devices - something that should appeal to tech-hungry shoppers."

Ben Bisco, Strategy and Planning Director

Make sure your data is on point

"Your sale landing pages and product pages get shared more than ever during Black Friday. Ensure your Open Graph metadata and images are present and relevant. If your deals are extraordinary, then include this info here. Your landing page OG data feeds social share snippets - remember dark social sharing on Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Instagram DMs is the iceberg below the surface."

Paul Norris, Organic Media Director

If you would like to know more about how 26 can improve your ecommerce offering, get in touch.

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