Top image: 5 ways brands can prepare for Black Friday

5 ways brands can prepare for Black Friday

Black Friday is a highly anticipated day for both shoppers and brands. Luckily, with digital technology and online commerce, shoppers don’t need to wait hours in line to enjoy stellar, limited-time deals.

Check out five ways your brand can get the most out of the holiday season to stay ahead of the competition. 

1. Leverage live commerce 

Brands that are adopting live commerce — also known as live video shopping or livestream shopping — are seeing conversion rates up to 30%, which is 10x times higher than conventional eCommerce. Live video is also getting rave reviews from customers. Emplifi data shows that brands using its live commerce solutions see an average customer satisfaction score of 94%. 

Nothing beats the guidance of a trusted product expert who can demonstrate how a product is used, answer questions, and recommend alternatives. You probably already have product experts and in-house salespeople who are skilled at doing just that. Now, it’s time to have them do what they do best via live video. Use them both to broadcast product demos and information sessions online and to provide one-on-one product guidance via video to online shoppers.

2. Put customer care first

Modern consumers expect brands to provide fast, seamless, and personalized service regardless of whether they connect on social media, on the brand website, or in person. A recent Emplifi study found that 52% of U.S. consumers expect a response within an hour of contacting a brand on any channel, which can include apps such as Messenger and Instagram, call centers, and digital chat agents. However, 39% report typical wait times of over two hours. 

To prepare for the influx of customer inquiries and comments, you’ll want to equip your care teams with the tools they need to succeed. Be sure to update FAQs and employ AI chatbot technology to provide the best experience possible. 

3. Shine the spotlight on user-generated content (UGC)

Happy customers are your brand’s biggest advocates. Digital tools can get you closer to conversations about your company, giving you a feel for what customers love most. Leveraging pre-existing and unaltered content adds credibility to your brand and product offerings. In fact, 80% of consumers say UGC highly impacts their purchase decisions, perhaps because they find it more realistic and down-to-earth. Enabling customers to easily access images and information from others can give brands an edge over their competitors.  

It’s a scaleable, budget-friendly way to source valuable content that will have an impact. By implementing UGC on your website, you keep shoppers from leaving to search for your product on other websites. Convenience is key.

4. Showcase ratings and reviews

While UGC is undoubtedly powerful, we can’t ignore the impact of customer reviews. Making this information accessible to future buyers can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line through word-of-mouth marketing. That’s because 54% of Americans read reviews before every online purchase they make, with 88% reading four or more reviews before making a purchase. 

By having ratings and reviews on your website, you’re building trust with your customers – not to mention the wealth of data you can use from the information you’ve collected. Take the stress out of holiday shopping by giving your customers an easy way to learn about your products. 

5. Lean into an omnichannel approach

It’s essential to have an omnichannel approach to your Black Friday marketing. And don't forget about platforms like TikTok that have been picking up steam as a way for customers to discover new products. 

Although the social media app gets a lot of attention for being an entertainment platform, it’s important to recognize TikTok’s influence on commerce. For example, the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 26 billion views (as of October 2022). And an Adweek-Morning Consult survey found that 49% of TikTok users say they’ve made a purchase (subscription required) based on what they learned about a product or service on TikTok. 

Take the stress out of Black Friday campaigns

Being prepared is key. With the right Black Friday marketing campaign strategy, tools, and content mix, you can create scroll-stopping campaigns that will have an impact.

Keeping the above tips in mind can put you on the right track to make 2022’s the most successful Black Friday your brand has had in recent years. To quickly recap:

  • Use Live Commerce for a more streamlined and convenient connection to your customers during the buying process.

  • Provide your customer care team with the resources they need to provide exemplary service to each and every customer.

  • Your best customers are already creating social content about your products. Leverage it for greater marketing authenticity.

  • Consumers increasingly look to ratings and reviews when making purchase decisions. Use your website to put them front and center.

  • Because consumers see all your brand’s social channels as an extension of your brand, you have to break down any and all silos.

While sales are great, it’s only one small piece of the puzzle. To truly excel at holiday shopping, brands can’t take their eyes off the customer experience, creating a streamlined approach that will keep them coming back for more.

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